European Business: The air up bottle creates flavoured water using specific fragrances. Why should we use this instead of simply drinking juice or pre-flavoured water?
Fabian Schlang: Unfortunately, soft drinks, juice spritzers, and pre-flavoured water from the supermarket usually contain flavour enhancers and a lot of sugar or unhealthy sweeteners. With the air up bottle, on the other hand, you have the taste experience without the water having been altered or added to. The fragrance, which gives the flavour, is simply breathed out again through the nose.
European Business: Smell instead of taste: how exactly does the bottle work?
Fabian Schlang: For the customer, the system is very simple. You fill the air up bottle with still or fizzy water and put the aroma pod, for example in peach or apple flavour, in the holder at the top of the bottle. The action of sucking on the bottle creates suction, which carries not only the water, but also air from the outside, through the fragrance pod and into the mouth. Retronasal smell then comes into play. In the pharynx, the aromatized separates from the water, is perceived as a taste, and is then simply exhaled. This is a natural process, incidentally, which also takes place with food aromas when chewing. The scientific background is somewhat complex, but it’s really easy for the customer. It’s just plain water, but you can taste something fruity.
European Business: The pod delivers the fragrance. How exactly is it constructed? Can it cause harm to the user?
Fabian Schlang: No, the fragrance pod is completely harmless because it is filled with 100%-natural flavour. They come from our partner in Darmstadt, who is a leader in this field. Of course, we have conducted our own internal and external testing, and can therefore say for certain that our product is 100% safe. These aromas are applied in a liquid form to a poly fleece, which allows the air to flow well and become enriched with the fragrance.
European Business: Apart from the fragrance, does the air up add any other value?
Fabian Schlang: The added value is that the water is drawn from the tap and drunk immediately and doesn’t stand for two years in a musty PET bottle in the supermarket. For customers, the bottle offers the advantage that they can top up anywhere with the healthiest drink in the world - water - and nevertheless don’t have to forego taste.
Interview: Aurelia Leppen | Photos: air up GmbH