The US produced about 41 million watermelons in 2011! That's over 1.7 million metric tons of watermelon annually! Most all of that was probably carried by someone during harvest and by you when you bought it at the store and put it into your kitchen at home.
The idea behind Watermelon Straps was simple. During our July 4th vacation, we purchased a watermelon at the grocery store. It was a pain carrying it around and lifting it in/out of the shopping cart. The plastic bag wasn't big enough to fit the watermelon either. Then, when we got home and in the kitchen we accidentally dropped it on the floor trying to hold it right and the watermelon broke! So lame!
We came up with this idea to make it easier to lift and carry watermelons! Our straps are water resistant and are designed to wrap around the watermelon holding it snug while you carry the fruit.
The straps can also be printed with custom labeling to display more information about the store selling the watermelon or the farm growing the products.
We have discussed plans with www.ahh.biz and Seattle Fabrics (seattlefabrics.com) for sourcing the materials. We have commitment from Dixie Flag Manufacturing (www.dixieflag.com) in San Antonio ready to start assembling the products in Texas. Based on the final prototype we choose after a bit more research on scalability we will assemble the Watermelon Straps with materials from our supplies in Texas and Seattle. We have also spoken with SeedIP.com to be our patent attorney for our non-provisional patent filing within the 1st year.
We currently have interest from Kroger Co in sending them our product information and we want to demonstrate to them and others that we are capable of raising funding through private and crowdsourced channels to get ramped up for large scale distribution based on nationwide supermarket store demand.
Watermelon Straps is an invention of Cybernetics Labs, LLC. We have several advisors from top industry sectors from investments, technology, insurance, military, medical, and educational experience.
We are also working with media outlets to get the word out about our invention and Kickstarter campaign! We have contacted several watermelon associations to see if they can provide us any feedback to our product design as well.
Our prototype is currently also on Quirky.com, go take a look at our community feedback and vote for us!
There are a couple items we need to refine for the final version before we go to production as listed below:
- The two handles need a way to connect together easily after they are wrapped around the melon either by a Velcro flap, grommets, snaps, or something else. When the melons are sitting in the box at the store the straps won't fall off.
- If we choose wood for the handle bars, we need a safer bond besides the staples to hold the vinyl on the wood.
- We need to choose the most earth-friendly materials that are biodegradable as much as possible.
- We need to test the strap length with several size watermelons to find the best one-size-fits all model if possible.
- We want to also design several types of straps depending on customer needs: (1) pre-installed on the melon in the box at retail, (2) pre-installed on the melon on table/shelf display, (3) on stand next to melons for customer purchase and re-use, (4) installed during harvest on the farm for improved handling & distribution.
2013 Production Schedule Chart
Also check out more pictures of our various prototypes below:
Risks and challenges
We have several large supermarket grocery stores considering our straps. We need to make sure we have the capital and distribution capabilities to keep up with production and demand. We are building relationships with investors to help us sustain growth and expand product development and distribution channels and also provide the marketing to keep winning new business from farmers, to distribution companies, to grocery stores for our Watermelon Straps product line.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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