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View Poll Results: Would you buy the below sugar dispenser?
Yes 2 11.11%
No 16 88.89%
Voters: 18. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-19-2006, 07:55 AM   #1
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Sugar Dispenser

Hi i'm a senior at Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School. I'd like to take a moment of your time to ask a simple poll question.

When thinking of the poll questions, keep in mind the design of the dispenser.

The dispenser will be able to hold 3-5lbs of sugar. Inside the dispenser, the sugar will be constantly moving, keeping it from clumping together. By a push of a button, a teaspoon of sugar will be dispensed. Another button dispenses sugar until you hit the button again. Great for coffee drinkers, and even better for coffee shops.

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Old 09-19-2006, 10:11 AM   #2
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It may be worth while for a coffee shop but probably not in the home.
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Old 09-19-2006, 10:18 AM   #3
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I do not think it is a bad idea, but it is not something I personally would have a use for. I use sugar pretty infrequently. If I used it a lot then I could see how this could possibly come in handy.

The part I am not crazy about though is that the sugar would be in constant motion. If the container is properly sealed then clumping should not be an issue. The reason I do not like the idea is that is would either require batteries or to be plugged in. Batteries are expensive and plugs in my kitchen are rare and valuable so I would not want to take one up for this appliance.

Is this something you will actually be trying to make and market or is this just an exercise for class? Either way, good luck.
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Old 09-19-2006, 11:51 AM   #4
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I have to acctually make this appliance. Any and all improvements or suggestions are welcome. I can see the constant motion thing, i sort of jumped the gun a bit. It won't be "constantly" moving. The inner blades (dull blades) move when the dispense button is pushed, so the sugar can easily be sifted out of the container. This product IS marketed mainly towards coffee shops. Again, any and all suggestions/improvements are welcome.
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Old 09-19-2006, 12:19 PM   #5
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5 pounds is too heavy, IMO.

Also, most coffee shops that I go to dispense sugar in paper packages. You don't see that many sugar dispensers any more.
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Old 09-19-2006, 12:21 PM   #6
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Seems like a rather odd invention to me. Most coffee shops I know use pre-measured sugar (white, raw or substitute) in convenient and sanitary packets. I'm not seeing the benefit of having a 'dispenser' machine that has to be filled... with the possibility of spillage and contamination (not to mention maintenance).
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Old 09-19-2006, 12:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema
5 pounds is too heavy, IMO.

Also, most coffee shops that I go to dispense sugar in paper packages. You don't see that many sugar dispensers any more.
True, but the paper for those packets has to come from somewhere.

That would be a possible marketing method, saving the use of paper for the sugar packets. Jumps on the conservationalist band wagon.

It's all in the name of convenience (sp?) nowadays. That and saving Mother Earth. You have to make this machine as convenient as possible, for both your consumer, and their consumer. If the kitchen has no extra outlets like GB, then it better not need ot be plugged in. If electricity is needed, how long will the batteries last? If rechargeable (sp?) how long does that take? How much for a spare or two batteries? Also, if you are targeting coffee shops, how big is this thing going to be? There's only so much room to put stuff, and a small basket with sugar packets is pretty convenient for the coffee shop!

I certainly don't mean to rain on your parade. I hope you are successful, and perhaps someday all of our friends here at DC will own or want to own one of your dispensers because of the quality of the product, cost efficiency, and use efficiency!
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Old 09-19-2006, 12:45 PM   #8
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Most coffee shops run on pretty thin margins. If saving Mother Earth costs them $$, I would imagine they'd pass.
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Old 09-19-2006, 01:28 PM   #9
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Constantly moving 3 to 5 pounds of sugar would require a fairly strong motor, and it would consume quite a bit of electricity. I think the unit would have to be fairly large to hold a full sack of sugar, the motor, and all the moving parts, requiring a lot of counter space. And I doubt it would be cheap.

So, considering all of that, I wouldn't buy it.

