2021 Nominees

This year we had a 150 nominees in the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin Contest! The diversity and quality of the products nominated are a testament to the dedication and work ethic of Wisconsin’s manufacturing industry. Wisconsin’s manufacturing industry is truly the backbone of our economy! If you take a closer look you’ll be amazed by all the cool products Wisconsin manufacturers make.

Click here for the full list of 2021 Nominees.



The Top 16 Nominees in the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin Contest

Caterpillar Global Mining
South Milwaukee, WI


The Cat Electric Rope Shovel is 63.8 feet tall, 95 feet long, 42 feet wide – that’s five stories high – and is operated by one person, who sits approximately three stories high. Each dipper of material weighs as much as approximately 60 cars and the electric rope shovel loads its own weight (more than three million pounds) seven times per hour.

Kwik Trip
La Crosse, WI


The famous Glazer® donut originated in 2003. Kwik Trip decided on the name “Glazers” after a coworker submitted the idea to our marketing team. We now bake approximately 24,000 Glazers in just one hour! That amounts to about 400 glazed beauties every minute. All of our sweet goods are made fresh daily at our bakery facilities in La Crosse, WI which produces over 2 MILLION donuts every week! We have had many fun collaborations over the years incorporating our renowned Glazer donuts. A few fan-favorites include: Glazer Chips, Glazer Beer and even Glazer scented candles! Not to mention, Glazers have always been the perfect inspiration for our stellar social media content too.

Mercury Marine
Fond du Lac, WI


The Mercury 7.6-liter V12 600hp Verado outboard boat engine is unrivaled.It’s the highest-horsepower outboard currently in production anywhere in the world. Among outboards, it boasts the only V12 engine block, the only independently steering gearcase and the only two-speed transmission. It delivers faster acceleration and top speeds, with up to 20% better fuel economy. And with the longest service intervals of any outboard and a convenient car-like hood for routine maintenance, it’s simple to maintain.

Absolut Manufacturing
Ashland, WI


The WiNDR is a slit rewinder that creates medical, disinfecting, cleaning, and industrial wipes. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Absolut Manufacturing fast-tracked the development of this essential equipment.

Broadwind Heavy Fabricators
Manitowoc, WI
The 140 Ton Navy Crane was engineered, fabricated, machined, painted, assembled, tested, and delivered by the Broadwind Heavy Fabrications and Konecranes partnership. This 2.7 million pound crane shipped on Memorial Day weekend by barge, to Portsmith, NH. About 5,000-6,000 Wisconsin residents watched the crane depart the Manitowoc River and enter into Lake Michigan to start it’s 2,100 mile journey through the Great Lakes Waterway and into the Atlantic.

Appleton, WI


The BenShot Aircraft Propeller Glass is a pint glass featuring a spinnable metal aircraft propeller hand-embedded into the side. The aircraft propeller glasses are high-quality, unique, and handcrafted in a glass workshop in Wisconsin. All packaging and raw materials are made in the USA.

Sturtevant, WI


The Sea-Doo Switch is a dynamic pontoon with the heart of a Sea-Doo, and its quick-change deck design can be completely re-configured to fit any on-water adventure. Built with a Rotax jet propulsion system and a unique Sea-Doo inspired handlebar steering system. There are almost 100 layout options available, allowing people to add or remove seating, change table locations, and much more. Features the acclaimed Sea-Doo iBR (Intelligent Brake & Reverse) – making it the first ever pontoon boat with brakes!

Astronautics Corporation of America
Oak Creek, WI


Astronautics’ Badger Pro+ Integrated Flight Display system is standard-fit on BELL 429 and SUBARU BELL 412EPX new production helicopters, serving public safety, emergency medical, energy, and VIP transport missions.

Astronautics’ system enhances pilot situational awareness and safety with high-resolution displays showing primary flight, navigation, and engine data, as well as system synoptics, weight and balance, and checklist information.  The system is also able to display high-definition video from multiple inputs and provides night vision compatibility.


Pentenwell Industries LLC
Necedah, WI


Pentenwell Industries’ Camp-Inn Travel Trailers are high-quality, compact camping trailers that have a sleeping cabin and a kitchen compartment. The Camp-Inn Travel Trailers are modeled after the travel trailers from the 1930’s and they’re still just as easy to haul.

MEC Outdoors
Mayville, WI


MEC Outdoors’s new 611XP Sporter is the premier clay target machine for those with high capacity clay target needs.  This 600 capacity powerhouse is excellent for sporting clay tournaments and large events resulting in less time loading clays and more time shooting.  The 611XP Sporter includes a high-powered motor and gearbox, exclusive enclosure frame design.


Krier Foods, Inc.
Random Lake, WI


Jolly Good Soda is a Wisconsin-based soda made by Krier Foods, Inc. in Random Lake, Wisconsin. The Jolly Good Soda line features classic flavors such as Root Beer, Fruit Punch, Cherry, Orange, Grape, Cream Soda, Pina Colada, Blue Raspberry, and most popular in old fashioneds, Sour Pow’r.

Drexel Building Supply
Campbellsport, WI


Drexel Building Supply’s Off-Site Construction Residential Building is a home that is typically built on-site but is built in a factory reducing the time it takes to build.  The home is created in the factory in small sections.  The finished sections are labeled and transported to the job site.  On the job site, the crew will assemble the panels much like a lego set creating a finished home.


BayTek Entertainment
Pulaski, WI


BayTek’s Skee Ball is the classic game featuring the industry-standard 10-foot ramp. Link a bank of alleys and add the marquee to finish off the look, drawing in players of all ages.


Brakebush Brothers Inc.
Westfield, WI


Braekbush Signature Crispy Fillets are designed to allow any food service operator to compete with national chains in the “Chicken Sandwich Wars.” There’s no match for the back-of-house texture and scratch-made, hand-breaded appearance in these 5.7 oz., non-fritter, prebrowned chicken breast fillets. Frozen to be ready in just 6.5 minutes, these fillets allow operators to serve a premium chicken sandwich with minimal labor. Available in Classic or Spicy, they’re crispy and crunchy, yet juicy.


American Excelsior Company
Sheboygan, WI


American Excelsior’s Power-Stop Archery Targets use unique high density polyethylene foam that is laminated through a series of heat processes to build a variety of multi-layered archery targets that allow the archer to use both field point and broadhead arrows when shooting. The target is 6-sided and two of the sides have printed faces.

New Glarus Brewing Co.
New Glarus, WI

Spotted Cow is cask-conditioned farmhouse ale. Wisconsin’s favorite beer, made in New Glarus and packaged in bottles made in Burlington, cans made in Fort Atkinson, and boxes made in Neenah.



Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin