Episode 108: Kitchen Tool Design with Kate and Bryce Hansen, Creators of the Ergo Spout

Monday, September 24, 2018
We talk with Kate and Bryce Hansen, inventors and creators of the Ergo Spout, all about designing this kitchen tool. In order to bring this spout that can be used with a regular-mouth Mason jar, they did market research, created prototypes, and hired engineers to eventually get it to a successful Kickstarter campaign. Listeners can still pre-order and get 15% off when you enter the code HUNGRY2 at checkout on their website. Also, Winter and Lee also talk about popcorn popping machines and try out interesting jerky that some listeners sent in!

Let's taco 'bout it!

Disclosure: Some of the links within these show notes are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, we will earn a commission, which helps support our show. This commission comes at no additional cost to you, our wonderful listener!

Let's taco 'bout it!

Bryce and Kate Hansen, inventors of the Ergo Spout (photo courtesy of Ergo Spout)

  • We met Bryce at the Bountiful Farmers Market while Lee was running his food stand, Bee's Knees Waffles.
  • Kate had a vintage syrup dispenser that she chipped and she was bummed. What I really need is a mason jar! Kate exclaimed. It lead her to search the Internet to see if there was anything out there. There was nothing.
  • Bryce decided to run with it (he's always wanted to do a Kickstarter campaign), so he approached
  • 3-D printing made a huge difference in prototyping. They would sometimes do 2-3 different prototypes each week. Have you every 3D printed? You can buy a home model 3D printer like this or this.

Ergo Spout prototypes, first (left) to final prototype (right)

  • Bryce named it the Ergo Spout, since he is quite particular about how it help in the hand. They showed Winter several prototypes and the evolution from beginning to final product.
  • The lid was the next design challenge. It started out as a little lid that covers the hole only. They eventually moved to a lid that covered the entire spout. They had to hire an industrial designer to help with that flip-top lid.

The Ergo Spout's final lid (left) and the original lid (right)

  • Kate's philosophy of kitchen tools: There's two categories of kitchen tools: 1) Aspirational tools and 2) Enhancement tools. Aspirational tools want to "change your life", but most times don't. Enhancement tools enhances whatever you're doing already in the kitchen and how you cook.
  • Bryce's philosophy of kitchen tools: It's all about the user experience. For example, he loves ice cream scoopers, such as the well-designed Cutco-brand Scoop, the Midnight Scoop, and the Bellaire Scoop.
  • They started finding their tribe and growing their email list through going to farmer's markets, home shows, and Facebook ads. The email list should be 5,000-10,000 big to have an audience when the Kickstarter launched. 
  • To be successful with a Kickstarter, the product needs to be somewhat unique, but also somewhat familiar. They launched their Ergo Spout Kickstarter July 2, 2018 and was funded in 14 hours. Congrats!
  • They learned that homesteaders want this product. The small dairy industry would really benefit from the Ergo Spout also.

Ergo Spout prototypes on different Mason jars

Ergo Spout (photo courtesy of Ergo Spout TM)

  • Introducing Interesting Ingredients: Thanks to our friends, Jamie, Ryan, Bonnie, and James, who gave us some pork jerky made by Wild Stampede from the Beef Jerky Outlet. We tried some Pork/Kangaroo, Pork/Ostrich, and Pork/Alligator jerky. The Pork/Ostrich was Winter's favorite. That was very interesting!
  • You can send us non-perishable food items to PO Box 651652, Salt Lake City, Utah 84165.
  • We love you guys!

Run Time: 55 minutes

Sponsors: We have no sponsors for this episode. If you're interested in working with us, please contact us. We'd love to partner with you.


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