Ripples 2.0 printer is making waves

Israeli firm Ripples has launched a next-generation hardware device that prints selfies and logos on the tops of cocktails, beers and coffees.

The Ripples 2.0 printer was unveiled at the Diageo World Class cocktail competition, which saw Canada’s James Grant triumph following five days of challenges. Ripples teamed up with Diageo to create a Ketel One-branded printer that jazzes up the tops of espresso martinis.

Entrepreneur Yossi Meshulam founded Ripples in 2012 after spotting an opportunity to launch viral marketing campaigns on the tops of beverages. The company began supplying its original device – the Ripple Maker – to bars, coffee shops and restaurants in 2015. It used malt-based pods to allow consumers to print their selfies and logos on the heads of their pints, coffees and cocktails.

Ripples has previously worked with Diageo on a global campaign for Guinness, and it ran a similar partnership with Suntory in Japan. Producers can buy branded Ripple Makers and distribute them to bars around the world. The company also supplies bars and restaurants directly with the devices. A study in Tel Aviv last year found that it caused sales of Guinness to spike by more than 25% in participating venues.

Now the firm has refined the technology and launched Ripples 2.0. It was tested at a dozen venues around the world, and feedback was positive, so the first units are now starting to be shipped.

“The Ripples 2.0 printer is a huge leap forward for the drinks customisation space,” says Will Harvey, global digital innovation manager at Diageo. “It couldn’t come at a more important time, as consumers are demanding more and more meaningful and personalised experiences from the hospitality sector. New features, such as the sketch, give greater control to consumers to truly take the drink customisation to the next level.”

Drinks International caught up with Meshulam to learn more about the improvements his team made for the second-generation Ripple Maker.

“We have three main components – the hardware device itself, which sits on the bar; the software components; and the chemistry, the extracts, the food technology,” he says. “With Ripples 2.0 we made major developments on all of them. The hardware took 18 months to develop and get into mass production. It is beautifully designed – very slick, very modern, with a small footprint. It really looks like an amazing addition to any bar.

“We designed it to be very Instagrammable. We noticed with Ripple Maker 1.0 that people really like to take videos of the printing process. We had a door, which was meant to be opened only when people replaced the pod, but we noticed that customers kept the door open the whole time. With Ripple Maker 2.0 we made the whole cover from transparent glass, so you can take a video from the top and post it on Instagram.

“It has replaceable panels, which allow customers to brand the units. If someone has multiple brands, or they want to do campaigns or events, they can rebrand the unit each time to fit the campaign. It prints faster. It’s a very quiet machine compared to the previous model.