Gary is flying high with help from Sunderland-based RTC North
The sky's the limit for Gary Day '“ thanks to Sunderland business support organisation RTC North.
Former pilot Gary Day launched Turbulence Tamers in 2016, dedicated to reducing the mountain of paper cups and lids discarded by takeaway drinks users.
Now, with help from RTC North, he has developed an innovative product, AromaLid.
“It always seemed to be the case that my drink would arrive just as we hit a pocket of turbulence and if you weren’t careful you’d end up wearing the coffee instead of drinking it, he said.
“I thought ‘here we are in the 21st century, flying multi-million-pound jets but we can’t figure out a way to stop our coffee spilling from a cup without having to sip it from a tiny hole which results in your burning your mouth and you miss all the enjoyment of the aroma.
“Many airlines have reported damage to equipment and even localised corrosion caused by spilled drinks. The problem is not just limited to air travel. Many of us will have experienced issues whilst enjoying drinks on the move and the AromaLid solves all of these and actually improves the taste of your drink.”
Gary, whose business is based in Newcastle, initially approached Northumbria University and worked with students to create solutions and alternatives to the lid that has been used since the 1970s. He was recommended to visit RTC North, and was appointed innovation specialist, David Boath.
Innovate2Succeed is a programme delivered by RTC, which offers bespoke support and guidance helping companies manage the development of product and services. Gary was able to receive funding to develop a vacuum-formed lid and now the reusable injection moulded ‘keep’ version.
“The finished product has 360-degree access to the rim, so if you pick it up whiledoing something else you don’t have to seek out the hole to align with your mouth,” he said.
“It actually feels like you’re drinking from an open cup. It’s patented design features means that 100% of the aroma can reach your nose. Studies have shown that up to 90% of what we perceive is taste is actually smell.
“Not to mention that the sip lids we have been using for years all have the same problem, they pollute our world and are difficult to recycle.
“AromaLid fits any cup, so you can enjoy your beverage anywhere, experiencing the full aroma and taste, and of course it’s reusable and recyclable.”