A Gateshead company could revolutionise the drinks market after developing an innovative product which allows consumers to control the taste and content of purchased drinks.
DEVELOPED in the past three years, Mixicap's new bottle cap system will allow users to add flavourings to drinks they buy, giving more control over taste to the consumer and ruling out the need for a range of preservatives and chemicals which are commonly used in the production of soft drinks.
Managing director Amrik Pannu said: "At the push of a button people will be able to add flavourings, sugar, and even vitamins and minerals to water, all at a strength to suit their personal tastes, providing a fresher alternative to traditional flavoured water."
As well as the planned launch into the soft drinks market, the company has also attracted the interest of NHS Innovations, with which Mixicap is now researching possible medical use of the application in administering drugs.
Amrik said: "We are in talks with a number of major players in the international drinks industry, as well as healthcare providers and other innovators. We don’t see the product as a novelty, but as an application that can offer a wealth of potential practical uses."
Mixicap has received government support for the project through the UK Trade and Investment research and development programme, which has helped to speed up design and production, and financial support from Newcastle’s North Star Equity Investors.
More recently, the company has embarked on a Generate project as part of the Designing Demand programme, a Design Council initiative which aims to help businesses use design to improve performance.
Mr Pannu said: "The Designing Demand sessions made a contribution to the thinking and planning during the transitional stage of going from the original concept design into the more detailed stages of the product development.
"It assisted us in examining the context and drivers that have impacted on Mixicap’s direction." Lead Design Associate for Designing Demand, Robert Bewick, said: "I am delighted that we have made a contribution to such an exciting project, which involves a wide range of partners and contributors, all with their own particular strengths and specialisms.
"Amrik’s central role is particularly challenging and I hope that the Generate session has supported him in validating his vision and planning the project forward."
FIND OUT MORE
Designing Demand workshops are currently taking place across the region, and places are free for SMEs. To register, or for more information, call Sarah Belton at Entrust on (0191) 244-4008 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.