Trends Improve for Hydro Flask After Challenging Year
Like many brands, Hydro Flask faced a lot of challenges due to COVID. But it had the added burden of being up against very tough comparison numbers from the previous fiscal year, according to parent company Helen of Troy.
In the prior year, Hydro Flask had “explosive growth” due to increased wholesale distribution, particularly in the sporting goods channel. The brand was also a key component of the VSCO trend, which also boosted sales in prior years but has since faded.
On top of that, Hydro Flask has cornered the college market, but with most kids not on campus and attending class remotely during the pandemic, that hurt sales. And, traditional sports and social gatherings outside the house ground to a halt so there were less need for water bottles.
Hydro Flask products can also be an impulse buy, and with store traffic levels down, that also dampened sales. In addition, Helen of Troy cited “increased competitive activity” as a factor that hurt Hydro Flask’s sales in the past year in its annual report.
While Helen of Troy does not break out numbers for Hydro Flask, the company did say Hydro Flask exceeded internal expectations for the fiscal year ended Feb. 28 during an earnings call Wednesday.
The strongest parts of the business were international and direct to consumer.
Now that the world has started to reopen, Helen of Troy is excited about Hydro Flask’s growth prospects, executives said.
“Store traffic has picked up, and Hydro Flask trends have improved,” Helen of Troy CEO Julien R. Mininberg said. “We expect this trend to accelerate as vaccination rates increase and more students go back to in-person learning across the United States. We expect consumers will continue to turn to more outdoor activities as the weather improves and as people become more comfortable in group gatherings.”
New Hydro Flask products on the horizon include new lids, outdoor kitchen sets, back-to-school and back-to-office lunch totes, and food storage products.