Title:
FOOD DISPENSER FOR USE WITH BEVERAGE CONTAINER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A combination beverage cup and food dispenser is disclosed. In a first embodiment, the cup and dispenser is of unitary construction. In a second embodiment, the dispenser is optionally attachable to a wide range of standard drinking cups and mugs. The cup and dispenser combination facilitates the enjoyment of snacks while alleviating the accompanying resulting clutter and disarray.



Inventors:
Osuna, Carlos (Santa Barbara, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/164271
Publication Date:
05/17/2007
Filing Date:
11/16/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D71/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BUI, LUAN KIM
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LAURA N. TUNNELL (P.O. BOX 6003, SANTA BARBARA, CA, 93160, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A combination beverage cup and food dispenser that is of unitary construction, said combination comprising: A beverage cup, wherein said beverage cup comprises a substantially cylindrical portion, an open upper end and a closed lower end, A dispenser, wherein said dispenser comprises a substantially cylindrical portion having a length, a notch coextensive with said length, an open upper end, and a closed lower end, And wherein part of said cylindrical portion of said beverage container is coincident with part of said cylindrical portion of said food dispenser.

2. A combination beverage cup and food dispenser as in claim 1, said combination further comprising a handle attached to said beverage cup.

3. A combination beverage cup and food dispenser as in claim 1, wherein said beverage cup is insulated.

4. A combination beverage cup and food dispenser as in claim 1, wherein said open upper end of said dispenser further comprises a removable lid.

5. A food dispenser operable for attachment to a beverage container said food dispenser comprising, A substantially cylindrical portion having a length, a notch coextensive with said length, an open upper end, and a closed lower end, Means for attachment of said cylindrical portion of said dispenser to said beverage container, Means for attachment of said open upper end of said dispenser to said beverage container.

6. A food dispenser as in claim 5 wherein said means for attachment of said cylindrical portion of said dispenser to said beverage container comprises a clamp for grasping the circumference of said beverage container.

7. A food dispenser as in claim 5 wherein said means for attachment of said open upper end of said dispenser to said beverage container comprises a hook operable for grasping the lip of said beverage container.

8. A food dispenser as in claim 6 wherein said means for attachment of said open upper end of said dispenser to said beverage container comprises a hook operable for grasping the lip of said beverage container.

9. A food dispenser as in claim 5, wherein said open upper end of said dispenser further comprises a removable lid.

Description:

This invention relates to a culinary device, particularly a device for serving small quantities of food and drink.

BACKGROUND

Indulging in small quantities of food and drink between larger meals is a habit enjoyed by most contemporary societies. The physical as well as mental benefits of intermittent nourishment appear to be a basic activity of human culture. Both the east and the west have elevated this practice to a level that even evokes a degree of pageantry.

Children in particular use snacks to recharge between meals. The favored snacking combination is that of cookies and milk. Negotiating cookies and a cup of milk often while in motion is simply too many activities for a small person to manage. Unless a child sits calmly at a table while enjoying such a snack, cookie crumbs and milk droplets often become strewn over a wide area including floors and furnishings.

Small children are not the only culprits of post-snacking mayhem. The proverbial combination of beer, potato chips, and football enjoyed by larger persons usually results in proportionately sized clutter and disarray. Such inconveniences can be alleviated by providing a device to sufficiently package and contain snack combinations of cookies and milk or potato chips and beer, while not impeding access nor obstructing their enjoyment.

It is an objective of the present invention to provide a device for containing both a beverage and a snack-sized meal.

It is an objective of the present invention to provide a device for containing and neatly transporting the elements of a snack.

It is an objective of the present invention to provide a device for keeping a beverage and snack food within a small, secure container that is nevertheless easily accessible to the user.

The above objectives are met by the food dispenser for use with beverage container, herein called the Cookie Cup™, a combined beverage cup and food dispenser. The cup/dispenser combination can be of unitary construction. Alternatively, the dispenser can be attachable to and be removable from a standard size beverage cup or beer mug.

SUMMARY

A combination beverage cup and food dispenser is disclosed. The combined food dispenser/beverage container may be of unitary construction or the food dispenser may be optionally detachable from the beverage cup.

The beverage cup comprises a substantially cylindrical portion, an open upper end and a closed lower end. The dispenser comprises a substantially cylindrical portion having a length, a notch coextensive with the length, an open upper end, and a closed lower end. Means for attachment of the cylindrical portion of the dispenser to the cylindrical portion of the beverage cup are provided.

