For over 25 years, OXO has been a staple in most homes, helping parents feed their families using comfortable, easy-to-use kitchen tools. Now, OXO Tot wants to make life easier for your little tots with a line of products designed specifically for them. Inspired by a baby boom in its own office, OXO has created a comprehensive line of tot products for mealtime, the nursery, bath time, and cleaning up that will make your kids’ lives a whole lot easier.
OXO Tot will be at the 2017 Chicago Baby Show, on August 26 and 27, at Navy Pier, when the nation’s largest show for expectant and new families comes to Chicagoland. A family-friendly mega-event featuring everything to do with maternity, baby, and toddler – from top products to trusted parenting experts – the Chicago Baby Show will welcome thousands of expectant and new parents from Chicago, the surrounding suburbs, and beyond!
Tickets to the Chicago Baby Show are $30 per family, and $20 per individual.
We spoke with a member of the OXO team, Gretchen Holt, to learn more about the brand and what new parents can expect at the Chicago Baby Show.
For someone unfamiliar with OXO, how would you describe the company’s mission and core offerings?
OXO is a consumer products company dedicated to making everyday living easier through thoughtful, well-designed solutions. We offer more than 1,000 wide-ranging products that cover every room of the home.
One of our newer categories is OXO Tot, a full line of award-winning baby and toddler products.
Tell us about OXO’s background. When did OXO start? How has OXO evolved since then?
More than 25 years ago, Sam Farber noticed his wife Betsey, who had a slight case of arthritis, was having trouble comfortably holding a peeler. This got Sam thinking: why do kitchen tools hurt your hands? Why can’t there be wonderfully comfortable and easy-to-use tools? Sam saw an opportunity to create more thoughtful tools that everyone could use.
In 1990, the first 15 OXO Good Grips kitchen tools, including the peeler Sam promised Betsey, were introduced. These tools set a new standard for the industry and raised the bar of consumer expectation and performance. Since then, our portfolio has grown to offer more than 1,000 products covering many areas of the home, all of them tied together by their thoughtful design, innovative features, and comfort and reliability.
OXO Tot is a newer addition to the OXO family, inspired by a baby boom in the OXO office. It’s a complete line of feeding, cleaning, bathing, nursery, and on-the-go products. It was developed with the usual OXO philosophy—to make products as easy to use for as many people as possible, including kids—and rigor. We examined every aspect of these products, from how children hold their utensils to where their noses hit the top of a Sippy Cup, to how they sit on chairs. We looked to make improvements that are the most meaningful to parents and children. Each product—from our Sprout Chair to our Transitions Sippy Cups—is tested in real homes with real parents and children (including our own!) to ensure that we provide only the best-designed products possible.
What are the most popular and newest products from OXO?
What’s interesting is that the list of top items in terms of popularity is fairly consistent and tends to focus around key items that every household uses such as peelers, locking tongs, and can openers. But there are also items like OXO POP Containers on the list as well as Salad Spinners. At any given time, there are about 50 items in development and product introductions happen year round. In the next few months, there will be new Hand-Held Spiralizers coming out as a follow-up to the wildly popular launch of the original hand-held spiralizer last fell. The latest iterations have 2- and 3-blades to give consumers more options when spiralizing. We are also offering for the first time small appliances, including a burr grinder with an integrated scale and a 9-Cup coffee maker, as well as glass bakeware and food storage. The glass we are using is borosilicate which provides excellent thermal shock properties allowing home cooks to prepare a meal like lasagna, freeze it, and then put it directly into a preheated oven without having to wait for it to defrost—a big timesaver for all, but especially for parents who need to get a meal on a table as soon as possible.
It’s really our thoughtful approach to product development. We study people—lefties and righties, male and female, young and old—interacting with products in order to identify opportunities to develop meaningful improvement. Our thoughtful, “question everything” process and relentless attention to detail uncover the best solutions for life’s everyday tasks, whether you’re brewing coffee, baking a cake, or taking your little one on a trip to the playground.
What can parents expect from OXO at the Chicago Baby Show?
We are so excited to be introducing OXO Cubby Strollers at the Chicago Baby Show! This is our first entry in the stroller market and is the result of a three-year development process that included interviews with nearly 1,000 parents to identify pet peeves (big and small), dozens of prototypes, hundreds of CAD drawings, testing and retesting—even over varied terrain, and focus groups with parents and kids. There are two versions of the stroller, Cubby and Cubby +, that are loaded with features, including 12 that are patent pending. While it’s hard to name our favorite feature, one that we are very excited about is that it’s truly a one-handed fold/unfold operation. (Stop by our booth and we’ll show you—it truly is a one-handed operation!)
Almost every parent we spoke with, including the dozens here at OXO, all had the same complaint about the folding mechanism being too tricky and not really one-handed. Our goal was to develop a folding operation that allowed parents to hold their baby securely without having to struggle to get the stroller open in addition to having it fold compactly, and as an added bonus, stand upright without the handle touching the ground. The Cubby strollers also include lots of storage options: a generously-sized cubbyhole area under the seat that has a pop-out extension, and a generously-sized pocket to hold keys, phones, and wallets with a light-colored interior to make finding items easier. They even have a sandal-friendly brake to make the task of applying and releasing the brake one that doesn’t require a Band-aid for the top of a foot. The Cubby Strollers also have a convenient one-pull cinching harness; adjustable leg rest; a UPF 50 canopy with a pull-out canopy extension; and pockets to store diapers and wipes to eliminate the need of traveling with a diaper bag.
For more information about OXO, check out oxo.com.