THE PORTFOLIO CENTER
: Michael DiCristina, Chris Yoon, Peter Smith, Blake Sanders, Vivian Rodriguez, Meredith Morten
What’s the best thing about camping? The experience. And while you may not care what your charcoal packaging looks like, you probably do care about what that packaging can do for you. Taking this into consideration we wanted to make sure that our charcoal burning was easy all-around from purchase to post-use. We noticed several problems with charcoal’s current packaging: 1) It is not easy to carry or hold. There is no handle on the bag, which becomes more of a problem with a larger bag. 2) There is nothing to do with the bag after the charcoals are placed on the grill or fire pit. The bag must be either carried from the campsite for disposal or worse left as litter. 3) It is sometimes difficult to be open the packaging, and it is always difficult to reseal. We decided to address these issues in the following ways. First, we added a handle to make the packaging easier to carry from the store and to the campsite. We also decided to create packaging that was consumed on use instead of thrown away later. And to eliminate the opening and closing process all together. Our final solution was the Chimney, a product we intend to be manufactured and sold by the leading charcoal brand, Kingsford. Kingsford currently has a one-use bag, but this bag uses the same shape as its current multi-use bags. We decided to change this completely, making a all-in-one charcoal pack that one needs a match. The bag essentially becomes a product itself that both aids the cooking process and makes it easier. We have taken the guesswork completely out of charcoal grilling by making a prepackaged, one-use portion. When placing charcoal briquettes onto a grill, you must keep them in a pyramid-like mound. This is where we derived our packaging’s pyramid-shape. Essentially our packaging is a paper pyramid made of recyclable paper. A handle is attached at the side to make it easy to carry from the store and to the campsite. The coals fill the pyramid and tall paper chimney is at the center. This paper chimney is lit and heats the charcoal using aeration. To use our packaging, the consumer would place the Chimney structure directly onto the grill. All they must do is press the lid into the structure, using our perforations. Then, they remove the side ventilation holes and drop a lit match into the top. This lights the chimney, and the ventilation holes keep oxygen flowing in and upward through the structure, keeping the paper chimney in the center lit. Functionally, the pyramid works better than a traditional one-use bag; as the paper burns away, the coals simply slide down into the grill instead of falling from the top. By creating packaging that is part of the product and consumed on use, we have eliminated opening and closing issues as well as the clean up. Chimney’s packaging is easier to carry, easier on the environment, and easier to use, which ultimately translates into a more ultimately enjoyable camping or grilling experience.