BTW, when I was a kid, my mother had a glass sugar dispenser on the table for her coffee. It held about 1 or 2 cups of sugar. It had a plastic cap that somehow allowed the jar to dispense exactly (more or less) one teaspoon of sugar each time it was turned over. My guess is that it would be about $2 to $5 in today's market, if it's still available.
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Old 09-19-2006, 06:03 PM   #10
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Hey I recently bought a peper dispenser that works in a similar way.

My mother had a stroke a couple of years ago and she loves ground black pepper but could not grind it herself, this gadget is battery operated and grinds the pepper when you press the button.

Not sure if a sugar dispenser would be of any use to her but perhaps this is another angle you could look at.
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Old 09-19-2006, 07:35 PM   #11
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Check these:

http://www.all4coffee.com/0wizard.htm

http://www.dynamic-living.com/sugar-dispenser.htm
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Old 09-21-2006, 03:33 PM   #12
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Smile

I don't like a sugar dispenser. I use Sweet and Low for my coffee and if I am having company I put out the little sugar cubes along with a holder for Sweet and Low or Splenda.

Have a great day.

Jill and Jolie
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Old 09-21-2006, 04:56 PM   #13
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(eternal optimist enters the room)....

I can see where coffee shops would benefit from this idea. First and foremost, next time you're in a coffee shop, see how many packages of sugar are wasted. You'll see where people grab a handful, then use 2 and throw the rest away. Also, I've seen people spill their coffees on the sugar packets, so they all had to be thrown away (that person must have really needed their daily caffeine!)
If they used their own bulk sugar, it would be cost effective, and wouldn't require the use of any unneeded paper. Too bad it couldn't be constructed like a gumball machine, where the user would crank a handle to dispense the sugar. That would eliminate the use of batteries, electricity, etc. (and, in the event of a power outage, people at Starbucks could still sweeten their coffee!)
Along those lines, are you needing to make a machine, or just a simple convenience item? Here's one of the latter, and I won't even charge you ;)

Ever thought of making a straw-type object, which, when unwrapped, would dispense sugar, and then you'd use the outer casing (or, "the straw")
to stir the coffee? Of course, then my "no need for excess paper" theory flies right out the window.
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Old 09-21-2006, 06:32 PM   #14
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For home use, the size and weight would make it impractical. For food service, I'd hesitate because constant use by many hands would require constant cleaning. PCs are so much easire in the retail world.
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Old 09-21-2006, 06:35 PM   #15
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I have issues with wasted paper and detest styrofoam. I will always opt for something I can wash rather than dispose of.

Having said that, most of the paper used for sugar packets is recycled paper. A case of 2000 packets costs about 9 dollars. It is going to be very hard to beat both the price and the 'green' benefits.
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Old 09-23-2006, 12:46 AM   #16
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This isn't a bad idea, but if I used it at home, I would want it to be smaller. Picking up something that weighs between 3 and 5 lbs. would be cumbersome if I only wanted a teaspoon for a cup of tea. I've been trying to think of other food items you could use this idea for, but I'm afraid my imagination isn't working well today.
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Old 09-23-2006, 02:51 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LesleyP
Hey I recently bought a peper dispenser that works in a similar way.

My mother had a stroke a couple of years ago and she loves ground black pepper but could not grind it herself, this gadget is battery operated and grinds the pepper when you press the button.
Lesley - today at the gourmet kitchen shop, I saw something similar - it was a pepper grinder that had batteries, but you didn't need to press a button. All you had to do was turn it upside down and it started grinding. Cool!
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Old 09-23-2006, 05:39 AM   #18
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For Italy (and,I think, for the whole UE), the problem doesn't exist: free sugar is forbidden in coffe shops or bars. Only packaged.
And three or five lbs are really too heavy at home. One is enough, but, for only one, is sufficient you shake it a little.
May be that you can change it in something vertical, from which sugar falls down in the cup more or less quickly, depending from the opening of a rotational cap......Something similar to alcool dispensers, or coffe measures in expresso machines....
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