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The Dispenser Story

1985 An IDEA

to eliminate shower bottle clutter

As a marketing manager for a firm that specialized in home organization, Mike Albo appreciated the advantages of space-saving. With his background in shower enclosures, Mike recognized the need for a product which would create storage space in the shower, eliminating the mess left by bars of soap and providing a solution to the problem of bottle clutter in the shower and on bathtub ledges. When the firm was expanding its product lines, Mike suggested a wall-mounted dispenser. He drafted designs of an organizer that would incorporate bottles to dispense measured quantities of liquid soaps and shampoos at the press of a button. The company wasn’t interested and Mike didn’t have the financial resources to go it alone. The idea was filed for another day, but never forgotten.

1990 A DISCOVERY

The Dispenser

While at a Toronto Home Show, Mike came across the very product he dreamed of five years ago. To his amazement, The Dispenser™ had been developed by an inventor and introduced by Better Living Products Inc. of Utah. The vision was alive!

1991 A REALITY

Better Living Products of Canada

Mike seized the opportunity to purchase the distribution rights of The DispenserTM for Canada. He called upon a business colleague to assist him with the financial and marketing investment required to take on the Canadian Distribution. It was an exclusive agreement with no money down and Mike felt it was his own product. Better Living Products of Canada opened its doors in September of 1991.

1992 BEST NEW PRODUCT

The Dispenser was officially introduced by Better Living Products of Canada in 1992 and was awarded Best New Product in the housewares category at the Canadian Hardware Show. Mike recruited Camillo Caperchione, a friend and neighbour, to head up the Sales Management division for this unique product. Being a new company with a new product on the market, the odds were heavily stacked against them; but with his passion and commitment to the business and category, Camillo drove sales to new levels and has helped grow the company from its early beginnings.

1993 BEST MERCHANDISER

With a staff comprising of only four employees, the team began converting hotel showers across Canada over to The DispenserTM. At the time, a single 100-room hotel was using 71,000 plastic bottles and 48,000 bars of soap per year. 296 million empty soap and shampoo packages were thrown out by the hotel industry every year in Canada alone! Feedback from hotel guests was overwhelming – they absolutely and positively loved The Dispenser – numbering the days of hotel room mini-bottles. By dispensing a controlled amount of liquid with each press, The DispenserTM eliminates waste and cuts the cost of squeezing huge blobs of soap from a bottle, pouring hotel and homeowners’ money down the drain…literally! With such large investments in their marketing strategy, Better Living Products of Canada made The DispenserTM a success! The Dispenser was pioneered in every major department store, in bath boutiques and hardware chains. The company received another award in 1993. This time it was for Best Merchandiser in the Packaging Expo at the Canadian Hardware and Housewares Show in Toronto.

1994 An ORGANIZED BATH

As a result of redesigned packaging, marketing and merchandising support and a keen vision and passion for the product, The DispenserTM became more successful in Canada than in the U.S.A. The time was right to acquire the U.S. Company. In April of 1994, the Utah-based parent company was purchased – the patents, tooling and world rights to The DispenserTM – and Better Living Products International, Inc. was formed. For Mike and Camillo, their Better Living meant dispensing with plastic. At this time, 5 billion plastic bottles were going to landfills per year in North America from hotels alone and the duo was determined to eliminate all that. Their goal: to make The DispenserTM a standard fixture in every home and hotel room in the world – saving hotels, household consumers and the environment.

Since then, many awards have been achieved including sales, vendor, merchandising and new product awards along with many milestones of becoming a global supplier of a consumer packaged product to retailers. The company has developed this product line into a complete retail category with international sales to over 70 countries. Better Living Products has gained leadership status by selling to most major retailers globally in addition to commercial accounts like Spas, Hotels and Cruise Lines.

Throughout the world, people are enjoying a convenient, mess-free shower experience thanks to The DispenserTM and Better Living Products. Today, the company continues to focus on product development, creating innovative products that provide time saving convenience.

Find out more on what we’ve been up to under Innovation for the Organized Bath.