There is no shortage of reusable water bottles available to consumers. However, few can claim the popularity of the Stanley Quencher. Social media sites like TikTok are rampant with videos of individuals showing off their extensive collections or camping outside Target to get a limited edition "Stanley." Though now considered a status symbol, the company and its tumblers have been around for over a century.
The Stanley brand was created by William Stanley Jr. in 1913 to keep his coffee warm all day. Guaranteed to last a lifetime, the double-walled steel vacuum bottle was the first of its kind. However, the tumbler and the various iterations introduced after were targeted toward a specific group of people. They included military personnel, construction and agricultural workers, and campers.
In 2020, the company's new president, Terence Reilly, devised a brilliant idea to broaden the market. He introduced the 40-ounce "Quencher" cup, first released in 2016, in pastel colors and limited-edition designs.
"When I joined, I realized that this could be something that, in the right hands, with new colors, materials, and finishes, could be something that catches the eye of a new customer," Reilly told CNBC.
The large, colorful cups proved especially popular with women, young and old, and sales began to rise steadily. However, the Stanley frenzy really kicked off after a TikTok user posted a video of her car burning in late 2023. While the vehicle burnt down to cinders, her Quencher remained unscathed. The durable tumbler even had ice in it! The video of Stanley's resilience was viewed over 90 million times and even caught the attention of its manufacturer. They sent her some free tumblers and bought her a new car!
Thanks to the viral video and strategic partnerships with retailers like Target and Starbucks, sales have risen from $20 million in 2019 to a staggering $750 million in 2023. The company has sold over 10 million "Quenchers" for between $45 and $55 apiece, and the demand does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
Resources: CNBC.com, NBCnews.com, Businessinsider.com