On the Brink of Drink
Mindy Hoffmann, drinkware category manager for Leed’s, New Kensington, Pa., explained that textural enhancements such as debossed imprints can provide a high-end look and feel. Scott Pearson, vice president of merchandise and design for Sweda Company LLC, City of Industry, Calif., agreed, and noted that such features aren’t limited to the actual mug or tumbler itself. “We can also deboss leather or silicone sleeves,” he said.
Stainless Steel & Copolyester
Plastic seems like the go-to for cups and sports bottles, but Brenda Cameron, marketing manager for Atlanta-based Justin Case, mentioned stainless steel and polyester (yes, polyester) are actually the best sellers. “Our stainless steel drinkware continues to be our number-one seller,” she said. “We are also seeing greater interest in our Eastman Tritan copolyester drinkware,” she continued. “This material was introduced in 2007 as a safe alternative to polycarbonate.” She added that copolyester has a glass-like look and is more durable than alternative materials.
BUNDLE WITH OTHER PRODUCTS
Michael Horn, national sales manager for HOWW Manufacturing, Barrington, Ill., described a promotion where a large Texas-based company held a barbecue and beer fest for its employees, and wanted an interesting way to deliver T-shirts featuring a motivational slogan. “We imprinted the mugs with the company logo on one side and the slogan on the other,” he said. “The company rolled up the tees and put them inside the mug, and each employee was given a beautiful collectors mug and a T-shirt when they arrived at the event.”
Always, Always, Always Send Samples
Physical pre-production samples are another option. Steve Ess, sales representative at drink and barware supplier, Co-Rect Products, Golden Valley, Minn., strongly stressed a physical sample’s value when working with large name brands. “We always do a pre-production sample, even if they say ‘Go ahead and run it, we won’t have a problem with it, we’re sure it will be fine,’” he said. “Our feeling is if you really want to do it right, do a sample so that they can look at it and make sure it’s exactly what they want,” explained Ess. “The last thing you want is to do a big order off just an e-proof, then when they receive the order get the call of ‘Hey, it’s not what I thought it was’ or something like that, which does happen.”