The embodiment for the detachable food dispenser comprises a substantially cylindrical portion having a length, a notch coextensive with the length, an open upper end, and a closed lower end. The width of the notch can be varied to accommodate a wide range of foodstuff shapes and sizes. Means are provided for attachment of the cylindrical portion of the dispenser to the beverage container. Means are also provided for attachment of the open upper end of the dispenser to the beverage container.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The term Cookie Cup™, as used herein, denotes a food dispenser for use with a beverage container.

DESCRIPTION OF FIGURES

FIG. 1: Unitary embodiment of Cookie Cup™

FIG. 2 (a): Top view of unitary embodiment

FIG. 2 (b): Side view of unitary embodiment

FIG. 2 (c): Bottom view of unitary embodiment

FIG. 3: Embodiment of Cookie Cup™ having a removable dispenser

FIG. 4 (a): Top view of removable embodiment

FIG. 4 (b): Side view of removable embodiment

DESCRIPTION OF NUMERALS USED IN THE FIGURES

    • 10—Cookie Cup™ that is of unitary construction
    • 11—beverage cup portion of Cookie Cup™
    • 12—dispenser portion of Cookie Cup™
    • 13—cookies contained in dispenser portion of Cookie Cup™
    • 14—dispenser notch
    • 20—interface between beverage cup portion of Cookie Cup™ and dispenser portion of Cookie Cup™
    • 30—detachable Cookie Cup™
    • 31—beverage cup (not part of disclosed invention)
    • 32—removable dispenser
    • 33—“C” shaped clamp
    • 34—Hook attached to upper rim of beverage cup
    • 35—notch of removable dispenser

A unitary configuration of the Cookie Cup™ (10) is shown in FIG. 1. Here, the beverage cup portion of the Cookie Cup™ (11) and the dispenser portion of the Cookie Cup™ (12) are attached together to form one unit. The cookies (13) are contained in the dispenser portion of the Cookie Cup™ as shown in the Figure.

FIG. 2 illustrates three views of the Cookie Cup™. The side view, FIG. 2(b), indicates the placement of the beverage cup portion of the Cookie Cup™ (11) with respect to the dispenser portion of the Cookie Cup™ (12) containing the cookies (13). The line of attachment (20) is coextensive with at least a portion of the length of the cup. FIG. 2(a) indicates the unitary configuration as viewed from the top, again showing the circumference of the beverage cup portion of the Cookie CUP™ (11) and the dispenser portion of the Cookie CUP™ (12). The line of attachment (20) is indicated at the juncture between the two. FIG. 2(c) indicates the unitary configuration as viewed from the bottom, wherein the full circumference of the beverage cup portion of the Cookie Cup™ (11) and the dispenser portion of the Cookie Cup™ (12) are shown. The base of the dispenser portion of the Cookie Cup™ (12) is solid whereas its upper portion is notched (14) along one section of its length. Consequently, the cookies (13) appear in the side and top views but not in the bottom view of FIG. 2(c).

FIG. 3 illustrates a Cookie Cup™ with a removable dispenser. In this embodiment, the removable dispenser (32) can be attached to any beverage cup (31) having a circumference capable of accommodating the grasp of the “C” shaped attachment clamp (33). Attachment to the beverage cup (31) is further facilitated by a hook (34) that rests on the upper rim of the cup (31). Note that the beverage cup (31) can be taller than the removable dispenser (32) in the embodiment of FIG. 3. Side and top views, shown respectively in FIGS. 4(b) and 4(a) further illustrate the details of this embodiment, particularly the functions of the “C” shaped attachment clamp (33) and hook (34).

The Cookie Cup™ can be used for serving cookies and milk, or for serving potato chips and beer. Any beverage can be served with foodstuff having a shape amendable to being held by the dispenser (12) or (32).

While particular embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated and described, it would be obvious to those skilled in the art that various other changes and modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For instance, the Cookie Cup™ apparatus may include cup handles, valves and lids that are flip-top, spill-proof, and removable. Such enhancements can augment the beverage cup (11), the dispenser portion (12), (32), or both. Textured materials can be applied to the surface of the Cookie Cup™ to provide protection against spills or to simply facilitate grasping the apparatus. In the same vein, double-walled insulation can be employed to keep beverages retain their poured temperature. Using a smaller notch in the dispenser (12), (32), will allow it to be filled with smaller food items such as peanuts. The appended claims are therefore intended to cover all such changes and modifications that are within the scope of this invention.