There comes a point in a baby’s life when he or she starts eating solid food. For parents, this means more cleaning. For a baby, a face full of food that needs to be wiped. This eating is messy. One reason? Most baby spoons are smaller versions of adult spoons, and they are not ergonomically engineered to help a baby transition to solids.
Spuni is not just a small spoon. Spuni’s unique “tulip” profile is designed to trigger the instinctive latching reaction that babies develop during breast and bottle feeding. It allows a baby to suck food off the spoon with less spillover, making each meal a more pleasurable experience for all.
The latching animation can be seen here.
The Spuni Story:
On a summer morning in 2011, we started brainstorming ways to change how babies begin eating solid food, which led to an idea that evolved into the current design – a geometrically engineered spoon to improve the feeding experience for infants as they transition from fluids to solids.
After this first brainstorm, we observed that most baby spoons were simply miniaturized versions of adult spoons with little regard for the ergonomic needs of an infant. Close observation of feeding habits and waste helped us develop a product that was truly unique in its geometry. Spuni's patented “tulip” profile triggers the infant to suck food off the spoon, the redesigned shape and depth minimizes regurgitation and waste.
Through early prototype tests, we observed that this new spoon worked exceptionally well during multiple feedings with our Spuni “test babies."
We used advanced CAD and digital manufacturing methods to work through multiple stages of ergonomic, shape and weight iterations to make the product comfortable for all to use.
A closer view of the pre-manufacturing prototypes shows the two-layer Spuni construction.
The mass produced spoons will be made through a three-step injection-mold process. The rigid inner structure is made from colored Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) with a softer over-molded transparent TPE outer material. These materials are dishwasher safe, non-toxic and Phthalate (BPA & BPS) and PVC free. We believe that Spuni will offer the best spoon for babies when it comes to contemporary material selection, safety and tactile experience.
The first manufacturing tests of Spuni wood spoons in Osage Orange wood.
We will offer a limited batch of 100 wood spoons that are digitally fabricated out of Osage Orange wood, recommended for long lasting food grade utensils and finished in a food-safe mineral oil.
We could not resist offering a numbered batch of seven (7) sterling silver Spunis, merging the best in ergonometric science with aesthetic design for a very special gift.
Spuni has partnered with a German manufacturer to make the first batch of commercial spoons for the United States and European markets. Our limited editions in wood and silver will be manufactured in Brooklyn, New York.
With your help the next critical steps for Spuni are:
• Complete tooling design (December 3, 2012)
• Commence tooling fabrication (December 17, 2012)
• Packaging design for manufacturing complete (December 17, 2012)
• Tooling fabrication complete (February 25, 2013)
• Test run and quality control (March 5, 2013)
• Manufacturing complete (March 25, 2013)
• Shipping to fulfillment center (April 1, 2013)
• US/Worldwide fulfillment to customers (April 22, 2013)
Indentified Risks and Challenges
The development and manufacturing of this unique and ingenious baby product poses many identifiable risks during the execution phase. We have listed all areas of potential risk and would like to outline how we have dealt with the preliminary product development and our plan for product execution. We have a coordinated team that can deal with any unanticipated challenges ahead in order to support a successful and timely product delivery.
Spuni has been priced end-to-end in order for us to provide the highest quality product on time without cutting corners. No matter which Spuni you choose, we guarantee that you can expect only the best in terms of material quality and craftsmanship that the market has seen to date.
Our material selection was based on input from professionals in the fields of material science, manufacturing and environmental health. We have decided to use only medical grade Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE) for the manufacturing of the Spuni inner and outer layers. This is the same material used for pacifiers and baby bottle tops. All of our materials are non-toxic and have been vetted to be Phthalate free (both BPA & BPS) as well as PVC free.
Manufacturing and Logistics partners:
We have pre-existing manufacturing relationships with all of our partners and advisors in Prototyping, Plastics, Packaging, and Supply chain management. We have set up the tooling to be able to handle close to 500,000 spoons per year. The main batch of spoons will be manufactured in Berlin, Germany and shipped to our fulfillment center in the US. It is too early to say whether we will duplicate logistics in Europe, hence the need for additional international shipping.
The biggest challenge will be to deliver these spoons on time, considering that manufacturing will span the holidays. We have allowed ample time in order to accommodate any unanticipated events. Time for tooling, test runs, manufacturing, shipping, customs and fulfillment are all currently accounted for with conservative estimates.
The Spuni product execution team is comprised of:
• Marcel, a MIT trained Medical Device and Manufacturing Entrepreneur
• Trevor, a MIT Technology and Finance professional
• Isabel, a PR and Communications specialist
• Zago, a New York-based design agency
• Jan, an experienced Industrial Designer
Thank you in advance for your support!