Housewares Design Awards

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2011 Best in Category: Tabletop & Beverageware

Nice Reusables, Inc.

Alex hydration bottle

Nice Reusables, Inc., winners of the 2011 Housewares Design Awards in the Tabletop & Beverageware category for its Alex Hydration Bottle, designed the vessel along with design team Greg Janky and Treasure Hinds at Anvil Studios to create a vessel with a mid-body split meant to make it easier to clean than other bottles on the market, said president Chris Hotell.

“At Nice Reusables, our main goal is to focus on making sustainability simple for those who want to make [it] a habit,” said Hotell. “Many people have found water bottles hard to clean and bulky when traveling with it.”

Hydration bottles are all about healthy drinking, a concept that gets compromised when the user cannot thoroughly clean out the bottom of the water bottle, said Hotell. The stainless steel vessel opens up in the middle for easy cleaning and can also be compacted to half its size when empty by opening it, inverting it and twisting and locking it into place. The design team used two different colors on the bottle to reinforce the idea to consumers, said Hinds. One important design element with the way the bottle splits was to make it leakproof, said Janky, which the team has accomplished.

The BPA polypropylene plastic being featured on the outside of the stainless steel bottle minimizes the water’s contact with the plastic, which is important to many consumers from a healthy drinking perspective, added Hinds.

“The problem with a competitor’s bottle is that there is one small mouth, even if you try to handwash it, you can’t get those nook and crannies, and your water bottle is your main product source when you are talking about that healthy side of drinking,” said Hotell. “You can take it apart and look at the bottom and know that it’s clean,” added Hinds. The team also made the silicone seal removable so consumers sense that it’s cleanable and that the bottle is not harboring bacteria, she said.

Besides functionality, aesthetics were important too. “We did a market review of a lot of the product; they all looked the same, very utilitarian. We wanted to approach it from a different angle and create a bottle that could appeal to a broader audience, it didn’t have to be an outdoor activity bottle, it would be a nice accessory to your life, whatever you are wearing,” said Hotell.

Alex is also customizable, for example, consumers can mix the top of the 20-ounce Alex to the bottom of the 32-ounce Alex to make a 26-ounce Alex, according to the company, and can mix colors to create their own style.

—Lisa Cowley

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