Inhaling Your Dessert ….. literally!

I have never understood the Red Bull phenomenon.  It’s clear that these high octane caffeinated beverages are selling like hotcakes; I see end aisle displays piled high every time I stand in the Tim Horton’s lineup at my local Esso station.  Perhaps the crackdown on drinking and driving that has compelled twenty-something men to resort to these as a means to demonstrate their macho-ness during the day?

But now there’s a whole new way to get a hit of caffeine without the calories.  It’s an inhalable product called AeroShot.   $2.99 gets you a lipstick sized tube that contains three pumps (doses?) of various B vitamins and 100mg of caffeine, about the same amount you would find in a large coffee.  Don’t ask me what B vitamins have to do with caffeine but the concept is made only stranger by the fact that the puff is delivered in the form of a lemon lime flavoured powder.

I wish them good luck.  Somehow I can’t imagine that holding this odd looking device to one’s lips and tooting down a powdery puff is going to be nearly as satisfying as pounding back a can of Rock Star or savouring a Starbucks.

The maker of AeroShot is a UK based company called Breathable Foods.  In April they’re set for the European launch of ‘Le Whaf,’ a line of drinkable dessert clouds that you pour into a snifter shaped glass and breathe in instead of consuming the calorie laden alternative.

Now maybe I’m old fashioned but I like my sweets eaten with a fork.

I’ve seen this before in new product development.  Smart and capable scientists can spend their entire career optimizing existing products, never developing something truly ‘revolutionary.’ So when someone comes up with a product that is completely unique it must be overwhelmingly exciting.  But just because something can be done, doesn’t mean that it should be done.  Take, for example, spray on hair.  Or the related, but equally ill-conceived, spray on grass.  Whether it’s your head or your lawn, it’s simply a bad idea.

There’s no doubt that calorie free dessert is an appealing concept.  But just like painting over one’s bald spots is no match for real hair, a whaf of lemon tart or a puff of caffeine is never going to match the enjoyment of real food and drink.  But that’s just my opinion.

The CEO of Breathable Foods happens to be a twenty-something business phenom who at age thirteen founded Soccernet, a football results database that sold for £25 million.  So I suppose it is possible that he knows something I don’t.

We’ll see.


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