Prepped Adventures: #1 The oven watchers

Updated: Jan 4, 2020

Designing a kit is not as straightforward as we thought: Take a peek into how we designed/tested the kits and the issues we had to face along the way.

In the previous post, we shared 4 guiding principles for how we designed our kits. We explore the first principle, and some behavioural quirks we noticed when doing product testing around this principle, in more detail here.

Guiding principle #1: Kits must be fast

We love our ovens. They allow us to throw a bunch of food in, spend 20 minutes watching re-runs of Friends and then SHAZAM! Piping hot food is ready. Needless to say, our first kits were oven-based and required only mere seconds of prep. The first round of product testing however, yielded some pretty interesting results.

There are apparently 3 types of people: Oven Lovers, Oven Haters, and Oven Watchers

Our lovely mascot, Natto, is apparently an oven watcher

As it turns out, the sentiments around oven dishes are pretty divisive:

Oven Lovers:

"This is the best thing ever. Prep is minimal, I don't have to pay attention to it during cooking, and clean-up is minimal."

"Everything is so fast, I get to watch TV and check emails and before I know it, food is done."

Oven Haters:

"I don't even know how to turn on my oven. How to pre-heat?"

"Everything dries out when I try...ugh!"

"No oven. Not everybody has an oven, okay."

Oven Watchers

This third group deserves special mention. Slightly more adventurous then the oven haters, these testers decided to give our oven kits a shot, attracted mainly because of the promise of an easy, fuss-free meal. Candidates in this group went through the initial 30 seconds of prep without a hitch, tearing the vacuum packs open and placing them in the provided baking dish. Next they popped the trays into the far so good.

However, instead of exiting the kitchen to relax while their food cooked, we noticed that this particular group would sit down right in front of the oven. They would have their eyes firmly trained on the oven as if waiting for our annual 9th of August fireworks show.

"Wahh so long, must sit and stare for 20 minutes?" "What do I do for 20 minutes? I can't leave the oven."

Back to the drawing board

For a large group of our potential customers, what we thought of as passive "leave it in the oven" cooking time was actually considered very active, resulting in a "watch paint dry" level of pain to those users.

The verdict: Oven at being perceived as fast.

Insight: 10 minutes of pure active cooking (e.g. stir-frying at the stove) is more bearable than 20 minutes of passive cooking.

While we will keep some of our oven kits around for those oven lovers out there, we'll also make sure we have the rest of you covered by creating more non-oven kits.

(Famous last words) That shouldn't be too hard right?

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