Our Impact

Makers of Big Moments in Mini Packages
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Balloons have a way of elevating any celebration, and we love being able to help make moments memorable. That’s why Worthington established Balloon Time in 1986, and why we continue to manufacture the festive rouge-colored helium tanks found online and in stores worldwide.

“Our Balloon Time Helium Tanks provide on-demand helium capable of filling between 30 to 50 latex balloons,” said Kelly Malone, Balloon Time brand manager. “However, there is a segment of consumers who only want a few balloons, so they purchase pre-inflated balloons at a retail counter. If you’ve ever done this, you know the struggle of getting those home."

Kelly Malone, Balloon Time brand manager

This spurred our journey to create a new product to meet this audience’s specific needs, expand our portfolio and grow Balloon Time’s market.

Listening to Users

Through voice of customer (VOC) research, the team dug into the product benefits, challenges and unmet needs of tank and non-tank users.  “We heard that our helium tanks can appear intimidating to first-time users," explained Christina Mauch, product development manager. They also require opening and closing a valve, which adds a step to the process, and some users suggested a vertical filling position would feel more natural. And while they’re lightweight, the size was too large for some to transport and store.

After evaluating the findings from pre-inflated balloon buyers, our Product Innovation and Engineering teams came up with a big concept—make a smaller, lighter, quicker-to-deploy product. 

The Big Idea

The team developed a prototype that did just that, while also addressing some common barriers of current tanks. The compact, 3.5-inch diameter handheld cannister stands upright and includes a simple, vertical nozzle on top. Weighing in at two pounds, the patent-pending cylinder is made of aluminum for lightweight durability and includes a special regulator for even, consistent inflating from start to finish. And finally, there is no valve to open and close; just push to inflate and replace the cap.

A Launch Worth Celebrating

This new concept proved to be approachable, easy to use and aligned with the needs of consumers who require less helium. Consumers also appreciated that, like other Balloon Time Helium Tanks, it is made of recyclable material and is simple to prepare for disposal. From this highly positive user response, the Balloon Time Mini Tank was born. 

“This is one of the brand’s biggest innovations in our 37-year history, and we can’t wait to hear consumer feedback,” said Sam Hoye, vice president of Worthington’s Consumer Products Group. “This compact, user-friendly solution fills the gap for pre-inflated balloon buyers, equipping them with helium on hand for celebrations on demand.”

The Balloon Time Mini Helium Tank is currently available in select Meijer stores and will soon launch more broadly across the U.S. Click the image on the left to see the Mini Tank in action, and learn more on the Balloon Time website