Coffee gets a color correction

Red means hot. Mottled means askew. The next big thing in coffee is color-changing lids.

By Marie Cannizzaro, Business 2.0 Magazine

(Business 2.0 Magazine) -- It's not just a mood ring for your mocha. This coffee lid from Australia, which changes color with the temperature of your beverage, is also a hot seller.

Sydney-based Smart Lid Systems sold out of its first 500,000 lids in 2006 and will ship as many as 100 million units worldwide in 2007. Costing just 5 cents apiece, the lids also let users know how securely they're attached to cups. "This is a safety message without language barriers," says Smart Lid managing director Nick Bayss, who had the idea while working at his family's cafe.

Michael Bellas, CEO of consulting firm Beverage Marketing, agrees. "There is a huge market for products that will give retailers added protection" against coffee spills, he says.

Smart Lid inked an international distribution deal with Hong Kong-based Thermo International last October and is talking to 30 vendors across Europe and in the United States -- where more than 50 billion hot beverages are sold annually. Top of page

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