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Stanley Cup Hype: The Latest Craze

Updated: Mar 4

By Brendalis Puig

Photo Credit to Wikipedia

A scene out of a crazy Black Friday is how TikTokers describe the stampede that happened at Target on January 3rd, as eager shoppers ran to secure a cup of the limited edition Valentine’s Day Stanley. The internet’s influence on consumer behavior in today’s digital age has undeniably reached a peak.

Social media trends shift at the speed of light and dictate not only the lifestyle of users but also fuel their obsessive need for the latest products. While mass consumerism is nothing new, the Stanley Cup is the latest example at the center of the epidemic.

The Stanley cup is a reusable water bottle manufactured by Stanley, a company with over 100 years of history. The company’s website displays the sustainability of its products, which are reusable, one-of-a-kind, and “Built for Life.” Its fun colors and unique designs sparked a big obsession.

Despite the brand being on the market for so long, the company revenue jumped from $74 million in 2019 to $750 million in 2023, according to a report made last December by CNBC.

As limited editions are released and Stanley cups get swept off shelves and sites in mere hours, it becomes more and more chaotic in stores nationwide. On release days, eager consumers wake up early to wait in line and, if necessary, even fight with each other to get their hands on the latest Stanley cup edition. Consumers have gone as far as spending triple the money on retail to obtain one of the special editions.

Photo Credit to Pexels

The popularity surrounding the Stanley cup aesthetic began last summer due to the viral WaterTok trend, which involved adding flavorful, sugar-free, and low-calorie powder to water to achieve the recommended daily water goal intake. Different from other water bottle brands, the Stanley cup became the influencer's favorite for being visually aesthetic and unique.

Viviana Rivas, a sophomore majoring in political science, weighed in for The Buccaneer.

“As a Stanley owner, I think that people can be easily influenced, including myself. I do not think that people should go to the lengths that they have gone for the cup, but it is a good product and convenient,” she said.

Social media influencers have driven the obsession to another level by promoting the idea that one cup is never enough. Social media platforms, mainly TikTok, are overflowing with videos of women collecting the different colors available of Stanley cups. What was first a sports accessory aimed at reducing the single use of plastic water bottles has now turned into a must-have symbol of popularity and the opposite of what was its original purpose as many women happily display their matching outfits with the Stanley cup on their socials.

While some people participate in the Stanley cup craze, others wonder how a reusable cup became the latest symbol of over-consumerism. They question the necessity of buying more than one water bottle, especially considering that Stanley cups are not cheap.

“I think it’s just another trend that’ll eventually go to waste, and people will have all these cups for no reason like the hydro flask,” said Destiny Robinson, a sophomore majoring in TV production and digital media.

Photo Credit to Pexels

In a survey conducted by The Buccaneer with a total of 111 responses, about 57.7 percent of Barry students do not own a Stanley cup while about 42.3 percent confirmed they do.

Katrina Lyn Kee Chow, a senior majoring in television and digital media, expressed her contempt for Stanley cups and their wide-spread obsession.

“They are so overrated and, in my opinion, a total waste of money. Like depending on the price, for that, I could buy a meal or even repurchase some of my favorite makeup and skincare products,” she said.

The appeal of Stanley cups has expanded beyond its purpose, touching on psychological factors about social media-driven consumer behavior and the fear of missing out. As the reliance on social media becomes more than just the norm, apps like TikTok are becoming for decision-making and buying products because others have them rather than because they need them. Before making a purchase, users tend to scroll different social platforms to gauge whether it is a popular item rather than if it’s the most convenient and reliant.

The Stanley cup water bottle serves as a reminder of the influence of social media on people. A practical product proclaimed as being sustainable has transformed into a symbol of popularity and status, reflecting today’s fixation on being part of the latest trends. While the TikTok obsession lasts, people wait and wonder what the following must-have product will be.


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