Housewares Design Awards

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Bronze Medal Recipient

2009 Best in Category: Kitchenware & Barware

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Oxo

Oxo Good Grips POP Container

Oxo’s design philosophy is based on the principles of universal design— that it is important to design products that appeal to a broad spectrum of consumers; that everyone wants products that are comfortable and easy to use for all consumers.

“We design products based on the pet peeves that people have with existing products on the market,” said Oxo president Alex Lee. “We identify the problems and then correctly solve them. It’s relatively straightforward.”

The shortcomings in the process are accepted as the norm, Lee said, and it’s important to address real problems as opposed to inventing solutions for problems that don’t exist.

For the company’s Pop Containers, which took top honors in the Kitchenware category in the Housewares Design Awards as well as the bronze award overall, Lee said Oxo designers addressed three major issues with vacuum containers in the marketplace: first that the existing products were difficult for some consumers to open, particularly those consumers with hand dexterity issues; next that they were difficult to take apart and clean thoroughly; and last, that the easiest shape to seal, the cylinder, was not the most space-efficient shape in cabinets and on shelves.

“Going square created the most challenges but was the most important issue to solve,” Lee said.

Said Lee, with Oxo’s Pop Containers, sales numbers have been directly consistent with people’s reaction to the product. “The consumer gets it, and the product has been very successful in the last year,” he said.

“There’s an ‘a-ha!’ moment when you design a product like this, with intriguing aesthetics,” he said. “You invite people to play with it and when they figure it out, they have a reaction like ‘Wow!’ They get it.”

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