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FitPod Changes the Mix for Your Workout Water Bottle

A product as simple as the plastic water bottle may seem beyond innovative overhaul, but startup founder Joshua Hall has nearly 1,000 customers who say otherwise.

Hall, 31, and business partner Oliver Gibson, 53, co-founded FitPod in 2013 to take on a new water bottle design that holds (and later infuses) specialty powders into liquid beverages. The product integrates a reusable cartridge made by FitPod into Clean Bottle’s existing design, a “Shark Tank”-backed manufacturer that makes easy-to-clean water bottles. FitPod raised over $32,000 in preorder sales on Kickstarter so far, and although the startup quickly met its fundraising goal of $25,000, the campaign still has weeks to go before wrapping up.

Ready to Go

The appeal of the FitPod water bottle is obvious to gym rats and MiO junkies. To use, insert a flavor enhancer or supplement powder into a separate compartment at the base of the bottle, fill the top compartment with water, and toss in a purse or gym bag for later. When ready, simply give the bottle a squeeze and the FitPod cartridge swirls the powder into the water. After a good shake, it’s ready to go.

With the increasing popularity of sports nutrition products like pre- and post-workout supplements and protein powders, Hall decided there should be a better way to carry fuel-charged powders to the gym. And as active-duty military, Hall has had his fair share of gym visits.

“When I was going to the gym I was always toting around a sandwich bag of protein powder and then mixing it when I’m ready,” Hall said. “It’s a pain and it’s messy.”

So Hall teamed up with Gibson, who has experience in engineering, to improve on Clean Bottle’s design (which features a base that unscrews for easy cleaning).

FitPod built reusable cartridges that fit into the base of Clean Bottle’s product — a sensible product design considering protein powders notoriously leave gunky residue on the insides of bottles, making them difficult to clean. Specialized for pre- and post-workout powders, FitPod designed a cartridge called the One-Shot that offers a one-time use. The second cartridge, called “Charge,” offers up to 10 infusions with one fill, perfect for those liquid-based water enhancers like Stur or MiO, Hall said.

Exploring Production Partnership

The FitPod Charge or One-Shot will only release enhancements when the user squeezes the bottle while the cap is closed. This eliminates the risk of over-flavoring the water.

Hall said FitPod is white labeling Clean Bottle’s water bottle product, while the FitPod’s cartridges are manufactured separately. FitPod is in conversations with Clean Bottle regarding a production partnership in which the Boston-based company would assemble, package and ship FitPod’s products.

Sales Strategy

After FitPod’s Kickstarter wraps up, Hall said he will seek smaller retail shops to stock his product, like bike shops and other niche fitness stores. Down the road, the company may be able to piggyback off Clean Bottle’s partnerships with bigger retail chains like REI and Target.

“If we could prove our worth, hopefully we can follow their path a little easier because it’s already been paved,” Hall said.

FitPod’s water bottle and two cartridges sell as a package for $29 retail, although some discounted options are still available on the company’s Kickstarter page.

Photo courtesy of FitPod

FITPOD

Founders: Joshua Hall and Oliver Gibson

Revenue: $32,190 on Kickstarter

No. of local employees: 3

Investors: Kickstarter, self-funded

Headquarters: San Diego

Year founded: 2013

What makes the company innovative: New water bottle product designed to capture growing market of functional beverage consumers

Key factors for success: Novel design, successful Kickstarter, growing market

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