Innovation for home cocktail enthusiasts

In the beginning of 2014 the French spirits conglomerate Pernod Ricard in their attempt to attract more consumers and adapting to the new technologies introduced a gorgeous gadget called “the Gutenberg Project” (not to be confused with the non-profit organization ‘Gutenberg Project’ that digitizes books and allows a free access to all of them).

The concept behind this new product is to combine alcohol (physical product) and apps (services). It is designed for at-home consumers who enjoy parties and making cocktails. It consists of 6 containers shaped like books (hence the name) and set on a platform connected to a computer. Each of the containers is filled up with one of the company’s popular spirits brands (gin, vodka, rum, tequila, etc.) and has a slightly different hue of the main silver/grey/brown colour. Undoubtedly the external design is very stylish. Clean, sleek and minimal, the containers are really eye-catching. And of course also recyclable.

The internal design however makes the things even more interesting. The application controls what exactly amount of alcohol to be poured in the glass based on the chosen cocktail. Besides it has also tutorials about mixology, personalized offers on the client’s preferences, monitors the level of the containers, recommends a refill, and gives options for home delivery .

If you are hooked now willing to buy it, I will disappoint you that two years later it is still in an experimental stage and not yet available in the market. When it appears I guess it will change the business model of selling/buying alcohol (at least in the cocktail niche) and soon will be followed by others (as happened with Nespresso a decade ago).

Meanwhile one advice to Pernod Ricard (actually to their Breakthrough Innovation Group) … change the name. The current one just doesn’t fit well with the idea. I find it rather as an ‘attached’ than as an ’embedded’ to the concept.