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    Date submitted
  • 01-Mar-2018

Freeze Master

Abstract

A small and reusable way to tell what temperature a fridge or freezer reached during a power outage.

Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

The target customer is anyone who believes $4 is worth peace of mind and insurance against the uncertainty that can happen after a power outage. Freeze Master is especially helpful to people in areas prone to large destructive storms that can stop power for extended periods of time, such as Florida, Texas, and the tornado alley. Freeze Master will also be marketed to grocery stores and food suppliers, providing them with an easy check on whether the food was exposed to dangerous temperatures during its transportation. Lastly, Freeze Master will be targeted to customers who ship small quantities of food by mail, such as specialty steak restaurants.

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

Freezers and refrigerators are useful tools in preventing food from spoiling, but power outages stop their ability to do so. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends discarding food that is held above 40 degrees F for over two hours, because of the high risk of food-borne illnesses such as food poisoning, salmonella, or E. coli.. However, 40 degrees takes time to reach. Power outages that occur while the owner is out of town, asleep, or otherwise preoccupied can lead to a tough decision on whether to waste potentially harmless food, or risk catching a food-borne illness. Deciding to eat potentially dangerous food is risky: The Center for Disease Control estimates 48 million people get sick from food-borne illnesses every year in the US, with 128,000 hospitalized and 3,000 dying. Deciding to waste potentially harmless food is also a bad option: The Chicago Tribune estimates the cost of stocking a fridge at $250, with the freezer contents costing an additional $100. In addition to the heavy financial burden, the issue of food waste also arises.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

The Freeze master is designed to be cheap, which lowers the bar for the consumer when deciding whether to buy it. It is reusable, which is good not only for convenience and price, but also for the environment. Its accuracy in what temperature has been reached will allow consumers to make more informed discussions on whether potentially dangerous food is safe to eat, which will make it successful because it brings peace of mind to worried consumers and protection against accidentally throwing out perfectly safe food. The fact that is small and affixed to the inside wall of a refrigerator or freezer is beneficial because it doesn't take up room and cannot be lost or misplaced. The easily readable temperature scale and easy set up creates success because a consumer is more likely to purchase a product that they know they can use.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

Because of my knowledge on product design and chemistry, I have the skills needed to make this product a success. I will continue market research to decide a reasonable price point, and continue scientific research on what solution is best to be used within the Freeze Master. Currently purchasable freeze detectors are often over $25, only have a few temperatures, are free floating within the freezer making them harder to find, and only work for the freezer. Comparatively, Freeze Master is cheap, has 15 different temperatures, and will always be where you attached it. Homemade solutions, such as upside down cups with ice, are also problematic. They can only measure one temperature, which is eight degrees lower than the actual safe temperature. The difference is many hours and hundreds of dollars of wasted food. Importantly, homemade options cannot measure the temperature of a refrigerator, which spoils faster and often contains more food. Homemade solutions are not accurate enough for industrial application.