The founder of the popular sunscreen brand started the business with a trash can and $500
Ron Rice focused on beauty pageants for Hawaiian Tropic's marketing
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.