The origins of FRIO date back to the early 1990s when Garnet Wolsey and his late wife Althea, developed a range of cooling head bands, neck and wrist bands for their youngest daughter Helen Wolsey.
Helen, who is today head of design at FRIO, was British Powerlifting Champion 1986 to 1992 representing Great Britain at European and international level and achieved World Champion status in 1991-92 and 1992-93.
During the 1991 World Powerlifting Championship held in New Delhi, the temperature in the ‘warm up’ room was measured at 110°F. Helen discussed the challenges of competing in this heat with her parents and so the initial idea for FRIO cooling bands was started.
The couple worked with scientists to develop water activated cooling crystals which are still used today in FRIO wallets to keep the contents cool through evaporation.
Previously, sports people relied on single-use disposable cooling bands. With the invention of FRIO crystals, the new cooling bands could be reactivated for more convenient and continual use.
Such was their success that the British Olympic and Paralympic teams used FRIO cooling bands in the in Atlanta Olympic Games of 1996.
The Wolsey family soon realised that their cooling technology could perfectly meet the needs of people with diabetes, keeping their in-use Insulin cool and safe.
The development of the world’s first patented cooling wallet began at the family’s farm in Wales, UK and the FRIO wallet soon became a worldwide phenomenon.
Facing growing demand, a purpose-built headquarters on the same location was completed in 2002.
In 2011 Chris Wolsey, the youngest son of Garnet and Althea took over the reins of the company as Managing Director.
New products were added to further extend the range together with other essential accessories for people with diabetes including sharps bins, hypoglycemia rescue tablets, carry bags and specialist socks.
Today FRIO exports to over 50 countries around the world wide, with demand growing exponentially.