Housewares Design Awards

2007 Best in Category: Cooking Electrics

Jarden Consumer Solutions

Zarafina Tea Maker

Even with its innovative design efforts to trade up the market in its core products and brands— including Sunbeam, Crock-Pot, Mr. Coffee, Oster, Bionaire and Health O Meter— Jarden Consumer Solutions likely often finds itself in a competitive, margin-limiting push-and-shove for market share with other suppliers in these categories.

Enter Jarden’s New Sources of Growth (NSG) initiative, unveiled in 2006 as a product and marketing strategy autonomous from its core brand groups. Unencumbered by traditional competitive factors, the NSG program set out to identify emerging consumer lifestyles and to develop new products and new brands that inspire the passions of today’s consumers like no products before them.

Jarden’s goal is to feed price-protected, proprietary products and programs to its established retail customers and channels, while opening up new markets for the company.

Initial products out of Jarden’s NSG gate were the licensed Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker and several related accessories. The pro-style frozen drink maker is aimed at tapping into an affluent base of singer Jimmy Buffet devotees and others with a taste for authentic tropical beverages at home.

That was followed by the Zarafina Tea Maker Suite, a ground-up concept in tea preparation that attempts to infuse the precision and convenience of state-of-the-art electric brewing while respecting the subtle artistry, variety and pleasures of the tea experience. This product earned Jarden the top prize in cooking electrics at the 2007 Housewares Design Awards.

The Zarafina Tea Maker is programmed to regulate steeping times and temperatures automatically based on specific tea varieties (bagged or loose)— something traditional stovetop kettles and manual steeping products can’t do. It then dispenses up to 16 ounces (two cups) of tea into an included ceramic teapot.

While new technology plays a central role in the product design, the marketing plan for Zarafina, by design, focuses as much if not more on the consumer lifestyle benefits of the product as an effortless way to customize and savor the tea experience.

While the compact brewer has modern stainless steel accents, the teapot, two included cups and the tray (all in matching ceramic) serve up more traditional styling to enhance the authenticity of the tea experience.

From the start of the design process, Jarden didn’t envision the Zarafina brand only for a single tea maker. The appliance is the anchor of a Zarafina platform that also offers Zarafina brand teas in popular as well as rare and exotic infusions. Looking to further enrich the tabletop fashion element of tea serving, the Zarafina brand also plans a line of limited-edition, collectible tea cups created by industrial designer Scott Henderson.

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