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Problem

There is an increasing wariness about what we eat and the quality and safety of ingredients in processed foods. In addition, party hosts and chefs are looking to use reliable kitchen accessories that make a unique impression, provide healthy food for their guests, and add elegance to their tables.

Solution

The Saucier

The Saucier allows consumers to emulsify their homemade salad dressings while elevating the home dining and entertaining experience. An elegant salad dressing server with a unique magnetic stirring technology, The Saucier mixes dressings for home entertaining in a beautiful table-worthy design.

The Saucier operates at the touch of a button, requires one hand to use, and delivers perfectly mixed dressing onto the salad for consistent and delicious flavor. The Saucier goes directly into the refrigerator for storage or into the dishwasher for easy cleaning.

The Saucier is "whisper quiet," so conversations are not disrupted and the ambiance of a meal is not ruined. Meals remain peaceful and restful. The vortex created by the magnetic stirring mechanism is a spellbinding piece of entertaining art, creating a "wow" factor that is sure to be a conversation piece. The double wall design not only keeps the dressing at its intended temperature and prevents condensation, but it creates a double silhouette that is a compelling design element. Dripless design reduces the usual salad dressing messiness.

Currently, The Saucier is in its final engineering design phase. The student team is speaking with potential manufacturing companies.

Development Factors

The student team focused on the following factors:

  • Social, Economical, and Technology (SET) factors for "kitchen gadgets."
    The economy is in a depressed state, incomes are down and people are adopting leaner lifestyles. The social drive to eat at home is increasing as Americans are entertaining more. This has triggered an increased interest in new technology for kitchen tools and gadgets. 
  • Product Opportunity Gap
    Identified as a high-style, high-tech dressing stirrer that is elegant and functional on the dinner table.
  • Competitor Analysis
    Existing products revealed many non-mechanical stirrers such as mixing bowls. Manual mechanical devices were often poorly designed and generally "cheap." Electrical mixing devices were loud, battery-operated, handheld stirrers.
  • Consumer Research
    The team uncovered the consumer insights needed to develop The Saucier with a four-step consumer research plan: 1) concept survey, 2) user observation, 3) competitive assessment, 4) validation test.
  • Industrial Design
    The team talked with professional chefs and consumers and focused on three design criteria:
    a) Versatility (ability to serve multiple liquids)
    b) Cleanability (can handle different oils)
    c) Height limitations (size restrictions of refrigerators, dishwashers or kitchen cabinets). 
  • Technology
    The team provided detailed descriptions for each component of The Saucier. This included the specification for a nine-volt, whisper-quiet motor, specifically shaped magnetic stir bar, and a unique pour system.
  • Marketing Strategy
    The team developed plans to deliver on the product, pricing, packaging, distribution, and promotion strategies.
  • Market Size Assessment
    A top-down unit forecast was conducted by evaluating the number of wedding gifts, food prep items, and households in the United States. A bottom-up forecast was conducted using the percentage of high-end kitchenware and department stores would stock.