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Press Release Issued 13/12/16

Partnership with innovation agency, Cambridge Design Partnership results in breakthrough new knife design, developed to address user challenges.

A new kitchen knife range that improves user experience and reduces the spread of bacteria has been developed by the DKB Household owned Zyliss kitchen tool brand, assisted by design and technology consultancy, Cambridge Design Partnership (CDP).

The US market for high-quality domestic kitchen knives is dominated by a small number of brands — DKB Household identified an opportunity for its Zyliss brand to disrupt and enter what’s seen as a mature market segment.

To assist with the task, DKB commissioned CDP to use its unique Potential Realised innovation process develop a new knife design and knife set concept. Potential Realised combines forward-looking Research for Innovation, with design and engineering.

The first phase of innovation focused on consumer insight, with CDP’s researchers and designers spending time in a variety of households during meal preparation to experience first-hand how they used the knives and utensils they already had. A bespoke programme of qualitative and quantitative research identified and prioritised the jobs users were trying to achieve and this focussed creative concept development.

Working with DKB Household, CDP’s designers explored a range of concepts and developed prototypes of various knife designs addressing the specific unmet user needs identified from consumer insight research. Key areas of unmet need centred on concerns around control and hygiene.

User feedback from the prototypes was overwhelmingly positive and production was scheduled just 3 months after the start of the project. The outcome was a new Zyliss knife range, ‘Control’.

The new knife design incorporates patented ‘control points’ to improve the user experience.
The scallop design on the blade offers a hand control point for ease of use and a thumb control point on the knife handle allows the knife to be used with equal control by cooks with different hand sizes and grip strength.

The accompanying knife block design includes patented anti-bacterial sheaths that are removable for cleaning and prevent 99.9% of the bacterial build-up generated when the knives are stored in a block.

Available individually and as a 5-piece knife block set, Zyliss Control is currently on sale exclusively in Lakeland, with a wider roll out planned next year.

Commenting on the project, Director of Marketing, Grant Race, DKB Household UK, said: “We chose CDP because of their expertise in innovation, design and research. We were looking for a partner who had good knowledge and understanding of how to use research for innovation to unlock unmet user needs, as well as having solid in-house design expertise. We achieved what we set out to do—challenging conventional thinking around the design and use of kitchen knives.”

Commenting on the project, Senior Design Consultant, Andrew Wynne, Cambridge Design Partnership said: “This product is a fantastic example introducing innovation into a category that has been around since humans have been preparing food. Our approach combines front-end consumer research with cutting-edge technology. This enabled us to prioritise user needs in the product’s design, completely differentiating the Zyliss brand from others in the market.”

Contoured handle fits all size hands and grips

Block with removable antibacterial sheaths which are dishwasher safe

Thumb indent for comfort and precision slicing

Finger guide on blade for balanced and controlled chopping


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