Like Dr. Pepper with vanilla but not cherry? Or Sprite with lime instead of lemon?
Then raise a glass — or plastic — for the programmable soda bottle.
The innovation, now being marketed to soda companies, will let you pick your own flavor combination, sugar content, even caffeine level — all at the push of a few buttons.
It's the brainchild of Tod Woolf, founder of the product-development firm Ipifini (think "epiphany"), an eclectic group of eight Boston entrepreneurs that includes a marketing specialist, a computer whiz, an engineer and a musical composer.
Woolf, who started and sold his own biotech firm, holds a doctorate from Harvard in biology, which goes to show: You don't need a Ph.D. from Harvard to make soda, but it helps.
"Our company's job is to come up with ideas," says the soft-spoken Woolf. "It struck us as 'Why don't we just put in the flavors ourselves?'"
The bottle itself features three to five nodules filled with different flavorings and caffeine.
Just push, and the flavor enters the main bottle. Shake it up, and you're ready to go.
"It's going to be perfect for the family that has to decide which case of soda to buy when one kid wants Coke and another wants Sprite and another wants root beer," Woolf says.
Or, push all the buttons, and get something only a 9-year-old would love.
Since the bottle will be reusable — all you have to do is add more seltzer, water or cola — the programmable soda bottle will be cost-efficient and environmentally friendly.
Woolf estimates the added production cost at 20 percent per bottle. It's not yet known how much the bottle will cost when it hits the market, but one industry expert says there's reason for skepticism.
"Soft drinks are fairly inexpensive. Unless there's considerable value added, it hard to imagine customers paying that much more," says Gary Hemphill of Beverage Marketing Corp. "But it sounds like this product may have that value."
Woolf says there are "over a dozen name brands that everyone knows that are interested" in licensing the technology.
And once this product gets up and running, Woolf sees the programmable packaging being used in other areas, such as paints and perfumes.