The Journey of Reinventing the Traditional Cooler Box in South Africa and Overcoming Manufacturing Challenges

From South Africa to Harrods: Cooler Box Reinvented by Local Brand

A South African-based cooler box brand has been gaining popularity in recent years, and it's not hard to see why. This brand has managed to reinvent the traditional cooler box by combining practical features with stylish designs, positioning itself as the go-to brand for those in search of both functionality and aesthetics.
From South Africa to Harrods: The story of cooler box brand Fieldbar

Founded in 2014, this cooler box brand was the brainchild of Lee Hartman, who wanted to create a product that would cater to the needs of outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. Hartman, who has a background in product design, saw an opportunity to improve on the cooler box, which has remained largely the same for decades.

I grew up in South Africa, where outdoor activities such as camping and fishing are popular, Hartman explains. I noticed that many people were using old, unreliable cooler boxes that couldn't keep food and drinks cool for extended periods of time. I wanted to create something better - a cooler box that was not only functional but also looked great.

Hartman's initial design was a hit with consumers, and the brand quickly gained a following. However, as demand grew, so did the challenges the company faced. Manufacturing and distribution proved to be particularly daunting.

We wanted to make our cooler boxes locally, but finding the right manufacturer proved to be difficult, says Hartman. We eventually found a company that could make the boxes to our specifications, but it took a lot of trial and error to get it right.

Once the manufacturing issues were resolved, the brand faced the challenge of getting their cooler boxes in front of customers. Hartman saw the potential for international distribution early on and began reaching out to retailers abroad. One of their biggest success stories was securing a spot on the shelves of luxury department store Harrods in the UK.

Seeing our cooler boxes in Harrods was a huge milestone for our brand, says Hartman. It was a validation of the hard work that went into creating a product that both looked great and worked well. It also opened up doors to other international retailers who saw the potential of our products.

Today, this South African cooler box brand is sold in over 30 countries, including the USA, Australia, and Canada. Its success has led to the expansion of its product range, which now includes a variety of cooler boxes in different sizes and colors, as well as accessories such as cooler bag liners and ice packs.

For Hartman and his team, remaining true to the brand's roots while growing internationally has been key to their success.

We started with a simple goal - to create a cooler box that would cater to the needs of outdoor enthusiasts while also looking great, says Hartman. That goal has remained the same, but we've evolved as a brand to meet the needs of our customers. We've stayed true to our South African roots, which has helped us stand out in a crowded market.

Looking to the future, Hartman sees further expansion as the next step for the brand. He believes that the demand for high-quality, stylish cooler boxes will continue to grow, and he hopes to introduce the brand to new markets in the years to come.

Our vision is to become the go-to brand for anyone looking for a cooler box that not only performs well but also looks great, says Hartman. We want to continue pushing the boundaries of what a cooler box can be and create products that people love.

With its innovative designs, commitment to quality, and focus on both functionality and aesthetics, it's clear that this South African cooler box brand is one to watch in the years to come.