Israeli start-up Ripples has created a device that prints messages and images onto beer, coffee and other foam-topped beverages using ink made from natural extracts. The Ripple Maker device is touted as an ingenious brand marketing tool and a reported 700 units have been sold to Suntory Beer.
The Japanese beverage company has installed the devices across key locations, including its flagship “God Foam Bar.” Suntory Beer will use the Ripple Marker primarily for its signature beer brand, The Premium Malt’s.
The Ripple Maker uses natural extracts as ink to top beverages of all kind; for coffee-based drinks this is coffee bean extract, for beer this is malt extract. The extract comes in easy-to-use pods that are completely free of preservatives or artificial colors. It does not affect the taste quality of the drink or the calorific or nutritional content. The pods are produced under strict food regulation in the Ripples factory, the company says.
Yossi Meshulam, Ripples CEO and Co-Founder, explains that printing images and messages onto beer is easy with the Ripple Maker, but challenges present themselves with regard to the quality of beer foam.
“For the Ripple Maker to create perfect, clear images with fine detail, the beer foam needs to be very smooth and have the right consistency. This can depend on the beer, but also on the way it is poured. Suntory beer is a great example of a beer that offers a great canvas for printed Ripples images,” Meshulam tells PackagingInsights.
There is no limit to the content that can be designed and printed onto beer foam, including images, selfies, slogans and messages.
“Basically anything can be printed with the Ripple Maker, even in real time,” Meshulam continues. “Customers and users can upload their own content through the Ripples app and create personalized Rippled drinks. We have had holiday-related messages wishing a happy St. Patrick’s Day, ‘Will You Marry Me’ proposal messages, people drinking their own selfie from their pint – it’s all possible.”
The Ripple Maker can be used for any foam-topped beverage. Besides coffee and beer, this includes cocktails, milkshakes, Matcha tea, hot chocolate and nitro coffee.
Meshulam believes that the Ripple Maker has huge potential within the beverage market as an untapped source of customer engagement and brand differentiation.
“We are constantly looking for brands and companies who wish to add that little extra to their customer experience. The Ripple Maker offers a differentiator to brands and fills a so far untapped communication medium: the top of a drink.”
Suntory Beer is the first beer customer in Asia to have purchased Ripple Makers on this scale.“This adoption of Suntory beer for 700 Ripple Makers is a big milestone for our company, and we look forward to communicating and showing many more brands the potential of the Ripple Maker,” Meshulam notes.
Last year, Ripples announced a collaboration with the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, which uses the Ripple Maker for a unique Stoutie experience, in which visitors can have their selfie printed onto a Stout beer. This experience has since been expanded to the US Guinness Brewhouse in Baltimore.
The Ripples portfolio already includes brands such as the Hilton, Microsoft, Lavazza, Google and Intel. The Ripple Maker is available globally, not including Africa and South America.