An Interview With Klean Kanteen's Director of Product
We sat down with Phil Notheis, Klean Kanteen's Director of Product, to see what went into the creation of all our new products.
KK: What are the new products?
PN: "We are expanding our drinkware collection this year, with three new offerings: a larger 20oz Pint cup, and two additional Insulated Tumbler sizes: 8oz and 20oz. The long awaited and anticipated leak proof Café Cap 2.0 is also being released as an accessory and as a stock configuration for all of our Insulated Wide bottles going forward."
KK: What was the inspiration behind the new products?
PN: "With the launch of our new café cap 2.0, we are thrilled to finally offer a cap that was, well, leak proof! While this might seem to be a pretty simple design proposition, the cap’s design and engineering are incredibly complex, which is why it’s taken some time to perfect it. Our loyal fans love us, have provided constructive feedback, and have been very patient. We’re really happy and proud to give them exactly what they’ve always wanted."
"...we are thrilled to finally offer a cap that was, well, leak proof!"
PN: "Inspired by the UK 'proper pint', courtesy of our friends across the pond, Klean Kanteen now offers a true 20oz size. The larger size ensures our pints are large enough to fill 500mL, another accepted standard in other parts of Europe. Klean has pioneered waste-reducing reusable steel pint cups for events and festivals in the US. As our event presence and partnerships have grown globally, we are looking forward to better serving the EU market who unfortunately have the same festival waste problems we have here, but their pints are larger (or ours our smaller, depending on who you’re talking to)!"
"Klean has pioneered waste-reducing reusable steel pint cups for events and festivals in the US."
PN: "Klean partners with some of the best coffee shops and roasters to reduce single use waste. These small roasters have a focus on high quality, organic and fair trade coffee that’s roasted in small batches to ensure optimal freshness the best coffee experience. To best experience the delicate flavors of their fruity and medium roasts, many of these shops are pouring smaller serving sizes that are less diluted with milk and froth. Some of these smaller popular coffee drinks are 'flat whites,' 'gibraltars,' and 'cortados.' Our partners directly influenced the design and size that was right for their businesses. Some also serve drinks with interesting latte art on the foam, so we also ensured the new design had a large upper rim opening."
"Our partners directly influenced the design and size that was right for their businesses."
PN: "Inspired by the venti iced latte, our 16oz Insulated Tumbler is the perfect cold beverage enjoyment tool. With our straw lid, the Tumbler also offers great versatility for other drinks like smoothies. Well, until now. Thanks to resounding feedback that iced drinks could use a larger size since the ice took up so much room! We hear you, people! Now we have a “proper” pint-size for our European friends."
KK: What design principles did you incorporate into these products?
PN: "Our Klean Design approach is responsible, and factors health, safety, versatility, functionality, beauty and end of life into each product solution. If our products don’t solve a problem around waste or health, we don’t make them – period. Klean products perform and insulate as well as, and in many cases better than, our close competitors. We believe in living a Klean lifestyle – sometimes all it takes is a simple solution."
"If our products don’t solve a problem around waste or health, we don’t make them – period."
More specifically, these are some of the key principles we follow:
1. Non-toxic materials. First and foremost. BPA free and non-toxic.
2. Simple, timeless design. Beautiful, to inspire use and integration into daily life for years to come.
3. 100% disassemble able. Important for end-of-life considerations, and for serviceability to extend life of the product.
4. Recyclability. Majority of the weight of the product is recyclable at end of life.
5. Easy to clean. Lids on our Tumblers have sealing gaskets with patented tab that ensures you can remove and clean easily. Our new Café Cap 2.0 disassembles easily and all nooks and crannies in the cap are 100% accessible to a brush for cleaning, no springs, folding contraptions and reliance on the water pressure in your dishwasher to ensure your cap gets satisfactorily clean.
KK: What motivates you to do the work you do?
PN: "Knowing that in one year Americans use 58 billion to-go cups and 35 billion plastic water bottles. Those are insane numbers and it's rewarding to realize that our product IS the solution.
I also love that we're driving change, in peoples' behavior around single-use, and in other businesses' behavior, in being a certified B-Corp."
"I also love that we're driving change, in peoples' behavior around single-use..."
KK: What is one reusable bottle issue you don't believe is getting enough attention at the moment?
PN: "Many bottle brands claim to be BPA free and non-toxic. While that may or may not be accurate, more and more studies show growing concern over plastics, including plastic liners in aluminium bottles. When it comes to health and safety, earth-based (rather than man-made) materials like stainless steel and silicone inspire confidence. Our designs undergo some of the most rigorous consumer products testing (we meet and exceed multiple high-bar standards globally such as FDA, CPSIA, California Prop 65 and REACH) available, carry a Strong as Steel™ guarantee, help reduce our collective reliance on plastic, and provide people with opportunities to make healthier choices."
A big THANK YOU to Phil Notheis for taking the time to help us get to know the new products. To see all the new additions and become part of the solution to the single-use problem, please visit our new products page.