While we typically think of plastic water bottles as the most popular packaging for promotional beverages, some creative individuals are breaking the mold to provide custom solutions for niche audiences. As demonstrated by Kim’s blog post about the collapsible water bag earlier this week, innovation in the promotional beverages sector is a great thing and can lead to improved hydration in users’ everyday lives. From beverage devices for football players to drinkware for mothers in Haiti and Japan, inventors are keeping this product category exciting by thinking outside of the box.
One of my favorite television shows, “Shark Tank,” provides a platform for entrepreneurs to pitch innovative ideas to a panel of successful “sharks” in hopes of securing funding. A recent episode featured a man who had developed a device to attach to football players’ shoulder pads to keep them hydrated on the field. The patented attachment is comprised of a small backpack with a pouch to hold water, as well as a suction straw in the front to enable athletes to quench their thirst throughout games and practices without losing any playing time.
Comedian Jeff Foxworthy invested in the idea because of his passion for working with children, and both business partners have high hopes for the HydroMax product line. It has already proven to be successful among high school and college football players and has the potential to prevent thousands of injuries and deaths due to dehydration.
Another interesting entrepreneurial venture tackles the issue of infant hydration. Georgia entrepreneur Lara Hodgson came up with Nourish, which is a recyclable, pre-measured (not to mention BPA-free!) bottle of water designed specially to allow moms to add formula on the go. The initial concept aimed to appeal to new mothers willing to pay for water that comes from a spring rather than a tap to quench their babies’ thirst, but it has been particularly beneficial in situations around the globe where drinking water isn’t available or isn’t safe for local populations.
For example, Hodgson solicited the help of Atlanta charity Childspring International to deliver and distribute the bottles, along with formula, to mothers following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Charitable customers donated the water to fill the bottles. Nourish also aided mothers in Japan in the aftermath of the country’s nuclear crisis, as government officials deemed the water unfit for consumption by children under the age of 1 because of radiation.
While we aren’t always comfortable with the idea of using unusual drinkware pieces, consider the advantages of giving end users promotional beverages that they may never have seen before- they make for a more memorable promotion and may even enhance recipients’ quality of life over the long-term!