Today, innovation in paper cup branding has reached another level. From edible paper cups to cups with foldable handles, the industry is definitely witnessing a breakthrough in terms of innovation. To capture and sustain the attention of the audience, marketers have now come up with a concept known as thermosensitive paper cups.
They are leveraging on this technology to make a long-lasting impression. So what does a heat-sensitive paper cup do?
As the name implies, the colour of the branded paper cup changes when a hot liquid is poured inside it. If you were wondering, it’s not magical! There is a little science behind it. For the phenomenon to work, a paper cup has to be painted with heat-sensitive paint or special thermochromic ink. These inks are usually sensitive to change in temperature.
In the year 2017, Huhtamaki, Finnish packaging specialists launched an interactive branded paper cup with a heat-sensitive label and QR code. The single-use paper cup was distributed at Shell service stations, restaurants and cafes in Finland. The new media tool with digitalised content became an instant hit for promotional campaigns.
It is not only a fantastic innovation in packaging, but also a secure and eye-catching promotional tool. Thermosensitive printing keeps the code invisible until usage. This means that only when a customer purchases a cup of coffee or any other hot beverage, the code will be revealed.
This concept is similar to the scratch-off cards used on printed material such as movie tickets, brochures and other marketing stationery. Hidden codes, special discounts and giveaways create excitement among the target group. Hiding the codes also prevents them from being misused. This means that every promotion code can be used only by the person who is purchasing a beverage, and thus it is only unique to him.
Luxury automobile manufacturer, Mercedes, used a heat-sensitive branded paper cup for one of its campaign. The paper cup had on it a red Mercedes car which turned grey as soon as a hot liquid was poured into it. They used this as a promotional tool to launch their new range of cars.
Apart from being used in branding, coffee shops are also using heat-sensitive printing to tackle the hot coffee problem. Most people consume their coffee very hot which leads to scalds and burns. Dunkin Donuts came out with a solution to address piping hot coffee. They began using a paper cup that was printed with two layers of paint. When the beverage inside the cup is 70 degrees Fahrenheit, the container would turn orange, and as the beverage cools down into the 60-degree range, it turns the body of the cup white, and safe for consumption.
Using thermosensitive printing in paper cup branding definitely enhances the customer experience and adds a level of excitement. It is an innovative and memorable way to engage with customers, and keep them loyal to your brand.
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