The Igloo® Story
Igloo began in 1947 as a small metalworking shop with two employees. The company produced metal water coolers designed to replace wooden drinking buckets used by construction workers, oilfield workers and longshoremen on the docks. Evolving to insulated, all-plastic water coolers in 1965, these water coolers soon became the cooler of choice on the job site. To this day, Igloo remains the leading supplier of beverage coolers for worksite hydration.
Through a series of joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, the Igloo brand and company grew, and the first rectangular ice chest - a 22-quart metal unit with plastic liner - was produced in 1960. By 1962, the company had grown to 73 employees and in that same year offered the first all-plastic ice chest - initially sold only to beer manufacturers. In 1963, Oshman's Sporting Goods in Houston became the first retailer to offer the plastic cooler to consumers - a resounding success…and the rest is history!
The Giant Sea Chest, a 155-quart plastic cooler, made its debut in 1967 and quickly became a bestseller with Gulf Coast fisherman. This success launched Igloo into the marine channel where the company remains the leading supplier today.
Continuing to lead in innovation, Igloo introduced the iconic "tent-top" Playmate® personal-size cooler in 1971, and by this time had grown to a company of 433 employees. Even today, the Playmate remains a consumer favorite. The innovation continued. Igloo launched the first wheeled cooler, the Cool Roller®, in 1994; the patented "cube-shaped" cooler design, the Ice Cube™, in 2003; and furniture-grade wood patio coolers in 2006 - just to name a few.
In March of 2014, ACON, a Washington, D.C.-based private equity firm, purchased Igloo from J.H. Whitney, which will maintain a small stake in the Company. Now 850 employees strong, Igloo world headquarters is a 1.4 million square foot facility located in Katy, Texas. Offering over 500 different products, Igloo coolers are sold by more than 250 retailers around the world.
Today, Igloo remains the #1 cooler manufacturer worldwide and continues to enhance and develop new products each year to meet the needs of our consumers.
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