Beyond the Bottle with Britvic

Launching IoT-Connected Device on AWS Using Green Custard

Having previously developed the proof of concept, Green Custard has continued to work with Britvic to deliver further developments through IoT solutions.

Sustainability and Business Innovation Come Together on AWS

The Flavour Tap was primarily conceived to serve the workplace segment, where Britvic believes there is a growth opportunity. According to Britvic, the average UK office generates 23,000 single-use plastic bottles as waste annually, even though most staff have a reusable cup or water bottle of their own. The Flavour Tap was designed to give users the option of chilled still or sparkling water or, if they prefer, lightly flavoured water with no sugar or artificial flavourings. “The Aqua Libra Flavour Tap is a response to multiple factors,” says Scott MacKenzie, director of Beyond the Bottle platforms at Britvic. “There is growing legislation around single-use plastics and consumers have also committed to reusables.”

Britvic and Green Custard Build Prototype in Just 3 Months Using AWS

Together, Britvic and Green Custard developed the prototype and gave it the capabilities it needed. This included using Amazon API Gateway—which enables users to create, maintain, and secure APIs at any scale—to connect users’ smartphones to the Flavour Tap, and Amazon CloudFront to securely deliver content with low latency and high transfer speeds. Using AWS IoT Core, the Flavour Tap can capture targeted information, such as the most popular drinks, location data, and other usage data for market analysis, performance monitoring, and restocking purposes. The Flavour Tap can also receive drink recipes from Britvic using remote cloud connectivity powered by AWS IoT.

"Working with Green Custard and using AWS, we’ve shown that business can drive sustainability."

Scott MacKenzie

Director of Beyond the Bottle Platforms, Britvic

Aqua Libra Flavour Tap Now Cutting Waste in Office and Commercial Settings

The near-real-time information, gathered by the prototype and transmitted using AWS IoT Core over the unit’s cellular connectivity, helped Britvic understand how users wanted to consume flavoured water. The company expected to see high usage in the later part of the day, with hot beverages like tea and coffee being more popular in the morning. Instead, it found strong all-day demand. It was also able to alert the operator when flavour capsules—which are designed to be easily changed, much like a printer cartridge—needed to be changed.

The company is now in the process of rolling out hundreds of units across the UK. Most are going in workplaces, but some are intended for commercial installations, where consumers will be able to refill their containers at stores, cafes, and other outlets. “We’ve learned a lot from the trial,” says Custance. “We’ve been able to use what we’ve learned and helped Britvic expand the capabilities of the Flavour Tap to meet business needs and improve environmental benefits.”

Britvic saw changing market conditions as an opportunity to expand the business and reduce waste and CO₂ emissions at the same time. “Just one fully-stocked Flavour Tap can eliminate the need for 10,000 bottles,” says MacKenzie. “That saves emissions on manufacturing, shipping, and refrigeration as well as removing those containers from the waste stream. Working with Green Custard and using AWS, we’ve shown that sustainability doesn’t have to hurt business.”

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