Will e-Gel be available in a bulk multi-serving bottle?
In considering offering e-Gel in a bulk multi-serving bottle we found that there are three reasons our customers are interested in this option:
1) Lower cost per serving
2) Easier to fill gel flasks / convenience
3) Less waste
If you are purchasing e-Gel by the box or by the case, you can save 20% or more. Taking this into consideration, the cost per serving of e-Gel is comparable to purchasing our competitor’s product’s by the bottle.
Gel Flask Filling / Convenience
It is easier to fill a flask from a bulk energy gel bottle, but there are other convenience factors that should be considered. First of all, once a bottle is opened it should be refrigerated to maintain freshness, while packets will remain fresh in virtually any environment. Second, it is pretty hard to get all of the gel out of a bottle (particularly when refrigerated) as opposed to packets that are easy to squeeze out every last drop. Third, when transporting an open bottle of gel (in your car, duffle bag, etc.) you run the risk of winding up with a gel mess. Packets on the other hand are easily transported and can also be placed in a pocket or jersey during competition in case your flask runs dry. Finally, and this was a significant consideration of ours, the shelf life of gel in a foil pouch is much, much longer than in a plastic bottle. Particularly after you have opened the bottle, the product degrades quite rapidly.
Some athletes prefer to use a flask to make it easier to take smaller doses of gel at a time. Many of our customer do this by dispensing 2-4 packs into a flask. If there’s any left after the workout just pop it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to go again.
There is technology to recycle laminated packaging material, but it has not been widely adopted yet. We’re hopeful that this technology advances and finds it’s way into local recycling centers, but as of now this certainly is an issue. If you’re planning on recycling the gel bulk bottle you’ll have to get all of the gel cleaned out of the bottle (good luck), otherwise the recycling center will just throw it in the landfill. As far as wasted product, there is actually less waste with packets as explained above.
The cost of setting up a completely different manufacturing line is quite expensive. This would ultimately drive up the cost of our packet product as well due to economies of scale that we would lose. We really want to keep our cost to the consumer as low as possible. The best gel at the best price… that’s our goal!!
Taking all of these things into consideration we have decided to stay with single serving packets at this time.