When kitchenware manufacturer Zyliss wanted to produce a grater, they turned to Rodd, a UK-based industrial design consultancy. "We were asked by Zyliss to identify innovations," the firm writes, "to help differentiate their next generation box grater. Their kitchen tools are known for simplicity, efficiency and small but significant touches that make the user smile. However, when Zyliss approached the box grater category, they saw that most competing brands had the obvious bases covered."
In figuring out what the innovation would be, Rodd conducted research and held user observation sessions.
"We found that users would often rock the grater onto its rear edge to give them a more natural grating angle. Although more comfortable and convenient, this method risks injury to the user should the grater slip from its unstable position. As we observed users, we realised another pain point: with the gratings collecting inside the grater, you won't know how much cheese, fruit or veg you've grated until you lift the grater to check.
"Inspired by our findings, we combined these simple observations to create a solution that exuded ease, efficiency and simplicity for the user. The 'Tilt and Grate' features an angled base that allows for users to grate in a position that feels natural, while a non-slip foot removes the risk of accidents."
"Further, we deliberately added an elevated front edge, so users can keep on top of how much they are grating without having to constantly stop and look."