Whether it be in the gym, on bicycle trips or on hiking tours, there are numerous leisure activities for which you should always take enough to drink with you. However, it is also advisable to make sure you get regular hydration at school, at work or when engaging in less athletic hobbies. The possibilities for taking your beverage of choice in your own bottle are manifold. Thanks to the wealth of shapes, colors and motifs, the high stability combined with low weight and not least of all the cost-benefit-ratio, drinking solutions made of plastic are especially popular. And this is exactly what the Swiss company Innique AG specializes in.
However, the origins of the company go back further: in the early years, no-one could have guessed that the company from the Zurich Oberland region would become one of Switzerland's pioneers in plastic drinking bottle production. The company was founded in 1957 under the name Jkaplast by Jakob Kaltbrunner in Oetwil am See in the Canton of Zurich. In the beginning, a small team consisting of a handful of employees produced hoses and pipes using the extrusion process. Plastic bottle production also began shortly after the company was founded. At the beginning of the 1980s, the first plastic drinking bottles for the Isostar brand came off the production line, laying the foundation for a new business segment.
Gradually, other sports nutrition producers such as sponsors and companies from the sports industry (for, example fitness studios and sports clubs) began to approach Jkaplast. However, the current clientele of the Swiss specialists also includes other sectors: the major Swiss bank UBS and the Raiffeisen Switzerland cooperative use Innique products as giveaways in their sponsoring activities.
Specialization in drinking bottles, name change and launch of the BULB brand
In 2008, current owner Fabian Binswanger bought the company and decided to further expand the drinking bottle business; the BULB Bottles brand was founded in the same year. “We intend to use our new private label to further establish ourselves in the B2B sector and at the same time build up a strong brand for the consumer sector. We also wanted to drive our international growth with BULB Bottles,” says Binswanger explaining the move. Our export share has grown to 70% since taking this step, and the company is internationally competitive despite the strong franc.
Another new name was added in 2014: Jkaplast AG became Innique AG, a neologism of the two terms ‘innovative’ and ‘unique’.
Today, the company offers five drinking bottle models under the BULB brand in various sizes in up to 20 standard colors. The bottle/cap color combination can be freely selected, and the bottles can be printed with individual customer logos and designs. A completely individualized product can be ordered from as little as 100 pieces. Since last year, BULB B1.GREEN has also been available as an organic-based variant made from sugar cane, which is CO2-neutral and thus conserves resources while being environmentally friendly.
In order to offer customers the best possible service and to be well positioned for the future, Innique also makes use of web-based sales aids. The user-friendly online configurator allows various drinking bottle models to be designed quickly and easily online. Once the desired model is ready, the user sends their motif off, and the Innique order processing staff prepare a quote. “Our first configurator went online in 2008,” Binswanger recalls. "While it used to only be possible to freely select the model, color and cap, now 3D visualizations are possible. This provides the customer with essential support in the decision-making process.
This is further proof that the Grüninger company always responds early to the needs of the market and is not afraid to chart a new course.