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Solving the missing lid problem

Let’s face it; there are a
lot of food storage containers out there. We all have them- you know- ones that you can comfortably rely on to keep you food fresh for a few days (or in my case sometimes a few weeks!) in the fridge until you’re ready
to dig back in. At Rubbermaid we offer some really great options and have had the sealing thing well covered for years no matter which container you have.

But time and again, the
number one frustration we heard from consumers (and especially our own families)
is “Yeah these containers work great, if you can find the lid!” And part and
parcel of random lids that don’t belong to a partner container is a cabinet
that is a complete mess. Not much fun digging through a bunch of piled up
containers to find a matching lid.

Messy_cabinet_2
So our direction was clear
when we started designing Easy Find Lids; try to reduce the amount of clutter
in the typical cabinet where food storage containers are stored, and help to
keep lids with their containers.

We began, as we do all new
design projects, with research. We visit, interview, videotape, photograph
consumers using, storing, retrieving, and washing all of their food storage
products. All this data can lead to very valuable insights (and some just plain
amazing human behaviors- did you know that that during a typical evening meal
prep a person opens the fridge an average of twelve times? Count next time,
I’ll bet you’re close). Ultimately, we learned that the solution needed to be
simple and not change any current behaviors. To that end we discovered one
simple solution that should be incorporated into this redesign was to reduce
the number of lid and container sizes. Smarter, more versatile shapes would
help reduce clutter in the cabinet by needing fewer containers.

Nest_alt3
Next, we develop working
prototypes that solve the problem. Tethers, clamshells, accordion shapes,
folding lids all kinds of direction were explored and those that had potential
were shown to consumers for feedback. We then refine from the great feedback
from the consumers and go through another round of prototypes and ask consumers
their opinion again. This process ends only when we run out of time. In the end
our solution, Easy Find Lids, is very simple. Reduce cabinet clutter by;
minimizing the number of lids and containers, lids that snap to the bottom of
their containers and also to one another to create a neat stack of lids and
containers. Easy Find Lids was a very fun and satisfying project to work on.
Now my wife wants us to do something about all the socks we have without any
mates
….

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3 Responses to Solving the missing lid problem

  1. Jim December 29, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    DW, sorry but we don’t sell the lids by themselves. You’ll need to purchase both containers and lids together. Hope that helps.

  2. D W Burch December 28, 2010 at 5:55 pm #

    Can one just purchase the Easy Find Lids ?
    We have misplaced some (Grandkids I think)

  3. Liben Kampf October 8, 2010 at 7:26 pm #

    I have recently bought quite a lot of your food storage containers. I wish to give you feedback that the lids are terrible. They do not close properly which is most irritating. Obviously you are making them cheaper than in the past as I did not have this problem in previous years. I intend to try another brand even though I have been loyal to Rubbermaid in the past.

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