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Industry News 11/18/2019

Fast Five - IGLOO


L to R: Ben Soto,  Dave Allen, Rob Machado, Brian Garofalow and Brad Blankinship

The revitalization of Igloo’s prominence in pop culture is not by accident. In the mid 2010s a couple of action sports industry veterans who’ve been drivers behind many successful brands found themselves in an Igloo boardroom sharing ideas and the end result is a fun and vibrant launch of the invigorated Igloo Playmate cooler. Check out this Fast Five:

1. Igloo is headquartered in Katy, Texas which is in the northwest suburbs of Houston right off Interstate 10. If you’re heading west out of Houston, you can wave at the massive office, manufacturing, and distribution center right off the highway at the Igloo Road exit. Drive another 1600 miles and you’ll end up at their Costa Mesa, CA office which is home to product, marketing, creative, and e-commerce teams.

2. In 2015, Brad Blankinship and Ben Soto built the company Yew Stuff, to bring fun colors and graphics to inexpensive foam coolers, while also making them more durable. After a hot start and distribution in Target stores, Igloo offered to purchase Yew Stuff, giving them the mass distribution only Igloo could offer. It wasn’t long until the Igloo board asked the two to divert their focus from their start-up and lend their creativity to a much bigger opportunity, the Igloo brand.

3. A key part of their strategy to inject new life into Igloo was a resurgence of the iconic Playmate cooler, with new color, graphics, and license partners. After the creative and brand direction was established, the team started building specialty distribution with a dedicated sales force and exhibiting at Outdoor Retailer and Surf Expo.

4. The next invention the duo brought to Igloo was the world’s first cooler made from biodegradable materials. After initially launching Yew Stuff to build a better foam cooler, RECOOL by Igloo set out to offer a completely sustainable product as an alternative to single use EPS foam coolers, with the intent to push foam entirely out of the market and off our planet. RECOOL went from concept to store shelves in less than 12 months – a nearly impossible accomplishment. It launched in April 2019 and can already be found in over 10k points of distribution.

5. The hits keep coming from Igloo with collaborations featuring the industry’s most iconic brands and major media licenses. In 2019, Igloo has released Playmate coolers in partnership with Quiksilver, Independent Trucks, Santa Cruz Skateboards, artists Kevin Butler and Andy Davis, Sponge Bob, Disney, Toy Story, Volkswagen, Scooby Doo, and most recently Star Wars – just ahead of the blockbuster release in late December that’s already breaking box office ticket sales records.

The team in Costa Mesa, California is rapidly expanding with current open positions in product design, art direction and graphic design, marketing, and customer service. Follow Igloo on Malakye to keep up on current job opportunities and follow these social channels to stay up to date with the brand:

Recool, the first biodegradable cooler.



Check out all of the special edition coolers here.