The Rise Of Dirty Sodas And Stanley Mugs: Utah’s Unique Beverage Culture Takes The Nation By Storm
Utah is No. 1 in a lot of categories nationwide.
We're tops in growth, charitable contributions, childbirth rates, successful marriages, small business success and many others.
Those are facts. Utah is good at -- well, being good.
But as far as being a trendsetter, out there on the cutting edge, well Utah usually leaves that to New York or California.
But there is one area where the rest of the nation is just now picking up the trend that Utah started a few years ago.
We love our Dirty Sodas and Stanley Mugs.
Go to any Maverik or stop by one of the seemingly ubiquitous soda shops and you can find a "Dirty Soda" -- your favorite soft drink spiked with coconut, pineapple, raspberry, peach or myriad other flavors. Many folks like smoothing it out with cream or half-and-half, too.
Then, if you can have it all served up in a Stanley Mug -- a metallic mug that uses a sort of vacuum technology to maintain the beverage's desired temperature.
The Technology Behind The Mug
Technically, the model so popular in Utah is the Stanley 1913 Quencher, also known as the Stanley Cup.
The Quencher and other Stanley products use a unique steel welding process to "seal in" the temperature as long as a vacuum is maintained.
The History Behind The Stanley Cup
William Stanley invented the steel vacuum-sealed bottle in 1913. Ever since, “his vacuum bottle evolved from concept to icon and has become an essential part of workdays, road trips and outdoor adventures,” the company said.
The company historically targeted everyday workers and those participating in outdoor activities like camping and hiking.
However, in the mid-1990s the company chose to "deprioritize" the Quencher, even telling consumers to "hurry and get one" before they stopped making them.
But the Quencher had a fan in the four women who started the website "The Buy Guide" -- three of whom are from Utah.
The Buy Guide owners saw the potential of the mugs and invested money -- from the website and from their own bank accounts -- in the Stanley Cups. They famously sold them all -- 5,000 to be exact -- in the first day. They ordered 5,000 more and sold those out in an hour.
The Stanley 1913 Quencher was a hit.
The uber-popular Stanley Quencher comes in 30- and 40-oz. sizes, perfect for the soda-sipping set (especially in Utah, where coffee and alcohol are generally frowned upon).
Of course, coffee drinkers and the like can order smaller models to fit their needs.
The Stanley Cup Craze
Now, Stanley, which used to be known for camping and outdoor equipment, sells $750-million in products every year. In 1993, Stanley did $70-million in sales, meaning the Stanley Cup -- the Quencher -- has increased Stanley's bottom line by 1,000-percent.
Way to go Stanley. Way to go Utah.
Let's Talk About It: A Look At 'How To Save A Life'
The song "How to save a life," by The Fray is not about suicide.
It's a song about not having the tools to help someone in trouble, whether they're struggling with addiction, depression, anxiety, drug abuse or myriad other problems.
The end result of not having the tools to help them often ends in suicide.
So even though the song isn't necessarily about suicide, it reaches deep into our hearts and let's us know that we can in fact, "save a life" if we acquire the tools to help.
I lost my brother to suicide a quarter-century ago.
I remember talking to him in the days before he decided to end his life. I was his brother, probably his closest friend. We talked about life and dreams and the future We spoke of his current problems and his hope that things would get better for him.
We didn't talk about suicide. I knew he had thought about it, but I never believed that he would really do it.
I was wrong. I didn't know how to save a life.
I don't want that to ever happen again.
-------- National Suicide Hotline -- Dial 9-8-8 ----------------
Did you know in the United States alone, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death, with approximately 47,000 lives lost each year. This means that there are about 129 suicides per day in the U.S. or about one every 12 minutes. For every completed suicide, there are an estimated 25 suicide attempts.
While the overall rate of suicide is highest for ages 45-54, teens, the elderly and military veterans have disproportionately high rates of suicide. If you have a loved one within these groups, get a better understanding of the risks and signs here. Men are four times more likely to die by suicide than women, but women are more likely to attempt it.
Suicide is complicated and tragic, but it is often preventable. Knowing the warning signs for suicide and how to get help can help save lives. Learn about behaviors that may be a sign that someone is thinking about suicide here.
Talking to someone about suicide can feel awkward and uncomfortable. But, if you have concerns, breaking through your own discomfort could save a life. Showing your concern and directly asking about suicidal thoughts can be vital first steps in helping someone get the support they need.
Here are some tips to help you perhaps "save a life" (source Cigna):
- Be sensitive to the need for privacy. Approach and talk in a private setting.
- Be yourself. Use honest and non-judgmental language to start a conversation. Tell the person what you’ve noticed.
- Use words that you feel comfortable with and that make sense given the situation and your relationship.
- Be direct; ask if they’re having suicidal thoughts. Give them a chance to talk. You should not act as a counselor or give advice, but let them know you are listening. Remember that it’s not your job to “fix” this.
- Show your concern and support. Acknowledge the despair they’re feeling. Don’t try to minimize their pain. Let the person know you care and that they are valued. Be kind, even if you feel angry about what they’re considering.
- Be aware that you may have to break confidentiality. Try to avoid promising to keep what they tell you to yourself, but do promise if it’s the key to being allowed to help. You may need to break that promise to keep the person safe.
- Help connect with professional help, even if they resists. A person who has reached a point where suicide is an option often does not believe they can be helped. Your EAP is a resource that is available 24/7.
For more resources, go to the website for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
-------- National Suicide Hotline -- Dial 9-8-8 ----------------