KeepCup’s 690% enquiry spike shows consumers demand more sustainable businesses, says MD

KeepCup's managing director Abigail Forsyth

Featured | Noticeboard | Startup

By James Harkness

Melbourne-based reusable cup manufacturer KeepCup has reported a 690% increase in sales enquires since the final ABC’s three-part documentary series War on Waste concluded last week.   

Presented by Craig Reucassel of The Chaser fame, the series finale focused on Australia’s coffee industry and highlighted the fact that 1 billion disposable cups are sent to landfill across the country each year.

While KeepCup weren’t explicitly featured in the documentary, nor was it involved in the production, its reusable cups were visible in the background of a number of shots. According to the company’s managing director Abigail Forsyth, the significant increase in sales enquiries following the episode was the result of viewers being compelled to research sustainable alternatives plus word of mouth.

“As the documentary focused on encouraging reuse as a behavior and broke down some of the misconceptions around the recyclability of disposable coffee cups, we found a lot of KeepCup converts were keen to share their experiences on social media,” she told Dynamic Business. “We’ve also heard anecdotally that there’s a renewed commitment among existing KeepCup owners to use their KeepCup.”

In addition to the increase in sales enquiries, Forsyth revealed KeepCup had also experienced 403% increase in online sales and a 205% increase in web traffic. She said the fact that the TV show has generated momentum for the ‘reuse revolution’ advocated by KeepCup sends the message that “consumers want to see businesses prioritising sustainability, whether that’s their local coffee shop, family supermarket or their own employer, and aren’t prepared to accept the consequences of convenience culture as inevitable”.

She added, “A lot of the cafes and retailers that have recently placed orders with us have done so because their own customers are asking them for KeepCups, so it’s a real grassroots movement. It speaks strongly of the power of consumers to make widespread positive change, and I have no doubt we’ll soon see sustainability become a precondition for commercial viability.”

Launched in 2009 by Forsyth and her brother Jamie, KeepCup has become a global operation with satellite offices and warehouses in London and Los Angeles. With the support of 45 distribution partners worldwide and a team of nearly 50 employees spread across three continents, Abigail has launched KeepCup into 65 countries. Today, more than 5 million people across 65 countries have adopted the company’s eco-friendly products.

In October, Forsyth spoke to Dynamic Business about KeepCup’s success and the steps it has taken to normalise reuse and educate consumers about their ecological footprint. See: Sipping on success: KeepCup’s co-founder talks spreading her ‘Reuse Revolution’ worldwide

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