Reading in the latest copy of our Kidscan newsletter this week about Kellogg’s moves to reduce the amount of sugar in their breakfast cereals, particularly for those aimed squarely at kids, such as Coco Pops, got me thinking about an innovative product that tackled a similar issue in a completely different way.
Sipahh started in Australia in 2005, after founder Peter Baron took a fresh look at the flavoured milk market, and found it expensive, messy to make and way too high in sugar. Sipahh straws are wide plastic straws, filled with flavoured beads that gradually dissolve as the cold milk is sucked through the straw, adding flavour and colour to the milk. The flavours are somewhat less intense (read: less sugary) than pre-mixed flavoured milk, but kids still love it – not least of all because it’s FUN to watch the milk change colour and the beads dissolve.
What I love about his approach was that he didn’t just go for the obvious solution – making a cheaper, lower sugar version. Instead, he reframed the problem and thought about physically how the milk was flavoured, moving it from part of the production process firmly into the consumer experience.
Having now expanded into a number of countries worldwide, with regional flavour variants, Sipahh still seems to be going strong – tapping into the need for parents to get calcium into their growing kids, and the kids’ desire for fun food and drink. In 2006 multinational big-boy Nestle launched a copycat product under their Nesquik brand… always a sign that a new product or category is significantly different, interesting and relevant, although sadly it will probably keep Sipahh out of the UK.
This is an example I intend to continue to use widely when talking about innovation, because it neatly shows how powerful the way you define your starting challenge and market can be in producing truly different and new ideas.