If you thought beverage companies releasing NFTs was the extent of “beverages of the future,” hold onto your hat.
After four years of working on the prototype, Cana Technology has secured funding to bring their “molecular beverage printer” to market, following a $30 million investment from the venture foundry, The Production Board (TBP).
Both Cana and TBP are emphasizing the environmental benefits of the printer, purporting how it will solve many of the drawbacks of the beverage industry, including relying on industrialized agriculture, water and material waste, and excessive transportation.
“At Cana, we’re building the world’s first molecular beverage printer to bring the beverage aisle to your countertop,” says its website. “And no, this isn’t another pod machine. Any beverage, any time, greater convenience, and most importantly, dramatically less environmental impact.” According to Bharat Vasan, TBP’s president and COO, Cana’s drink printer “feels like the Netflix of beverage experiences.”
The goal of the “molecular drink printer” is to synthesize drinks, based on the fact that nearly every beverage is almost entirely water. Cartridges, filled with flavor compounds would be inserted into the toaster-sized machine, and be dispersed into water using a “novel microfluidic liquid dispense technology.” Using this mechanism, creator Dave Friedberg claims users “can make a nearly infinite amount of drinks.”
“We know we can print an infinite number of beverages from a few core flavor compounds. We know we can do this across many existing beverage categories — juice, soda, hard seltzer, cocktails, wine, tea, coffee, and beer,” Friedberg told The Spoon. “Consumer taste testing panels score our printed beverages at the same or better taste levels as commercially available alternatives. Our hardware designs will print beverages quickly and accurately. Our pricing and the footprint of our hardware can yield significant savings and advantages for most households.”
While their taste panels may have given them a boost of confidence, Cana would still need to win the support of consumers. Historically, cocktail-making machines have not taken off — just last month, Keurig and Anheuser-Busch’s collaboration, Drinkworks, folded and stopped operations. The price of the model will come out in February— alongside an estimate for when it will hit the market.