Photo courtesy Boston Magazine
The infamous Bottle Boy brings production back to the U.S.A.
By Aaron H. Bible
Five years ago Clean Bottle attempted to revolutionize the water bottle by creating a sports bottle with a screw-off bottom for easy cleaning. Clean Bottle first released its original sport bottle in 2010, stemming from a stunt at the Tour de France where Founder David Mayer dressed up as a giant “bottle boy” and chased the world’s fastest riders in a bottle costume. That alone helped him sell $70,000 worth of bottles, and Clean Bottle went on to sell 10,000 sport bottles for the year. Mayer was an Ironman triathlete and Stanford graduate from Silicon Valley who wanted an easier-to-clean water bottle since triathletes are heavy users of performance drink mixes that leave residue caked at the bottom.
Soon after, the Founders appeared on Shark Tank, and even recruited the seven-foot NBA legend Bill Walton to dress up as one huge Clean Bottle, which together with their presentation led them to impress the judges and gain even more success. Clean Bottle’s outside-of-the-box savvy has served them well, as they have gone from being offered in 400 retailers in 2010 to more than 3,500 currently, while experiencing 900 percent growth in gross revenue.
Now, with a full product line and two successful Kickstarter launches under their belt, the Clean Bottle team has come full circle, redesigning their original sport bottle to be fully made and manufactured in the U.S.A.
The updated bottle features functional updates, including a new shape that fits more snugly into bottle cages, and added texture on the body and caps for easier gripping and opening. Now offered in two sizing options, 20oz. and 23oz, the 2.0 version is available in four colors, is dishwasher safe and guaranteed for life.
The decision to manufacture 100 percent of the sports bottles within the U.S.A. is a “natural progression of the company’s direction
The decision to manufacture 100 percent of the sports bottles within the U.S.A. is a “natural progression of the company’s direction and the product development process,” Clean Bottle Director of Sales and Marketing Lee Peters said. “This is a goal we have been working toward for a long time, and we are excited to finally see it come to fruition.”
“Producing the Clean Bottle in the U.S. allows us to communicate more directly with our factory providing immediate feedback on quality, which is very important to us. Plus, our turn around time is much faster now and we’re more flexible on quantities and color options, which is huge for our clients,” said Mayer. “We make the bottles in Phoenix, AZ, creating jobs right here in our own country. Our main goal for the future is to continue to expand our product line and continue to offer top-notch customer service.”
Sales of the original cycling Clean Bottle went so well that the company was able to develop the award winning Square bottle, whose iconic design was a Kickstarter success. The stainless Square is in over 200 independent retail locations and has been sold in national outlets such as Nordstrom and REI.
The plastic Square is sold in over 180 independent retail locations after just three months on the market and more stores are requesting to carry the Tritan Square each day. “Our goal was to create a unique and elegant bottle that would stand out from the crowd,” said Mayer. “Plus a Square bottle will not roll away and packs more efficiently into boxes than a round shape, saving on materials and waste.”
From the Tour, to its presentation on Shark Tank, to Kickstarter, and selling through retailers from REI to Brookstone, today the company offers a full line of sport and lifestyle bottles sold in top retailers including L.L.Bean, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Bed, Bath and Beyond, REI, GNC and Performance Bike. The new Made in the U.S.A. Clean Bottle retails at $9 for 20oz. and $10 for 23oz.