Are Yeti coolers made in the USA or overseas? Yeti coolers are made in the Philippines, China and the USA. The bulk of which is made overseas.
They do not disclose what percentage of coolers are made overseas vs the USA and there is no labelling on the product so consumers are aware if they are buying a locally made product or not.
For this article I did some recon work to try and understand whether or not Yeti coolers are actually made in the USA or if this was just a marketing ploy.
Here's what Yeti say about where their coolers are made:
The following is an excerpt from the FAQ page on Yeti's website.
Our Tundra coolers are manufactured in the USA at facilities located in Iowa and Wisconsin as well as at a facility located in the Philippines. Our Hopper coolers are manufactured in China. Want a YETI made in the USA? Call us at (512) 394-9384 and we’ll make it happen.
I Emailed Them To Dig Deeper
I decided to email the Yeti customer support team to see if I could get some clearer answers out of them. Here's the email I sent.
Just had a quick question about your coolers as I am interested in purchasing one but heard they weren’t made in the USA.
I checked your site and it said that some were manufactured in the USA while some were manufactured in the Philippines.
I was just wondering though (for the ones that ARE made in the USA), are the parts (eg. Insulation, Rope etc) sourced from the USA or internationally?
Lastly, it says if I contact you that you can organise me one specifically manufactured in the USA. How do we go about making that happen?
And here's their response to me:
Thanks for reaching out to us at YETI Coolers regarding your questions about our coolers. All of our parts are made from companies in the United States and are then sent to our manufacturer. If you would like to purchase one of our Tundra coolers, which are made here in the US and the Philippines, please give me a call directly at 512.394.9384 and I can set up an order for you to ensure it's one that is made from our US plants.
Hmmmm, basically no answer there. “Companies in the United States” doesn't necessarily mean “parts made physically in the United States”
However, they do talking in this email about “our US plants” so that's worth looking into a bit more.
Their Products Were Originally Manufactured Overseas
The evidence that causes the most doubt in my mind that Yeti manufactures a bulk amount of coolers in the USA is the fact that their coolers were manufactured overseas (in Thailand) from day 1 and then manufacturing was moved to the Philippines.
Roto World Mag states in this indepth article:
The first rotomolded cooler developed for YETI® was made in Thailand. “At the time it was the best cooler out there, but we soon figured out that it wasn’t all it could be. This was when we pursued a manufacturer in the Philippines to build the cooler we wanted from the ground up,” Roy said.
The article goes on to state:
Also rotomolding’s low-cost entry investment made it the logical choice. “We are asking our manufacturing partners to stretch what is possible with rotational molding in order to build a flawless ice chest every single time,” Andy said.
Excess Demand Caused Them To Partner With US Based Manufacturers
Many companies start manufacturing close to home and then move overseas to save costs. It appears that Yeti has done things the other way around.
Due to excess demand for their coolers, it appears they have since partnered with US manufacturers to make enough coolers in order to meet the demand.
Roto World Mag states:
YETI® is still being manufactured in the Philippines. However, due to the high market demand for YETI® products, several USA rotomolders have now been partnered to manufacture YETI® products including: Plastics Professionals, Hedstrom Plastics, Centro Incorporated, Dutchland Plastics, and Solar Plastics. “We consider these molders to be among the best in the USA,” Roy said. In fact, we have some of the very best partners out there working right along side us to build the YETI® brand. He cited industry consultant Paul Nugent as being instrumental in helping the YETI® brand become what it is today.
Do Yeti Actually Have Plants In Iowa and Wisconsin?
Yeti state on their site that they have plants in Iowa and Wisconsin. It's important to note here that they don't own the plants, another company makes their products for them.
This is normal, Apple doesn't own all the plants that manufacture the iPhones, they hire other companies to do that for them.
Yeti is stated to work with the following companies – Plastics Professionals, Hedstrom Plastics, Centro Incorporated, Dutchland Plastics, and Solar Plastics.
- Plastics Professionals – California
- Hedstrom Plastics – Ohio
- Centro Incorporated – Iowa, Wisconsin, North Carolina
- Dutchland Plastics – Wisconsin
- Solar Plastics – Minnesota (maybe Iowa)
In the same way, that Apple designs their products and then works closely with their manufacturers to make their phones I presume Yeti do the same. The Yeti company creates the designs and works closely with the manufacturers to get the product just right for the end consumer.
Looking at the list of manufacturers it's safe to say that YES, Yeti do manufacture some of their coolers in Iowa and Wisconsin.
How To Get A Yeti Cooler Made In The USA
While it appears that the bulk of coolers are made overseas (in the Philippines and in China), strong demand has led to some coolers being manufactured locally.
The great news is that Yeti is willing to source USA made coolers for customers if that is truely important to them
Want a YETI made in the USA? Call us at (512) 394-9384 and we’ll make it happen.