a playful gummy straw that takes advantage of the interconnection of our senses to heighten the experience of drinking water.
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Dehydration is one of the largest health concerns in the United States. Water is 60% of our bodies yet only half of us drink enough of it daily. Younger age groups are at a higher risk of experiencing dehydration related health effects because many children dislike plain water.
One-quarter of children aged 2-19 don't drink plain water daily. The sugary juices and sodas they drink instead can further dehydrate them, leading to headaches, trouble concentrating, and other harmful effects. These symptoms hinder children's energy and learning ability at a time in life they matter the most.
All of our senses are inter-connected. This relationship is why bright colors make things taste sweet and strong smells add flavor where there is none. Our senses of sight, smell, touch, and sound can be stimulated to affect our sense of taste.
Form explorations produced by gathering hot jello on the end of straws and twirling the dripping jello under the exhaust of a freezer to quickly set the shape. This prototyping method allowed me to explore organic shapes without having to spend time or money creating test molds. I gave these to friends to compare and give feedback on which shape they found most flavorful and comfortable.
I took inspiration from the form with the best feedback to create my final design. I incorporated three different textures on the rim to increase surface area and differentiate possible flavors. I also added two offset bars halfway down the product to create the illusion of a characters when leaning in to drink from the straw, adding some playfulness for a younger audience.
Flavored gelatin provides real fruit flavor and scent with every sip of water, all for less than 1/40th the sugar of a soda.
The bright color and shiny surface suggests to our brain that the gummy is sweet, increasing our perception of how sweet it tastes.
The rim adds texture and surface area where the tongue will touch the gummy, further increasing the perception of how sweet it tastes.