Helen of Troy said Hydro Flask topped internal plans in its fiscal year ended February 28, and trends have improved as social distancing restrictions have eased.

“Hydro Flask exceeded our expectations after the explosive growth in fiscal 2020, especially considering the lower store traffic at key retailers, effectively no back-to-school lift, very little sports, greatly reduced social activities, and the unique fiscal 2020 trends,” said Julien Mininberg, Helen of Troy’s CEO, on a conference call with analysts.

In the year-ago period, Hydro Flask’s sales saw high double-digit growth for the fourth quarter and full year. The growth benefited from significant investments in international expansion, the expansion of shelf space in the U.S. and category extensions beyond the bottle with new lunch boxes and packs.

Helen of Troy did not indicate whether Hydro Flask saw growth in the fiscal 2021 fourth quarter and year, and officials called out the negative impact from weaker traffic at REI and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

On the bright side, Mininberg said Hydro Flask continued to see significant international growth and strong direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales during fiscal 2021, which accelerated during the holidays. He was also bullish on Hydro Flask accelerating growth in 2021.

“We are excited about Hydro Flask’s growth prospects as the world begins to reopen,” said Mininberg. “Store traffic has picked up, and Hydro Flask trends have improved. We expect this trend to accelerate as vaccination rates increase and more students go back to in-person learning across the United States.”

Mininberg also expects the strong demand for outdoor activities to continue and to support Helen of Troy’s growth. He said, “We expect consumers will continue to turn to more outdoor activities as the weather improves and as people become more comfortable with group gatherings.”

The CEO also noted that Hydro Flask has a strong slate of new product offerings going to market, including the limited edition Scenic Trail collection, new lids, outdoor kitchen sets, back-to-school, and back-to-office lunch totes.

Helen of Troy didn’t provide guidance for the year.

Photo courtesy Helen of Troy/Hydro Flask