Gobie H20 is a filtered water bottle pitched by entrepreneur Rusty Allen in episode 426. Allen is an industrial designer turned entrepreneur who created a “user-friendly” filtered water bottle to help combat the ridiculous amount of waste produced by plastic bottled water bottles. The GobieH2o is made from high quality, BPA free plastic. The filter lasts for about 100 gallons of water before a $10 replacement filter needs to be inserted.
Is the World Ready for a Filtered Water Bottle?
The answer would be a resounding “yes.” In fact, there are hundreds of players in the filtered water bottle market. Bottled water sales are up over 4% the past year; bottled water sales in the U.S. hit 9.1 billion gallons in 2011 – that's 222 “standard,” half liter bottles for every man, woman and child in the USA!
Despite the growth in bottled water sales, more consumers are opting for tap water due to concerns about the origins of some bottled waters and due to the enormous amount of waste generated by bottled water bottles. Many universities, often leaders in concepts surrounding social and ecological consciousness and change, are banning on campus sales of bottled water. This green consumer backlash directly benefits the over $100 BILLION (and growing) water filtration market.
While the water market is huge – water is a primary human need after all – there are many players. That goes for the filtered water bottle market too. A simple search online for “filtered water bottle” yields hundreds upon hundreds of results from the best-selling Brita products down to a plethora of smaller companies. There are many choices, but in a market with such a large amount of demand, there is plenty of room for good products. Gobie H2o needs to reach consumers with their message and the unique benefits of their product if they want to be a big fish in the water bottle business.
Will the Sharks like the Water?
Hopefully, Rusty Allen will have a firm grip on the size and scope of the emerging filtered water bottle market. If he can demonstrate GobieH20 is making headway with sales, the Sharks might dip in with an investment.
The Gobie H20 has some unique design features that set it apart from many other available filtered water bottles: an ecologically sustainable filter using carbon granules made from coconuts, a smoothed out mouth piece that won't trap dirt, a wide neck opening for easy filling and cleaning, a squeeze button to force water through the filter, and a no-slip base. The Sharks may or may not be enthralled with this set of features, but the underlying message of sustainability, waste reduction, and clean drinking water need to be clear.
I think the water business is big enough to whet the Sharks' appetite. Assuming the numbers are sound, I'd expect multiple offers. It will be interesting to watch Lori's reactions since the GobieH20 has some decent TV sales potential: it's not too expensive and it solves a problem. At $30, a Gobie bottle would actually save consumers some money too. When it comes to the Gobie H20 filtered water bottle, I am “IN.”