It all started with two simple problems.
First, was there a better way to keep milk cold for my school-age son so he could enjoy a great-tasting, nutritious drink with his lunch?
And second—an equally vexing problem for any parent—how could I convince him to keep choosing white milk over chocolate?
A look at what was available in the marketplace proved to me it was time for a better product: one that could keep milk or juice colder, longer, in a container that was durable, leak-proof and easy to clean. No straws. No lingering odors after regular use. And it had to be something that younger kids would enjoy using.
I decided to design my own.
As an engineer by trade and a devoted mom, myColdCup became my passion.
The product went through several refinements. Each time getting us closer to perfection.
Thanks to the great feedback of many parents and loyal myColdCup customers, together we found a winning formula. That is the great looking, high-performance product you see today.
Today, myColdCup is your secret ingredient to great tasting, ice-cold milk, smoothies and juice. It’s great for schools, but it’s also a lifesaver—and flavor saver—at the gym and at work. Discover how myColdCup can make your nutritious drinks taste great. Order yours today.
The Full myColdCup Story (from a mother's perspective)
myColdCup was designed by a parent, actually lots of parents!
It all started when my son joined the school milk program in Grade 1 – and wanted chocolate milk because the white milk didn’t taste right. It was also what all his friends were having. Now, chocolate milk is OK once in awhile. But 5 days a week for 6 years! That was just too much for me to accept without trying to figure out an alternative solution. His second year, I took over the milk coordinator position for our school and discovered that there were other concerns such as the number of waste milk cartons (35,000 per year for one school with 200 students on the milk program), and that some children simply couldn’t be on the milk program because they have milk allergies and they drink soy or organic milk. I asked my son if he would use a milk bottle that could keep milk cold for lunch. His response was negative. He said he liked the milk cartons because they were good for target practice with the garbage can after lunch finished! All his friends joined in this game. (Hmmm... I didn’t see that one coming.) I also asked him if he thought other people would like the milk bottle. His response, “Oh Mum, just because you are in charge of the milk program doesn’t mean you can change everyone’s life.” The simple truth from a 7 yr old!
Undaunted, I still thought there was potential in the idea. The need was not simply for a cup that would keep milk cold. The cup would also have to be easy to clean, not have a straw, sports top, or air value (that might stop working), not retain milk smells or other unpleasant tastes, be easy to drink from, absolutely leak proof, preferably 250ml (this is just for lunch not an all day drink), dishwasher safe, and be appealing to kids (it had to compete with target practice).
Milk is the most difficult drink to keep. It must be kept cold not only for taste but also for safety (by law it must be at or below 7°C while being transported before sale to the consumer). So if I could make a bottle that met the stringent requirements for milk, it would work for any cold drink. It should also be very high quality so it would last for many years, hopefully for all the elementary school grades. Being able to instantly identify one’s own myColdCup in a classroom with potentially 20 others, resulted in the idea of different coloured bands. The silicone bands allow each child to personalize their myColdCup, simply by how they place the bands on their cup.
I could not find any bottles on the market that met all my requirements. So it was time to design my own. Being an engineer in my pre-mother life, this looked like a neat project to take on. I have had the wonderful good fortune to meet some great people at the right time as this project progressed. Finding a stainless steel bottle manufacturer in China is a daunting task. Fortunately, I met a stainless steel water bottle distributor at the Ottawa Green show who knew many manufacturers and connected me with the best company. They were a trusted supplier of his for 10 years, had the best quality and he had never had a problem with any of their shipments. This company often receives awards in Europe for their products.
Some preliminary tests of ideas for keeping milk cold actually worked. Each person I spoke with had some useful advice or ideas. When I was still trying to design the top, one parent said the obvious – “children aren’t watching what they are doing when they are closing the cup. They are talking with their friends and in a hurry to get outside for recess.” That conversation finalized the style of lid closure – it had to be something that clicked shut and would seal exactly the same no matter who closed it. Many parents said how very, very important it was for the cup to be easy to wash and especially large enough to get your hand in to wash. And yet the bottle had to be a good size for children to hold. These opposing constraints drove the overall design shape of the bottle. And so the story goes...
Many thanks to all the parents who gave their requirements and suggestions. You came from across the country – Ottawa, Vancouver, and Toronto. Thanks to your just-in-time market research regarding size, shape, and design. Emailing you in the middle of my night in Shanghai, asking for your opinion on a design change, and receiving quick response back was really appreciated. Having in-house opinion teams, your own kids, sure helped too! Bringing a product to market is a real challenge!
p.s. Target practice is now a bygone. Milk cartons are rinsed and put in the recycle bins.
Ottawa Family Living Magazine
Top 10 Mompreneur Finalist