Who Are You Advertising For?

The history of the Shaker Bottle

At one point the shaker bottle was a status symbol of the fitness & health community. Only the dedicated few were seen pulling them from their gym bag or toting them along through their day-to-day routines. Today, the shaker bottle is seemingly as common as a water bottle or insulated coffee cup. Its increased use can be attributed to the accelerated growth of the dietary supplement industry, formerly produced solely for the aspiring athletes, powerlifters, and bodybuilders of the world. That is no longer the case, however. Protein powders, vitamins, and energy supplements are household names. Oddly enough, while the dietary supplement industry has continued to evolve at its rapid pace, the desired mode of consumption seems to have stalled. To fully understand the delivery method though, we must first understand the demand for it.

Protein powders first emerged in the early 1900s. The most popular of which was first created as a food additive. It had no flavor or color and was designed to be added to anything from bread recipes to mashed potatoes. Its purpose was simply to add more protein to the average diet. No one was blending it into shakes or consuming it as a beverage so as you can guess, there were no shaker bottles. 

Flavored powders didn’t show up until the mid to late 1900s, but there were minimal preparation options available to consumers past the household blender. Multiple patents filed in the mid-1900s closely resemble the shaker bottles of today, but there is little evidence that any were created with dietary supplements in mind. As more supplement brands popped up around the world, the demand for greater convenience rose. Ready-to-drink formulas, first produced by Joe Weider and others, were packaged and sold in cans to combat the impracticality of blenders. This method brought with it its own complications, such as reduced shelf life and increased production cost. It wasn’t until the 1990s that modern plastic mixing bottles began hitting shelves, primarily due to the meteoric rise of the dietary supplement industry itself. 

Since then, we’ve witnessed some development in the bottles being produced. Their designs have been modernized to some degree and the longer-tenured individuals of the industry can likely recall a plethora of mixing agitators, all claiming to be more efficient than the last. The majority of consumers would probably agree that the vessels in question “get the job done”, but what about the supplement companies themselves? Is the shaker bottle really the most ideal form of consumption for the brand? Who is really being advertised when the supplement is finally being consumed, the shaker bottle or the product inside?

Continuing the Marketing Journey

Many of us can likely recall the last time a flashy sports car or someone’s outfit or shoes caught our attention. Some of us may have even gone on to conduct a quick google search for the vehicle or clothing item as the car or individual continued on its way. That moment is part of, if not the most impactful, of that item’s marketing journey. Why? Because it’s virtually never-ending, always up to date and it doesn’t cost the company a dime. A digital or print ad may only be culturally relevant for a few months, but there will always be consumers driving the newest models or wearing the latest styles. More importantly, there will always be other envious consumers nearby.

Now, what does any of this have to do with shaker bottles? The answer is in the marketing journey. A woman interested in purchasing the latest Mercedes may have been intrigued by an ad she saw on social media, but what happens after she drives her new car off the lot? She instantly becomes a walking, talking billboard for the company and that model of car specifically. She may show her new purchase off to her family and friends. She may offer to drive her office’s carpool more often. At the very least, she is showcasing the design, quality, and lifestyle that comes with owning a Mercedes every time she gets behind the wheel. The marketing journey of that specific vehicle will continue as long as that car is on the road.

Now with that scenario in mind, it would seem that many brands in the dietary supplement industry are perfectly fine with their marketing journey ending at the purchase of their products. Have you seen anyone lugging around a 5 lb container of protein at your local gym? Of course not. The invention of the shaker bottle revolutionized how we consume dietary supplements, and with it, the marketing journey of the supplement itself. Once a container of any dietary supplement is purchased it doesn’t venture much further past the kitchen counter or a shelf in the pantry. 

You may notice a coworker using a shaker bottle to facilitate a quick lunch or recognize the sound of a fellow gym-goer shaking up their pre-workout, but it’s unlikely you’re able to determine any details of the product being mixed inside. In an attempt to achieve greater convenience, the dietary supplement industry mistakenly eliminated one of its greatest assets: consumer-to-consumer marketing. This would be the equivalent of Mercedes promoting the use of car covers while driving or Nike informing its customers to place a strip of tape over the trademarked “swoosh” of their latest shoe.

The Solution is Addictively Convenient

It’s apparent other members of the industry have recognized this hurdle, but unfortunately not every solution has been practical. Many companies have partnered directly with various shaker bottle producers to brand their own line of bottles in an attempt to prolong the marketing journey of their product line. While relatively affordable, this option did not guarantee consistent use or share any specific information about the product inside the bottle.

Alternatively, some larger supplement companies have opted to pursue ready-to-drink formulas, similar to the canned products originally produced by Joe Weider. Up to this point, this delivery method has presented the best opportunity for consumer-to-consumer marketing beyond the point of sale. Like Weider however, these companies are experiencing virtually identical drawbacks. Canned or liquid-based formulas are not only less cost effective due to the additional shipping weight, but struggle to maintain a comparable shelf life to their powder-based counterparts. 

The founders of Go Mix™ recognized this void in the industry and set out to find a solution. They knew the answer had to provide greater convenience to consumers, while simultaneously returning an enormous amount of value to the brands who helped build this industry. After years of market research and product development, Go Mix™ and their patented drink packaging was the resolution. By providing a single serving of pre-portioned powder in a convenient, user-friendly, and completely customizable delivery system, Go Mix™ has become the practical and effective solution the industry needs.

The shaker bottle is still and will likely always be a prominent and recognizable symbol of the dietary supplement industry. It was the first solution that allowed us to conveniently take our nutrition with us outside the home. Furthermore, it played a key role in the growth of one of the most influential industries known to the world, but it seems the industry has outgrown its former vessel and it’s time for us to start driving without the car cover.