A koozie is an insulator made of foam, neoprene or another fabric that surrounds a container to keep drinks cold. It’s also the most popular customized product at Totally Promotional! If you’re new to the koozie world or just want to learn more about them, keep reading.
Names for koozies and can coolers
Although many people refer to all can coolers as KOOZIES®, the term is actually a registered trademark of Bic Graphic/Norwood. Here are a few other names for these insulated sleeves:
- Stubby holders
- Beer cozies or cosies
- Beer huggers
- Beer sleeves
- Beer jackets
- Bottle jackets
- Insulated can holders
History of the koozie
The 1800s: The concept appears in British history when teapots are wrapped in knitted covers to retain warmth.
1921 to the present: Numerous people file patents for various styles of insulated beverage sleeves. One of those inventors was Bonnie McGough of Idaho, who received a patent in 1981 for a collapsible fabric cylinder with packets for goose down or other insulative materials.
The mid-1970s: Australian inventor Alex Lang creates a product exclusively to keep beer cold. The item is dubbed the “stubby holder” because beer in Australia is commonly bottled in 375-milliliter short and stubby bottles. Stubby holders become very popular with surfers.
1980: Radio Cap Corporation (RCC) of San Antonio, Texas, registers a trademark for the name “Koozie.” The company begins manufacturing Styrofoam can coolers. The material is eventually upgraded to foam and neoprene.
1991: Norwood Promotional Products acquires RCC and continues to grow the custom Koozie® line.
2001: A legal battle ensues between Norwood and Kustom Koozies after RCC allows the “Koozie®” trademark to expire. Norwood ultimately retains ownership.
2009: Bic Graphic purchases Norwood and produces, distributes and sells authentic Koozie® products. (Totally Promotional is an authorized retailer of Bic Graphic/Norwood’s authentic Koozie® brand.)
Koozies debut at Totally Promotional
In 2008, Totally Promotional went live with its former Totally Koozies website. The majority of the koozies offered on the site are collapsible, based on the design patented by Bonnie McGough in 1981. By 2010, Totally Promotional began manufacturing foam can coolers in its Ohio production facility. Three years later, the company began printing Neoprene can coolers. In 2014, employees started sewing custom styles from roll material.
The main purpose of a koozie or can cooler is to keep a beverage cold. But you can’t overlook its value in keeping your hands and tables free from condensation.
I must confess owning dozens of can coolers. They’ve followed me home from weddings, community festivals and birthday parties. Since there are many uses for leftover koozies, I enjoy the surplus and put them to work. My tip: Place your McDonald’s or other fast-food cups in koozies for an easier grip!
Business people, fundraisers and government agencies might argue that customized koozies do their best work as affordable marketing tools. It’s tough to top a long-lasting, personal billboard that advertises your name and message for pocket change! Koozies are small and lightweight so they easily travel to trade shows, open houses and sporting events.
Koozies also are a hit with guests at birthday parties, baby showers and backyard BBQs. Bonus: You get to decide how they look and what they say, even if it’s just “Beer Makes Me Hoppy.” Plus, everyone gets something from you to take home.
Newly engaged couples often order their custom wedding koozies before their cake! Can coolers are extremely affordable wedding favors that guests snatch up fast. But perhaps their biggest asset is uniqueness: They exclusively reflect the personality of the newlyweds and won’t be duplicated at any other wedding.
Our best-selling can coolers are made of foam and easily slip into a pocket or purse. We also have Neoprene can coolers with a durable wet-suit material that feels great in your hand. Heck, we even have can coolers made with stainless steel! You’ll find a vast selection to fit cans, bottles, cups, glasses and growlers. We make customizing easy with more than 50 product colors, two dozen imprint colors and a gallery of ready-made design templates.
Can coolers are a big part of Totally Promotional. We love their history and are delighted to share it with you. Feel free to pass on the knowledge to family and friends the next time you’re holding your favorite stubby holder.