Class of 2022

Magdalena Jüngst and Tim Jäger

Tech Disruptors

29, 30 / Munich, Germany

The inventive duo behind a sustainable, refillable bottle that flavours water

As architects of the innovative water bottle company Air Up, German designers Magdalena Jüngst and Tim Jäger are at the forefront of sustainable innovation in tech. Together they created the world’s first scent-based-taste drinking system, a refillable bottle that flavours water with natural scents through an ‘aroma pod’, created using recyclable materials and without sugar or artificial ingredients. The technology tricks people into thinking they’re tasting cherry, cola and other flavours while in fact drinking pure still or sparkling water. With each sip from an Air Up water bottle, air passes by the aroma pod to be infused with flavour, then reaches the consumer’s nose and gets decoded by the brain to experience flavour without the additives. Since its launch, Air Up has sold two million starter kits, saving 130 million PET bottles and 2,600 tonnes of sugar.

Lena and Tim developed the first Air Up prototype as part of their bachelor thesis at the University of Schwäbisch Gmünd, where they were studying Industrial and Product Design. While analysing food-related issues such as obesity and diabetes and looking for healthier, sugar-free alternatives for daily hydration without sacrificing the taste, they discovered a study that emphasised the importance of the smell component for taste and explained the way our brain perceives and interprets flavours. In 2019, following much positive feedback, the pair created a start-up with co-founders Fabian Schlang, Jannis Koppitz and Simon Nüesch. Challenging the norm through healthy-lifestyle experiences, they aim to revolutionise the drinks industry by offering a soft-drink alternative that is healthier and better for the planet.

“New generations demand new solutions. We are from and for a new generation. This is where we are rooted, why we are relevant today and how we will remain relevant tomorrow.” – Magdalena Jüngst and Tim Jäger

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