Bello offers an eco-friendly solution to plastic bottles
by Startup Montréal 31 May 2023
This article was initially published in French on infobref.com
Many people who are looking for water that’s better than tap water consume bottled water. But most plastic water bottles are not recycled. Montreal-based start-up Bello proposes to replace bottled water with a device that filters tap water and adds natural flavors.
The problem the company is tackling is the lack of eco-friendly options for consuming filtered water. “Many people are looking to consume water other than tap water, because it can have an unpleasant taste and contaminants can be found in it,” explains Marc Schaal, co-founder of Bello Water. There are various filtration systems on the market, but these present problems, says the entrepreneur: pitcher filters don’t filter out all contaminants and higher-performance filtration systems are very expensive.
Many consumers choose to buy bottled water instead. However, “some people don’t like the taste of the water in these bottles, so the industry offers them bottles of infused water or all kinds of drinks with a flavor,” adds Marc Schaal.
Bello Water’s solution is a device that filters water and infuses it with flavor. The device features a charcoal filter, which is more efficient than the filters found in filter pitchers. Unlike pitcher filters, which work by gravity, Bello’s filter is driven by a pump, resulting in smaller holes and more contaminants. What’s more, charcoal filters have a longer service life than pitcher filters.
The device infuses fruit flavor into water. Bello supplies recyclable glass capsules containing a flavor concentrate made from fruit, vitamins and minerals. The capsules contain enough concentrate to be reused up to twenty times. Users can adjust the flavor concentration to suit their preference. “The idea is to offer an experience so that drinking water and staying hydrated is both enjoyable and environmentally friendly,” sums up Marc Schaal.
The business model is to sell the device to consumers, directly and through retailers. The company also sells replacement capsules on its website. For the moment, Bello is in the pre-marketing stage. It is taking pre-orders on its website and expects to deliver its first devices by next year at the latest. The company recently appeared on the television program Dans l’œil du dragon. It received $200,000 in funding.
Bello is one of 20 start-ups selected this year in Startup Montréal’s Bourse+ program.
Bello will start producing its machines shortly, once the number of pre-orders has reached a certain threshold. Once the first orders have been shipped, the company plans to make its product available through online retailers and big-box stores.
In the longer term, Bello Water plans to add functions to its machine that will enable it to reproduce several types of beverage made from concentrate and currently sold in plastic bottles.
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