The extreme impact resistance of polycarbonate drinkware is not without a cost. The material is expensive to produce and most of the common polycarbonate plastics are proprietary, such as Lexan, made by General Electric and Calibre, made by DOW Chemicals. Many companies have developed polycarbonate alternatives, plastics that are similar in look and feel to true polycarbonates, but that do not have the same structural properties. An example of this is Gold Bond's PolyClean material.
The high costs of true polycarbonates have not driven the bottles from the shelves, only opened the market to options.Sherrill said athletic and polycarbonate bottles continue to show market strength and pointed out that Gold Bond developed a way to print four-color imprints on polycarbonate bottles of nearly any shape, giving the company repeated success in the athletic drinkware category. “[Customers are] expecting better print techniques,” she said. “I think innovation satisfies need.” Halpern asserted a similar sentiment: “People are wanting better and better [products] for the same price,” she said.
To satisfy customers and end-users, suppliers must constantly build on the current innovations and find ways to make superior products with similar price tags. “We always have, on the back burner, something that’s new, that’s not been exposed to the public,” said Halpern. Gordon Industries’ newest success is the Eclipse series of color-changing tumblers. The items’ insulation contains a full-color image that is revealed almost instantly with the addition of hot water.
All the innovations and designs available simply give clients the chance to have their beverage containers become an extension of their personal style and philosophy. And if enhanced fashion appeal isn’t enough to make an end-user jump with excitement, the coffee certainly will.