Hawaiian Tropic founder Ron Rice dies aged 81

Published: 30-May-2022

The founder of the popular sunscreen brand started the business with a trash can and $500

Ron Rice, the founder of sunscreen brand Hawaiian Tropic, has died at the age of 81.

His death was announced by his family last week on Facebook. A cause was not specified.

The American entrepreneur created his suntan lotion business in 1969 with a US$500 loan from his father.

A former chemistry teacher, Rice developed Hawaiian Tropic's first batch of the signature coconut-scented product in a rubbish bin.

He later reportedly had the bin silver plated.

Hawaiian Tropic's marketing strategy focused on branded beauty pageants, with the winners becoming brand ambassadors.

A rapid success saw the company become at one point the second largest sun care business in the world.

Playtex, the consumer goods manufacturer, acquired the brand for $83m in 2007. It is now owned by Edgewell Personal Care

In 2017, Rice created Havana Sun, a Cuba-inspired sun care brand.

Cosmetics Business has reached out to Hawaiian Tropic for comment.

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