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Old 01-31-2010, 12:04 PM   #1
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Smile Please help me with my school project!

Hi Everyone,

I'm an undergraduate student who is currently working on a semester long project. My project consists of inventing a new product and writing a business plan for it. I'm hoping the cooking community can give me some valuable insight on how to improve my current product idea and push me in the right direction for how to develop a successful plan.

The idea: A new type of toaster that automatically cooks your toast to the perfect crispness every single time by scanning the level of darkness in the toast. It would feature cameras inside of it that allow the user to easily cook toast to their desired crispness by looking through an LCD screen on the outside. The user looks through the camera the first time and saves their cooking setting. From this point on every time that user makes toast they no longer need to sit and watch through the LCD screen but instead the "smart toaster" knows what level of darkness to cook their toast at.

If you have an extra 5 minutes to spare I would appreciate it so much if you could answer these 9 really brief and short questions. Thanks in advance!!


Focus Group Questions

1.) What kind of toaster do you currently own? Any specific features?

2.) How often do you use a toaster throughout the week? Are you satisfied with it?

3.) Do you use a toaster oven? If so, why?

4.) Does it bother you that you have to wait for your toast?


Based on the product idea I proposed earlier...


5.) Would you buy it? Why/why not?

6.) How much would you be willing to pay for a toaster like this?

7.)What features would you look for in a toaster? (Price, design, quality, etc.)

8.) Any ideas about what design or features you imagine this toaster having?

9.) 2 vs 4 slots. Would you be willing to pay more for 4 slots?

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Old 01-31-2010, 01:38 PM   #2
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Best toast I've ever eaten (crisp on outside and tender in the center) was made on a device like the one shown below-

[IMG]file:///C:/Users/Willy/AppData/Local/Temp/moz-screenshot-26.png[/IMG][IMG]file:///C:/Users/Willy/AppData/Local/Temp/moz-screenshot-27.png[/IMG][IMG]file:///C:/Users/Willy/AppData/Local/Temp/moz-screenshot-28.png[/IMG]
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:58 PM   #3
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1.) What kind of toaster do you currently own? Any specific features?
Toaster oven
2.) How often do you use a toaster throughout the week? Are you satisfied with it?
Daily Use. Overall very satisfied except it takes up counter space..
3.) Do you use a toaster oven? If so, why?
Yes. Handles other quick projects, more flexible, cooks small 'dishes'
4.) Does it bother you that you have to wait for your toast?
No. In the 2 minutes it takes to make toast, I get spread ready, milk to go with and plate ready.
Based on the product idea I proposed earlier...


5.) Would you buy it? Why/why not?
No. Seems overly complex - more stuff to break.
6.) How much would you be willing to pay for a toaster like this?
My toaster budget would under $100
7.)What features would you look for in a toaster? (Price, design, quality, etc.)
Small, sleek, RELIABLE, cheap
8.) Any ideas about what design or features you imagine this toaster having?
How about an alarm to my phone when the toast is done or a live web feed of toast in progress? Just kidding...
Seriously, one of my pet peeves in appliances like this is how easy it is to get the crumbs out. easy cleaning is paramount. Also slots should be variable width for bagels, etc

Since you are planning an lcd screen, why not expand the capabilities and have some hard coded info to display on the screen... recipes, serving suggestions, maybe an app to allow that screen to display photos like a digital photo album...

9.) 2 vs 4 slots. Would you be willing to pay more for 4 slots?
No - but you should offer 2 versions - maybe a cool snap on "addition".... if i had more people to feed, I might want more slots.
---------

Good luck :)
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Old 01-31-2010, 02:18 PM   #4
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Cameras?! When my toaster broke I used old, unpainted, wire hangers and my stove to make toast.
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Old 02-01-2010, 01:26 AM   #5
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Focus Group Questions

1.) What kind of toaster do you currently own? Any specific features?
A convection toaster oven
2.) How often do you use a toaster throughout the week? Are you satisfied with it?
A couple times to cook whatever from toast to fish
3.) Do you use a toaster oven? If so, why?
Yea its better than the standard toast toaster
4.) Does it bother you that you have to wait for your toast?
Not really, I can multitask

Based on the product idea I proposed earlier...


5.) Would you buy it? Why/why not?
Not really, because as an engineering student, I say cameras are quite expensive for a toaster and LCD monitor too.
6.) How much would you be willing to pay for a toaster like this?
0 I won't buy it,
7.)What features would you look for in a toaster? (Price, design, quality, etc.)
Cheap, does not get stuck, well built, can handle a couple falls, heat conducts evenly,
8.) Any ideas about what design or features you imagine this toaster having?
Instead, if you want a smart toaster, it should have a smart heat controller and calibration timer for certain types of toast and humidity settings.

Also, one that keeps toast warm, like have a warm setting

9.) 2 vs 4 slots. Would you be willing to pay more for 4 slots?
Not really.
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Old 02-18-2010, 09:02 AM   #6
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Simple but effective:
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:26 AM   #7
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A $15 toaster cooks toast just fine. IMO a toaster is not something most people want to spend serious money on. Toast doneness is not a big problem in most home kitchens.

How about something to test and recalibrate your oven?
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Old 02-19-2010, 02:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmooth406 View Post
Focus Group Questions
1.) What kind of toaster do you currently own? Any specific features?
It's some basic two-slice model. It seems the slots are made wide enough to handle bagel halves. Like most toasters, you can set a dial to indicate how dark you would like your toast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmooth406 View Post
2.) How often do you use a toaster throughout the week? Are you satisfied with it?
Hmmmm.... 0-5 times per week. I am more likely to want toast during the night than in the morning. It's usually because I want a dinner bread with my hot cocoa or tea. I like the toaster I use just fine. It does its job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmooth406 View Post
3.) Do you use a toaster oven? If so, why?
I use the toaster oven at work because I don't like microwaves. I wrap my food in aluminum foil because it's recyclable and cook it in the toaster oven.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmooth406 View Post
4.) Does it bother you that you have to wait for your toast?
I have not thought about it in quite a while. The only waiting that bothers me is the fact that I will go do something while my bread is toasting. I usually have the margarine out right beside the toast with the first portion of spread already on the knife because I want to butter my toast at its hottest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmooth406 View Post
Based on the product idea I proposed earlier...
5.) Would you buy it? Why/why not?
Hmmmmm... You really have not given me a great reason to buy it. If my toast is just a tad darker or lighter than perfect, that would not bother me. I worry that the mechanism you propose for "watching" the toast will eventually deteriorate due to the high heat. Also, have you ever looked inside a toaster and noticed that the toast does not look as dark as it actually is? I assume your device would shine the appropriate light needed to view the toast accurately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmooth406 View Post
6.) How much would you be willing to pay for a toaster like this?
Hmmmmmm.... I'll give you $25.00.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmooth406 View Post
7.)What features would you look for in a toaster? (Price, design, quality, etc.)
I want a toaster that can cook odd elongated slices of bread and overly thick or thin slices of bread. I also want a toaster that would toast my bread fairly consistently. The toaster needs to be easy to clean. An added bonus would be a toaster that could butter/peanut butter your toast for you once your bread is to the right point. I unfortunately would sooner butter my own bread before I paid a large amount of money for a toaster to do it, but if you were to call the peanut butter Nutella, I am sure there are a few people who might pay for an automatic Nutella-spreading toaster.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmooth406 View Post
8.) Any ideas about what design or features you imagine this toaster having?
Ah, see previous answer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmooth406 View Post
9.) 2 vs 4 slots. Would you be willing to pay more for 4 slots?
Of course!

Can you make a toast rack that will keep your toast warm until you're ready to eat it?
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