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Nalgene debuts rainbow of colors for water bottles



Quenching your thirst has never been more colorful. Nalgene Outdoor Products, a unit of Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., has introduced seven new colors to its popular 32-ounce water bottle.

The classic water bottle—made at one of the company’s three facilities in Rochester—will come in seven new shades to coordinate with the earthy colors of fall. Olive, woodsmen, clementine, aubergine, cerulean, pomegranate and melon ball were inspired by nature and created by PolyOne Corp.

“Most of our peers need to keep launching new products to maintain their shelf space. For us, since we’re kind of the iconic bottle that sort of started this category, this is what they want: this 32-ounce, wide-mouth, loop-top bottle is the bottle everybody wants,” said Eric Hansen, marketing director for Nalgene Outdoor Products. “In order for us to keep things fresh with that product we need to constantly update colors.”

The new offering is different from past products, Hansen said, because the company has played with the colors on the button, strap, top and logo of the bottles. A melon ball bottle may be paired with a clementine strap. And by ordering the product at nalgene.com, buyers can customize the bottles with different colored caps and bottles.

The Nalgene bottle dates to 1949, when chemist Emanuel Goldberg had the idea of using plastic to manufacture drinking bottles rather than the traditional glass. During the 1970s the bottles were being snuck out of the facility by engineers to use on Boy Scouts camping trips, so the Nalge Co., as the company was then known, began marketing the bottles for outdoor use.

In 1995 Nalge merged with Denmark’s Nunc A/S, forming Nalge Nunc International. The company became part of Thermo Fisher Scientific in 2006.

Thermo Fisher Scientific is a $20 billion biotechnology product development company that employs 55,000 people globally, including 1,000 individuals at two manufacturing facilities and a warehouse in Rochester.

The classic Nalgene bottle appeals to different types of consumers, particularly because of its durability, the leak-proof nature of the bottle and its ease of cleaning, what Hansen called the “Nalgene ethos.”

“People just have so little time in their lives,” Hansen said. “I just want a product that works. I don’t want 19 parts. I want to be able to put it in the dishwasher. And when I use it, I want it to work.”

Environmental concerns also increase the bottle’s appeal. Some 2.5 million plastic bottles are trashed hourly in the U.S., with the vast majority ending up in landfills. The BPA-free Nalgene water bottles help stem that waste.

And it is made in the U.S., Hansen said, an important part of the appeal.

“For us, even though this category has evolved tremendously in the last 10 years, I think those founding principles for Nalgene are really what have allowed us to stay relevant,” he added. “Despite the fact that we haven’t changed the product in 10 years.”

vspicer@bridgetowermedia.com / 585-653-4021

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