Multi-million pound-selling coaster inventor from Gants Hill to feature on ITV business show

PUBLISHED: 17:00 06 August 2018

Gants Hill inventor Barry Freeder showcases his CouchCoaster. Photo: Hit Products Ltd

Gants Hill inventor Barry Freeder showcases his CouchCoaster. Photo: Hit Products Ltd


A Gants Hill inventor whose pioneering drinks coaster design has sold £2m across the globe in two years is set to feature on a ITV business show.

Ex-chartered surveyor Barry Freeder, a former pupil of Kantor King Solomon High School, will feature on Monday’s episode of ITVs “Give It A Year”.

The series, now in its second season, follows the journey of start-up companies during their first year of existence and is fronted by Baroness Karren Brady, of BBCs The Apprentice.

“I had just been made redundant from the property industry,” said the 34-year-old, explaining his decision set-up his company Hit Products Limited.

“I wanted to go back to the roots of what I found most interesting which was design.”

After going to the drawing board, Barry developed the ‘CouchCoaster’ - a handy device which grips securely on to arms of your sofa and holds your drink safely in place.

“I was watching match of the day with a bottle of beer and no coffee table,” he said, describing the Eureka moment in which the inspiration came to him.

“I remember being frustrated that there was nowhere to put my drink down when I was on the sofa.”

He added: “It may sound simple, but after spending months prototyping my idea I was pretty confident that my design would answer more than just my own woes of spilling drinks on the sofa.”

The CouchCoaster launched in February 2016 with Barry investing £50,000 to make the idea a reality.

He said: “From there it really snow-balled – I got investors from America and I was on three different versions of QVC in England, France and Germany.”

Barry’s product has now sold around 100,000 units and he has also launched the TableCoaster, a variation on his original idea designed for flat surfaces.

The show will kick-off with Karren Brady finding out Barry’s business objectives and then follow the highs and lows of his first year in business.

Viewers can watch the show on ITV at 8pm on Monday (August 13) to find out whether he achieves them.

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