A Fun History of Promotional Products: The Koozie

Young woman drinking from can with blue branded koozie

Can you truly enjoy a cold drink on a hot day without the help of a koozie? While that may be up for debate, what’s not is that koozies, particularly branded koozies, are in high demand.

The koozie may be commonplace, so much so that you’ve probably never wondered where they originated. So, take a seat, grab a cool drink, and let’s dive into the fun history of the koozie.

The Down Under Stubby Holder

Man with surfboard on beach Australia
Rumor has it that the first koozies were developed by Australian surfers in the 1970s.

While many popular promotional products can trace their origins back for centuries, the koozie was first seen just a few decades ago. It’s believed that surfers in 1970s Australia originally popularized the use of an insulated drink holder to keep their beverages cool. Whether or not surfer dudes were involved, Australians remain happy users of the “stubby holder,” the down under equivalent of a koozie.

Origin of The Koozie Name

The term “koozie” itself is one of those words like “Band-Aid” that’s come to refer to not just one manufacturer of the item, but also as a stand-in term for the item itself. According to the official Koozie website, the modern koozie was born when a construction worker in Texas discovered that tubing insulation was the perfect size to fit around a standard can. And, it had a dual purpose—the worker found that his drink stayed cool, and he didn’t get wet hands from the normal buildup of condensation.

The construction worker knew he’d stumbled onto something big. So much so that he was soon unable to keep up with the manufacturing demand. In 1980, the Radio Cap Company filed a patent for the term “Koozie,” taking over production. They began making koozies in all different colors, and imprinting logos, text, and artwork onto the koozie material.

Branded Koozie with Cape Decoration
Not all heroes wear capes, but some koozies do!

Another patent was filed in 1981 by an Idaho woman named Bonnie McGough, for an “insulated beverage cozy.” McGough’s version had an inner and outer wall attached with a space in between to hold an insulating material. She recommended goose down as a possibility.

While down koozies never took off, her patent suggests an origin for the word “koozie.” Across the pond in Great Britain, knitted covers for tea pots have long been called “cozies.” A koozie serves the same insulating purpose as a tea cozy, though one is designed to keep beverages cool and the other keeps tea hot.

What’s a Koozie Made From?

The first koozies were made of puffy, rigid foam. In the 1990s, softer, more flexible foam and neoprene were the materials of choice.

Koozie with Zipper

But, standard style koozies suffered from one drawback—they didn’t fit all bottles and cans! Recently, a greater variety of koozie styles have become available, including zip-up koozies to fit long neck bottles and slap on koozies that will fit around the exact circumference of your drink container. There are even classy leather koozies that can be debossed for a high-end look.

Koozies have even been the topic of scientific research! The University of Washington took a crack at the koozie in 2013, looking to determine whether they actually work. Good news—science shows that by preventing the build up of condensation on a beverage, koozies do in fact work effectively at keeping drinks cooler for longer.

Branded Koozies

Slap Wrap Branded Koozie
Slap on koozies can adjust to fit a variety of can and bottle sizes.

When you see a koozie today, there’s a big chance it’s decorated with a logo or tagline. They’ve become not only a useful accessory, but a chance for the user to make a statement, about almost anything that matters to them. While beverage companies and restaurants may be the obvious brands to give out koozies, they’ve become an item of choice for sports teams, vacation spots, special events, and wedding favors as well.

A koozie offers a bright canvas for printing your logo that’s going to be used and seen. They’re a generally inexpensive promotional item that’s ideal for giveaways or resale. Making an appearance on boats, beaches, and at barbecues, they are popular with a wide audience. And, they’ll remain popular throughout the fall as we celebrate cider season!

Interested in branded koozies for your next marketing campaign? Sarah, our Promotional Specialist, can help you find the right koozie to match your brand and budget.

And, if you like what you’ve read, check out our other posts in the Fun History of Promotional Products Series!

3 Ways to Empower Employees With Promotional Products

New employee carrying branded promotional products

When you hear the term “promotional products” you may picture items designed to promote your brand to potential customers and clients as a means to increase sales. While many logoed items fall into this category, promotional products also have many applications internally, for use by your employees. Here are 3 ways you can help your business to succeed by investing in promotional products for employees.

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A Fun History of Promotional Products: The Umbrella

Woman holding rainbow colored umbrella
Woman photo created by freepik – www.freepik.com

Whether a Spring shower, Summer squall, or Autumn rain, a quality umbrella is handy to have any time of year.  We’re used to seeing umbrellas in all colors and sizes, from 60” vented golf umbrellas to cute, cartoon festooned parasols for kids. Umbrellas may be commonplace, but where did they come from? And why might you use a logoed umbrella to promote your brand?

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Reach New Heights with Hiking Themed Promotional Products

Couple hiking using branded promotional products

Hiking is one of Vermont’s most popular Summer activities. We’re called the Green Mountain State for a reason! If outdoor lovers make up your client base, promotional products designed for activities like hiking are an ideal choice for giveaways and thank you gifts. Here are some of our favorite hiking-related items available for branding.

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10 Essential Outdoor Promotional Products

Golf course man and woman using branded promotional products

Summer has arrived, with Vermonters trading winter coats and skis for flip flops and camping gear. This season is especially hot for outdoor promotional products, with a variety of items available for branding that emphasize being active and enjoying all that the outdoors has to offer.

Here are 10 of our favorite picks for branded outdoor promotional products.

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A Fun History of Promotional Products: The Frisbee

Red branded frisbee

What does the term “branded promotional product” mean to you? It may bring to mind the basics: pens, t-shirts, and mugs. But it doesn’t stop there. Items for fun and play, like Frisbees, can also be decorated with your logo and used to send a unique message.

The Frisbee has a long history, from ancient sport to college pastime to its use as an advertising tool and promotional product. Let’s toss things back in time in our next installment of A Fun History of Promo.

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Eco-Friendly Promotional Products Speak Volumes

Eco-Friendly Promo Header

What does it mean to you to be a Vermonter? One thing that has always been a piece of the Vermont brand, and that’s a part of my philosophy, is minimizing our environmental impact. Vermont is overflowing with locally produced items that breathe quality and sustainability. It’s an essential part of who we are as a community.

In the business world, it’s crucial that you can back up your claims.  You want your marketing, including promotional products, to accurately reflect your brand and its core beliefs. If your company has an eco-friendly focus and you’re looking to market your brand with promotional products, there are several options available produced with sustainability in mind.

This is especially important in today’s market due to the up and coming generation – Gen Z. Expected to make up 40% of the U.S. consumer market by 2020, members of Gen Z consistently list a company’s values as a top factor in choosing whether to work with that company. Those values include both social and environmental responsibility.

With that in mind, we created our Promo with a Purpose campaign to highlight promotional products that are made with a focus on sustainability and reusability.

Explore our ultimate guide to eco-friendly promotional products below!

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Top 5 Reasons Your Customers Keep Promotional Products

Considering using promotional products to market your business? With so many different items available for branding, there’s sure to be a product that’s the perfect fit for your brand’s personality, which you can put to work to promote your company or organization.

But before you buy just any logoed product, consider this. Your promotional products are going to have the most impact, and lead to the most success for your business, if they are regularly used by the recipients.

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The (Fun) History of The Branded Tote Bag

Young woman smiling and holding blue branded tote bag

Searching for logo branded items? These days, the possibilities are almost endless. It’s easier than ever to find an item that represents your brand and your message.

The promotional products industry is a massive, global industry. And it owes its launch to a basic product: the branded tote bag.

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5 Ways to Use Promotional Products

Take a look around your work space. How many branded items do you see? I’ve got 4 within easy reach—in fact, 74% of consumers have at least 1 promotional product in their work space.

There are a lot of numbers out there citing the effectiveness of promotional products. They are a usable, versatile advertising medium that can generate awareness of and excitement about your brand. But how and when should you go about using them? Try one of these 5 strategies to start incorporating promotional products into your business strategy.

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