Imagine walking into your favourite bottle store and there’s a selection of whisky that you haven’t seen before. You probably see a beautiful, young, promotions woman on the corner somewhere with disposable cups filled with the product. And, you know people with freebies, we never pass up that free shot. If we can help it, we talk our way into getting another sip.
Right on cue, she will give you the jargon about how the drinks came to be, what they will taste like and maybe a bit more about their origins. But what if there is no promotional young woman or any of that? What if you could just flip out your phone, scan the label and voila, a whole world of information comes out? Sounds like magic? Well, it certainly feels like it.
Introducing Whizzky, the South African app that will help whisky lovers with all they need to know about any bottle they may have in hand. The app uses optical character recognition and pattern recognition technology to get you the information instantly. “This is a one-of-its-kind app which helps whisky lovers learn more about any particular whisky they come across,” says Emily Stockden from Whizzky. “With the use of their smartphones, they can scan the label and immediately learn more about the product – from its origins and the whisky-making process to sometimes even the expected flavours that come with the product.”
She says that although there are some competitors who are trying to be part of the app movement in whisky, Whizzky is way ahead.
“We’re proud that this is a South African product which is doing well at home and on the international market. “It’s is such a unique idea that grows every so much; it has even inspired some competition and some imitators,” said Stockden.
While you will marvel at what it has to give, Whizzky isn’t yet making money for its developers and partners in the deal. “We don’t make money from the app. Our plan is not to charge the user for our services. “We are looking at building relationships with database companies who provide the information of the product and the whisky makers themselves. “The two parties benefit from the service because it generates interest for their business,” she says.
With that said, the app grows with about 50 to 75 new users a day. About 14 000 people are using it, with more joining on weekends for obvious reasons. “The plan is to be the go-to place for whisky lovers when it comes to getting information on their favourite drinks,” says Stockden. Whisky-makers and distributors will also benefit from the app, says Whisky Live’s John Cook and Ken Varejes the co-owner of Whizzky.
“Whisky Live has an incredible category-wide whisky database and the app has been developed partly to leverage and enhance the event but mostly to add value to the whisky brands who exhibit with us,” says Varejees. “The app offers them the opportunity to learn more about their consumers and perhaps even more importantly to engage with them in more relevant ways based on what they learn.”