- Philadelphia cream cheese is promoting its new line of party dips with a new chip-and-dip bowl that can detect when a partygoer “double dips,” or puts a chip back in a dip bowl between bites. The prototype “Double Diptector” smart bowl connects with a smartphone app to monitor when someone double dips, according to an announcement.
- The bowl uses pressure sensors and chip-recognition technology to follow every dip, as a YouTube video demonstrates. The Double Diptector App will alert the party host via app with a loud alarm when someone commits the “ultimate party foul” of double-dipping and contaminating the food with saliva and germs.
- Philadelphia is auctioning the Double Diptector on eBay through Dec. 15. As of press time, the highest bid reached $415. All proceeds from the auction will benefit the nonprofit Feeding America.
Philadelphia’s development of a smart bowl that connects to a mobile app is an entertaining way to promote its new line of dips during the peak holiday party season. Double-dipping at a party has become somewhat a part of pop culture, from an unforgettable episode of “Seinfeld” years ago to Philadelphia’s playful gadget this week. The eBay auction for the Double Diptector bowl could generate some lighthearted publicity for the Kraft Heinz brand as it introduces new food products for the holidays.
Philadelphia is among the food brands to offer quirky items around the holiday season and cold-weather months. Marmite, the British food spread marketed by Unilever, last year debuted a web app that used a smartphone camera and facial recognition technology to read people’s reactions to eating the paste made from yeast extract. This week, KFC began selling a limited-edition firelog that smells like the brand’s fried chicken. In these cases, fun products aim to boost awareness around the brand or specific new products and help the brands communicate more directly with consumers through social media content generated from the campaigns. Novelty merchandise is also an opportunity to attract attention on social media, as consumers are likely to share the content with friends and family or poke fun at their favorite double-dipper.
For Philadelphia, the Double Diptector will likely not become a mass-produced item, as it’s currently a one-off prototype with the goal of drumming up attention for the Kraft Heinz brand of cream cheese. Philadelphia appears to be playing off the growing popularity of smart-home devices. The adoption of these devices, including speakers, thermostats, ovens, refrigerators and more, in the U.S. is forecast to see a compound annual growth rate of 42% between 2017 and 2022, as consumers buy a wide variety of products, according to a survey by BCG and Quid.