by Michelle Hespe
At the 2018 International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago, the hydration trend will be spotlighted in a new pre-Show event featuring an innovative range of approaches to water bottles and hydration, created by companies actively helping people to protect the planet by reducing plastic waste.
In an era where people are more aware than ever that we need to protect and preserve our planet for future generations, many homewares/lifestyle companies are striving to eliminate the use of single-use water bottles because of the massive amount of plastic waste that they create. You could call it a “hydration” trend, but trends are things that come and go, so a “movement” is a better way to describe what is happening in terms of people’s approach to drinking water. Hopefully, people across the world will continue to embrace this movement and the plastic water bottle will eventually be made redundant.
We caught up with two women in retail to talk about the hydration solutions that they are offering in their respective stores: Terri Winter, founder and director of top3 by design in Australia, and Lisa Cherry, a buyer for UK retailer, John Lewis.
“Water bottles are one of our largest sales categories,” says Terri, whose store only stocks original designer products deemed the best in their categories. “We look for water bottles of high quality that are easily cleaned and that cater to people’s different requirements. Some are super-light, some are double-walled and some flat for easy storage in a briefcase or to carry with your mobile phone, tablet or laptop. All of them ensure that the end user can easily keep their bottle close by.”
Terri explains that several years ago, Australians were concerned with having filters in their water bottles, but now her customers want to keep things simple, as they trust the country’s water supply. “The War on Waste series on ABC television had a large impact on both single-use water bottles and coffee cups,” she says. “People now want to do their bit – and save some money in the process. And it’s healthier to drink from a personal water bottle, because people drink more if they can just refill instead of buying bottles.”
In the UK, Lisa agrees that the hydration movement continues to gain momentum, with their consumers moving away from traditional water bottles and looking for added benefits. “We’re seeing a growing trend for alternatives to plastic, in particular glass and stainless steel,” she says. “Customers love the versatility of stainless steel as you can keep your drinks hot or cold. Premium plastic water bottles are on the rise, and features such as Joseph Joseph’s dot hydration tracker are enticing customers to trade up.”
As Terri points out, most people don’t even realize that they are in a constantly dehydrated state, and by the time their body registers that they’re thirsty, the damage has been done. Water is thus a necessity in life. However, fashion is also now a big part of the hydration movement, with companies such as Dopper and Neolid ensuring that consumers can choose water bottles that look great as well as do the job.
“The look and feel of the bottle is always a drive to purchase, and new brands have re-invigorated this, making the water bottle a fashion statement,” says Lisa. “Social media, as well as television programs such as Love Island, have played a great part in this trend with people instagramming their water bottle and adding personalization.”
Terri couldn’t agree more. “If people are going to carry a water bottle around, they want it to be a symbol of who they are,” she says. “To be part of someone’s daily routine, a bottle needs to fit into a person’s life. So, although the fashion side might seem frivolous at first glance, it is a legitimate step towards drinking more water for health benefits.”
With healthy living being another movement happening simultaneously around the world, the hydration movement is being further fueled. “Products around healthy eating and healthy living are resonating more and more with our consumers, and this a primary component in a purchasing decision,” Lisa says. “Consumers are becoming much more aware of the environmental impact of plastic, as well as the economic drive to save money. Furthermore, consumers are also interested in using more environmentally sustainable substrates as well as substrates with perceived health benefits or functionality.”
The hydration movement will undoubtedly continue to flourish in 2018. “Our existing brands will continue to deliver new innovations and we have a wellness campaign launching in January 2018, where hydration will feature heavily, showing customers products that can help them to live a healthy lifestyle,” says Lisa.
More Water Bottles that Stand Out from the Pack:
|Black + Blum
Black + Blum have a range of super smart water bottles, however its latest innovation is a water bottle called Eau Good, that has a protruding notch on one side, that a Japanese binchotan charcoal stick rests against. The Japanese have used this clever method of removing impurities from the water for centuries.
This company has a range of great stainless-steel water bottles, but it’s also renowned for creating the first travel mug for dogs. Public water bowls can contain harmful pathogens, so the AutoDogMug is a one-handed hydration system for dogs. Squeeze and water fills the bowl for your pup to drink from, release and the remaining water returns to the bottle.
The Popple water bottle was designed by Karim for SiliconeZone. In a range of fun, zingy colors (hot pink, lemon and lime) and a classic black, the collapsible bottle is created from non-toxic, FDA-approved, BPA-free silicone and has a twist-to-open cap with a wide opening. The soft straw retracts when closed, and it has a handy silicone ring for carrying it about.
Preparing for the 2018 International Home + Housewares Show, plan to attend the Trending Today Preview on Saturday, March 10, from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. in Room S100, South Building, Level 1, McCormick Place. Featuring up to 60 exhibitors with hydration and hydration-related products, the event is open exclusively to buyers and news media, and will run concurrently with the New Exhibitor Preview before the Show opens that morning.
Read the next Inspiration Magazine article: Connected Souls: Housewares Industry Trends by Trend Bible