An Expensive Cooler Spotted At Costco Has Shoppers Wondering Who Actually Needs It

Hand reaching into a beer cooler
Hand reaching into a beer cooler - Master1305/Shutterstock

At Costco, worlds collide as shoppers from different subcultures get a glimpse of what the others are up to. The most recent product shining a spotlight on how the other half lives is the new dual zone active cooler by Igloo. There are already so many things to consider when purchasing a cooler, and as our technology gets better, the coolers get more complex. An active cooler differentiates itself from a passive cooler (as the name suggests).

Passive coolers are old school, requiring you to buy bags of ice or shove those bright blue cooler packs into the container so they can keep your food cold -- although the technology has improved and some brands can now keep ice cool for days. The downside is that ice eventually melts, effectively turning your picnic lunch into an unappetizing food swamp, sometimes before you even arrive at your destination. Active coolers don't need ice because they are battery powered. They keep your food cold the same way your fridge or freezer keeps your food cold.

The dual zone aspect of this particular cooler refers to the two different compartments you can put food in, both of which can be set to different temperatures. That means you can keep frozen food in one compartment and fresh food in the other. That all sounds pretty good, but Costco shoppers aren't noticing the cooler first – they're noticing the price tag. Prices vary by location, but one Costco member in Hawaii posted a Reddit photo showing the cooler being sold for around $730. If it makes you feel better, Igloo's website lists the same cooler for $1,000.

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The Cooler Is Pricey But Not Useless

A person holding a blue active cooler on a beach
A person holding a blue active cooler on a beach - igloocoolers/Instagram

The price has most people's jaw dropping to the floor wondering how or why anyone is spending that kind of cash on a glorified electric lunchbox, which uses a power supply to actively heat your food. The truth is that those people probably just aren't the target market audience. Some people online were assuming it was simply targeted at wealthy people with extra cash to burn. They aren't that far off, but it's a little more specific than that.

This dual zone active cooler is primarily targeted at people who spend time on the road. That can be anyone from wealthy CEOs looking to keep their yogurt cool on their way to the lake house to full-time truckers who need a way to keep their food from spoiling on the job. Recent years have also seen a resurgent interest in van life, where people who work from home renovate a van and live on the road instead of paying rent.

If the huge influx of Stanley cup accessories has taught us anything, it's that there are plenty of people out there ready and willing to spend their hard earned cash on products they don't need. But while many balk at the idea of purchasing a cooler this expensive, in the right circumstance it isn't that fiscally irresponsible. As an interesting aside, this new cooler comes in the wake of Igloo being bought out by the luxury outdoor gear company Dometic. If this is any indicator, we can expect more premium Igloo products to come.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.