Product Focus No.7 Kitchen Wares
■About Silicone Cooking Spoon
Black kitchenware debuted in 2005 with nylon resin materials, and silicone materials were introduced in 2006. There are a total of nine types of silicone kitchenware, including the "silicone grater" released in February, and the series was designed based on the series of daily activities from cooking to cleaning. Among them, the silicone cooking spoon is one of the representative products of MUJI's houseware.
■Ingenuity in Manufacturing
As one of the three perspectives of MUJI's manufacturing is "selection of materials," we choose materials according to their intended use. The reason why we adopted silicone material for kitchen tools is because it is heat resistant and has elasticity, making it the best material for scooping up ingredients and soup left in pots.
However, if all the materials used in the kitchenware were made of silicone, they would be too pliable, so we repeated prototypes and made adjustments to achieve the perfect degree of hardness and pliability. For some items, holes were drilled in the core material to make it lighter so that it would not be too heavy, and the current shape was created through repeated fine adjustments.
In addition, the balance of the patterns has been carefully chosen to create a sense of unity within each series. By making the pattern thicker toward the tip and rounding off the corners, we have made certain rules so that they can be unified with other items with different lengths.
■Listen to the voice of the customer
In 2013, we organized a project at IDEA PARK to review the entire kitchen ware lineup, including the stainless series, and organized it into a product lineup similar to the current one.
At IDEA PARK, we were able to directly listen to the voices of customers who said, "I have a lot of kitchen wares even though I have a limited work space in my kitchen," and "I want to do things efficiently with as few tools as possible," which led us to develop versatile kitchen tools.
Besides IDEA PARK, we also refer to the voices of our customers when developing products, formulating hypotheses, and going back to verify them. Kitchen wares are used every day, so we receive a lot of feedback from our customers. I feel that the reason we receive so many comments is because our customers are thinking seriously about what they would like to see more of.
■A Kitchen Tool that You should Definitely Use.
If you haven't tried the silicone cooking spoon yet, you should definitely give it a try.
I still remember how impressed I was with its usability the first time I bought and used it. It was also the time when I felt that I had to create such a product as a product developer.
As the spread of the COVID-19 has increased the amount of time we spend at home, I am happy to see that more customers are using our products than ever. Many people are already using this product and making it a daily necessity, but with the increase in opportunities to cook at home, it is also recommended for beginners who have not cooked much in the past. It is easy to use and can handle everything from cooking to serving: to fry, scoop, and serve all with one tool.
I would like to promote the development of kitchen wares that will become a universal and well-priced companion for daily life. In the future, environmentally friendly and sustainable manufacturing will also be required. As a product development team member, I would like to develop products that are friendly to the earth and can use for a long time by customers. We will continue to develop our products by referring to the voices of our customers and stores in order to make our existing products even stronger and to re-examine our product lineup.