Hawaiian Tropic

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Hawaiian Tropic
Product typeSunscreen
OwnerEdgewell Personal Care
CountryUnited States
Introduced1969; 53 years ago (1969)
Previous ownersPlaytex
Registered as a trademark inU.S., Canada

Hawaiian Tropic is an American brand of suntan lotion sold around the world but more widely available in the United States.

Hawaiian Tropic was founded by Ron Rice in 1969, who started the company with a $500 loan from his father. He mixed the first batch of sunscreen in a metal trash can, and bottled it from his home garage in Murray, Kentucky. After rapid success, Rice became the largest private manufacturer of sun care products in the United States until Hawaiian Tropic was acquired by Playtex Products, Inc. in May 2007. Now, with Hawaiian Tropic and Playtex's other brand of sun care, Banana Boat, Playtex is the largest manufacturer of sun care products in the Western Hemisphere. Shortly after purchasing Hawaiian Tropic, Playtex Products was purchased by Energizer Holdings Inc. in a deal valued at $1.9 billion.[1]


New York restaurant after closing

Hawaiian Tropic sponsored swimsuit competitions to seek women to serve as spokesmodels for its products. Many winners appeared later in advertising campaigns, swimwear, erotic magazines, and lingerie catalogs.

In late 2006, a theme restaurant called Hawaiian Tropic Zone was opened in New York City near Times Square using the Hawaiian Tropic Zone name under license. The restaurant was advertised as the "Hottest Place on Earth" and featured waitresses in bikinis designed by Nicole Miller and a menu by chef David Burke. Later that year, four former employees sued the restaurant, alleging chronic groping by managers, as well as rape.[2] The restaurant closed in mid-2010.

In May 2008, the Hawaiian Tropic Brand celebrated the 25th annual Miss Hawaiian Tropic International model search finals at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Since late 2008, the Miss Hawaiian Tropic International model search has ceased to exist in the United States. The former state directors have transitioned to Swimsuit USA, which is the official successor. Although Ron Rice sold Hawaiian Tropic, a non-compete clause, which was part of the sale, expired in 2015, and he got back into the suntan lotion business, establishing Havana Sun, which launched in March 2016.

Miss Hawaiian Tropic International[edit]

Sashes is Miss Hawaiian Tropic
Maryeve Dufault before she raced in a stock car race
Year Winner Origin Country
1984 Cecilia Hörberg Gothenburg Sweden
1985 Karen Frances McGrillen Belfast Ireland
1986 Yvonne Balliache Caracas Venezuela
1987 Monica Lange Alberta Canada
1988 Varinia Govea Montevideo Uruguay
1989 Jennifer Lynn Campbell Michigan United States
1990 Sandi Da Silva Florida United States
1991 Scarlett Chorvat Michigan United States
1992 Monica Buck Texas United States
1993 Jennifer Blair Arizona United States
1994 Tracy Wood Ontario Canada
1995 Krista Frazier Texas United States
1996 Cheryl Depew Florida United States
1997 Renee Slaughter Florida United States
1998 Jennifer England Michigan United States
1999 Charlotte Arlt Texas United States
2000 Maryeve Dufault Quebec Canada
2001 Erika Johnson Stockholm Sweden
2002 Shawn Cox California United States
2003 Erica Reams Cockburn Town Turks & Caicos
2004 Ashley Smith Florida United States
2005 Charmain Espinosa Panamá City Panama
2006 Kristen Achee Texas United States
2007 Anna Naroznaja Tallinn Estonia
2008 Debbie O'Toole Liverpool United Kingdom
2010 Amanda Hinchcliffe Gold Coast Australia

Notable former Miss Hawaiian Tropic winners[edit]

Miss Hawaiian Tropic USA[edit]

Miss Hawaiian Tropic Canada[edit]

Miss Hawaiian Tropic International[edit]

  • Cecilia Hörberg 1984: Top 10 at Miss World 1988, representing Sweden.
  • Jennifer Campbell 1989: actress and model.
  • XiXi Yang Miss China 2008: international spokesmodel, U.S. media personality/TV host; appeared in MTV, VH1, and NBC.[citation needed]

Hawaiian Tropic Teen Miss[edit]

Other contestants and winners[edit]

Competition hosts[edit]

Year Hosts (s)
1986 Cathy Lee Crosby and John Davidson


  1. ^ Forbes Energizer buys Platex
  2. ^ Fox News Women sue for sexual harassment
  3. ^ "2005 Miss Hawaiian Tropic press release". Archived from the original on February 22, 2007. Retrieved March 22, 2007.
  4. ^ "Gia Allemand sounded 'stuffy' from crying before she died, says friend". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2016-12-22.
  5. ^ "Brooke Tessmacher Talks WWE Diva Search, DeMott, Her Time in TNA, Relationships in the Business, More". www.dailywrestlingnews.com. Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  6. ^ "Bikini Models of Hawaiian Tropic > Barbie Blank". Archived from the original on April 29, 2007. Retrieved April 7, 2007.
  7. ^ "Jennifer Thomas' official website".

External links[edit]