As members of the seventh cohort of the Master of Product Design and Development Program at Northwestern University, my group and I were tasked with identifying a market opportunity and developing a product to meet the need. While working our way through this intensive program, we identified an intersection of social trends, economic factors, and technology advances that have resulted in more people cooking fresh meals at home – the “foodie” movement. Inspired by these advances, my group began to follow a proven process to develop a product for this market.
We began by reaching out to our network of friends and colleagues and interviewing lead users – home chefs – in a relaxed kitchen atmosphere. We learned what was important to these users. We saw a need for fresh ingredients, ease of use, and authenticity.
My group and I began to develop concepts for our product, using an iterative process of broadening and narrowing our ideas. Ultimately, we settled on a space-saving vertical kitchen herb garden with a revolutionary LED light that allows home chefs to have fresh herbs on hand, year-round. We branded our creation STAK, The Gourmet Garden. STAK features an enameled cast-iron design that is at home in any kitchen, with three independent planters and a LED light cap.