Yeti acquires major brand to take on Stanley Cups

There are some pretty conventional ways to measure the passage of, say, one year. 

Many office and administrative types use a calendar, for example. 

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Others with more primitive tools at their disposal put etchings on a wall to track the days that pass. Some folks simply look at their smart phones or watches. And others prefer to live in tune with nature, instead taking note of the seasons. 

But there’s another, hidden way to track the passage of time that few of us are aware of, and it’s actually pretty foolproof. 

That method may be referred to as the water bottle theory, and although the moniker sounds made it up (it kind of is) it closely tracks trends and consumer preferences over a given period of time. Typically, that period of time ranges from two to five years. 

Recall, for example, the period between 2020-2022. Hydro Flask water bottles were all the rage. Covered in stickers and toted to the beach, Hydro Flasks represented a more carefree moment in time, when Crocs and Birkenstocks tended to be the hottest shoe. Now, since 2023, Stanley Cups have become more of a sensation. Hydro Flasks collect dust in our cupboards as everyone from college students to housewives to grandparents tote around the 40 ounce quenchers. 

But before Stanleys and Hydro Flasks firmly entered the mainstream, the reigning champ for outdoor flasks and apparel was Yeti  (YETI) – Get Free Report, best known for its pricey-but-beloved coolers and super-chilling or -heating thermoses. 

Yeti makes a big acquisition

Yeti has expanded far beyond its line of coolers and tumblers, opting instead to push deeper into the apparel and accessory market. Its name recognition is so strong and preferred by outdoor enthusiasts that it has the pricing power of an upmarket brand and the trust of a stalwart that’s been around for decades. 

Soft coolers sit on display for sale at the Yeti Holdings Inc. flagship store in Austin, Texas on Sept. 12, 2018.

Bloomberg/Getty Images

And on Wednesday, Yeti announced it’s acquiring Mystery Ranch, a backpacking and apparel brand based out of Bozeman, Mont. 

Mystery Ranch, founded in 2000, is beloved by outdoor enthusiasts and first responders for its durable and reliable equipment. Some of its most popular items include a water-tight backpack for hunting, jump packs, climbing packs, and snow packs. Its 3-Day Assault backpack retails for $450 and is inspired by military ruck sacks. 

“Mystery Ranch packs have earned a global reputation within the most demanding communities by building load-bearing equipment that delivers in the harshest environments. Their ethos, passion and people not only align with the YETI team, but also connect well with our commitment to innovation and our customers.” Yeti CEO Matt Reintjes said. “Their communities, ambassadors and obsession with quality make it a natural fit with YETI.”

An acquisition of a brand of this caliber and scope may help to insulted Yeti against the fleeting whims of consumer taste when it comes to social media trends and instead establish it firmly as an outdoor apparel brand as it seems to be working toward.

Details and terms of the agreement were not immediately available. TheStreet has reached out to Yeti for comment.

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