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The Challenge 

Despite a multitude of branded hot chocolate products, the end result is often disappointing. “Poor mixing”, “messy” and “weak taste” are criticisms regularly levelled even at branded offerings. This observation sparked the idea to design a breakthrough hot chocolate that consumers will love, which could profit from trends towards hot chocolate and premium chocolate products.

  • Applied Expertise
  • Research & strategy
  • Human factors
  • Industrial design
  • Packaging
  • Technology development
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Electronic engineering
  • Software engineering
  • Wireless & connected
  • Short run manufacturing
  • Manufacturing processes
  • Supply chain management

The Solution

After a series of focus groups and brainstorming meetings, scientists and engineers at Cambridge Design Partnership took to the lab and looked at the science behind the foaming and mixing process. The result is a patent for a totally new process that uses steamed fresh milk and special pods of real chocolate to create the unique and delicious experience pictured. A concept for a stylish, compact kitchen-top machine to carry out the process was then developed and rendered by our in-house industrial designers.

Benefit to the End User

While consumers have embraced ‘real’ coffee, the market for premium hot chocolate is still developing. The UK hot chocolate market grew by 20% between 2007 and 2009, and is still growing. Despite this, most hot chocolate drinks tend towards the lower end of the market, and even high street coffee outlets still routinely use flavoured syrups or powders to create their hot chocolate drinks. The Maya machine aims to address this shortfall and enable discerning drinkers to enjoy real, luxury hot chocolate at home. In many European countries – France, Spain and the Netherlands especially – chocolate is consumed at many points in the day and Maya is designed to bring this pleasure to other nations.
To ensure regular use the iconic machine it is ergonomically designed to be user friendly whilst asthetically it looks good on the worktop while still being easy to maintain and clean.

Developed as an internal project Maya offers a terrific opportunity to lead the field in the area of luxury hot chocolate, and we hope to find a company that shares our enthusiasm to bring this product from the lab to the kitchen.


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