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29th Jan 2024

Stanley Cup craze: The outdoor staple that became a viral must-have

Jody Coffey

Stanley Cup

One day I’ll get my hands on one of these!

TikTok has once again churned out yet another craze, this time, in the form of a gigantic portable hydration station.

Stanley Cup historically was marketed towards workmen and outdoorsy people who wanted to keep hydrated on the go.

These days, you’re more likely to see the Stanley Cup Quencher in the hands of the everyday woman, particularly influencers and TikTokers.

But how has a brand taken an indestructible men’s flask created over 100 years ago and turned it into the must-have accessory in today’s world?

This is the story of a solid and practical product being put in front of the wrong audience.

@izzyandmarysdad What color STANLEY do you have? #stanley #stanleycup #fyp #foryou #relatable #dadsoftiktok #parentsoftiktok ♬ Spongebob Closing Theme Song Music – Ocean Floor Orchestra

The evolution of the Stanley Cup

The now-viral brand started with a steel vacuum-sealed bottle in 1913, created by William Stanley.

The idea was to create something that couldn’t break and would become an essential part of workdays, road trips, and outdoor adventures.

Credit: Stanley Cup 1913

In the 1920s, Stanley’s flask was garnering recognition for being obsolete and nondestructive, making it a popular choice among blue-collar workers.

Over its evolution, the flask continued to maintain its masculine image, being sold in colours such as blue, green, grey, and maroon.

While it’s insulation strengthened and progressed over the next several decades, the thermal flask was still very much a man’s product.

In fact, in 2012, Stanley himself said they resonated with ‘a 30-year-career veteran policeman’ and ‘a retired Army soldier’.

When you consider the hands that clutch these cups in 2024 and the viral trends surrounding it, it’s hard to imagine the aforementioned ever being Stanley’s target audience.

1920s Stanley Cup Flask. Credit: Stanley Cup

How did it become a viral sensation?

Over the years, Stanley Cups has released a range of flasks in various designs, sizes, and colours, with different purposes, adjustments and tweaks.

However, none were as dramatic as that of the now-famous Stanley Cup Quencher, which holds 40oz of liquid and comes with a straw and handle.

In 2019, the Quencher had been on the market for three years but it was, essentially, a flop, despite being as indestructible as its predecessors.

The sales were so disappointing, that production had been even halted on the Stanley Cup Adventure Quencher,  much to the dismay of three women and writers of the popular blog, The Buy Guide.

@girlymood2 The strap really helps especially when I have 100 and 1 things to carry out of my car 🤣 #tumbleraccessory #tumblerdecoration #purpletumblers #stanleytumblers #tumblerstrap #tumblerstrawtopper #tumblertops #cutetumblercup ♬ Little Things – Adrian Berenguer

The three writers, Ashlee, Taylor, and Linley, began writing about the quencher back in 2017 and noticed anytime that they did, it would completely sell out on Amazon or Bed Bath & Beyond.

When it was discontinued, the ladies attempted to reach out to Stanley Cup to no avail.

After numerous failed attempts to make contact, they decided to gift the tumbler to Bachelorette reality star, Emily Maynard, after she welcomed her baby.

When she shared the Quencher to her story, it not only caught the eyes of millions of followers but also the attention, of a sales manager at Stanley Cup.

Suddenly, the penny dropped – the Quencher was being marketed to the wrong audience.

A lady named Lauren, who worked with Stanley-PMI, also saw the potential for the product to take off if targeted at a female audience and made contact with The Buy Guide.

The women rallied together and came up with a plan: Get women to sell to women.

Influencers replaced the outdoorsy men as the face of the brand, and the world was, well, influenced.

TikTok sensations have taken the product and turned it into a must-have accessory; one that is as for the corporate girlie as it is the the working mum.


Its just a cup 😭

♬ original sound – Danny

Hydrating in style has become a trending topic, with sub-sections of the video platform dedicated to the Stanley Cup Quencher.

For example, one scroll through #watertok on TikTok (if you know, you know) and all you’ll see is Quencher after Quencher.

The Quencher started selling in millions in new and feminine colours, becoming the watermark of cool girl aesthetic.

It has become a symbol of health and youthfulness, as well as making you feel like you are part of a global trend (if you’re lucky enough to get it before it sells out).

The take-home message: Listen to women!