‘Smart Lid’ Changes Color If Drink Is Too Hot
30. September 2016
The Aussie-based company has appointed large-scale European thermoformer to make its lids, with the hunt on for a U.S. supplier.
It’s been only a little over two years ago that Sydney-based packaging firm Smart Lid Systems began production of its heat-sensitive ‘smart coffee lids’ for distribution to coffee roasters, packaging distributors, and cafes in Australia. Now, the company has appointed large-scale packaging thermoformer Macpac SA of Greece to manufacture its lids for distribution throughout Europe and Russia. And, the aim, is to bring the lids to North America.
Made of food-grade HIPS, the Smart Lid contains a thermochromic masterbatch, so that when such a lid is placed on a cup with a hot beverage, it changes color to bright red; as it cools, its changes back to its original dark red ‘cooler’ color.
Serving temperatures start at 68 C (154 F) and go up to 100 C (212 F) for hot tea. Ideal brewing temperature for hot coffee is around 87 C (188 D). Liquid burn hazards are initiated at about 48 C (118 F); when a Smart Lid is applied to a beverage cup with a temperature above that level, its electron state is changed by the heat, and a visible change in color, in this case bright red, takes place.
Smart Lid was started by the Bayss family, which owns several cafes in Sydney, with the aim of designing a safer coffee lid. After several years of research and many prototypes, the family gained the technical and production backing of RemaPak, Australia’s largest coffee lid manufacturer.
In a press release about the commencement of the European production, Smart Lid’s co-founder Anthony Bayss said:
“Consumers of all hot drinks the world over will be introduced to the Smart Lid over the next 12 months…the technology is not just suited to cafes, fastfood chains, and aged-care facilities; there are billions of units of cups and lids sold through supermarkets and retails outlets each year.”
In my recent direct exchange with Bayss regarding Smart Lid’s European production and the likelihood of ‘arrival’ to our shores, he confirmed the following:
“We took the decision to secure a regional manufacturer to ensure the produce could meet the continuity of stock demand, as we were receiving lots of European enquiries—thus it made sense to get the Smart Lid made in Europe…..We are now going to concentrate on securing a U.S.-based lid manufacturer (hopefully within the next 12 months). Our specialty raw material supplier is based in the U.S.—CTI Inks, Colorado Springs, Col., so we believe an American-made Smart Lid will do very well in your country.”
CTI Inks provides specialty packaging inks including thermochromic temperature-activated inks, U.V.-activated inks, and reveal inks.