2010 Best in Category: Tabletop
Lifetime Brands Inc.
For Lifetime Brands, winner of the “Best in Category” award in Tabletop for its Kamenstein 360 Degree Grinder, design, innovation and engineering knowledge is a trifecta that is essential when bringing a successful product to market, Bill Lazaroff, senior vp/product development and design told HOMEWORLD BUSINESS®.
“Design is the heart and soul of Lifetime Brands. Design and innovation are directly connected; design gives you the ability to take an innovative idea and build a product. To me, design is much more than aesthetics,” added Lazaroff. “If your product looks good and doesn’t work well, your innovation isn’t going to be worth much. You have to take a good, great innovative idea and put it in the hands of people who understand the materials and how things work.” Lifetime Brands has in-house designers on staff, he said, who are knowledgeable about the benefits of utilizing different materials, their price value relationship and molding properties, for example. Lifetime also has state-of-the-art equipment that allows it to quickly build in-house models of its product design concepts, he added.
The design of Kamenstein 360 Degree Grinder focused on providing solutions to common problems with other salt and pepper grinders on the market. With most grinders, said Lazaroff, the consumer needs to move the grinder over the food unless it leaves a pile of seasoning in one spot on the plate. Another common issue is residue left on the table or placemats after the grinder is put down after use. The 360 Degree Grinder allows the user to keep the grinder stationary, while showering the pepper and salt evenly over the salad or meal, resulting in a much more even, well-dispersed grind, according to Lazaroff. The grinder also has a sleeve design that prevents pepper residue from remaining on the table.
With regard to the aesthetics of the grinder, the initial design features the marriage of stainless steel and soft black TPE, a color combination that is “sought after” for new, contemporary kitchens, according to Lazaroff, which often feature stainless steel appliances and black granite countertops. Lifetime has the ability to customize the design of the 360 Degree Grinder for different retailers and pricepoints, for example, replacing the black with bright colors or offering it in a copper finish.
“We [at Lifetime] have literally produced thousands of new products every year. It’s a big challenge for a company that has nine major divisions to be innovative, thoughtful and creative. But I’ve got a huge [design] staff; they’re all bright problem solvers. We take a lot of pride in coming up with new and innovative solutions that are going to be differentiators in the marketplace.”
?—By Lisa Cowley