Twelve-year-old Christian Stark and his father David were rushed off their feet selling out of their new invention Kiwi Peel each day at Fieldays – now they have a new product under development.
The Tauranga Intermediate pupil came up with the idea for Kiwi Peel after getting sick of the mess of peeling the fruit.
Christian’s led development of Kiwi Peel supported by his father – and the final design, produced by engineering firm Tig Art, is simple and effective: a tube made of food-grade stainless steel with a rolled top edge. There is no plastic in the design and it is fully recyclable.
“Just top and tail the kiwifruit and then press the Kiwi Peel down, and the skin is gone,” says Christian.
David says at Fieldays, where they had entered Kiwi Peel in the Innovation Awards, people loved the product because it’s made of stainless steel. “It can go in the dishwasher and will last a lifetime.”
Parents were big customers too – with Kiwi Peel offering a fast and simple way to peel fruit for their children – “which is good because the kids end up eating more fruit”.
“They also liked the story of Christian being 12 and inventing this product. And they loved it because it is so simple. Some asked why someone else hadn’t thought of it before?” says David.
One-hundred Kiwi Peels were made to sell at Fieldays. “The first day we’d sold 40 by lunchtime, so I rang up my manufacturer who made 20 and we ran out of them by 3pm Thursday.
“On Friday I made 50 myself – we sold those within three hours. On Saturday we took 150; it was a bit quieter but we sold 80 of them.”
David says they also have potential orders from three big companies of 1000 each. “They’re looking to use them as promotional items for their international customers.”
And they’ve introduced two more sizes – a large and a small – to complement the original. “The small one is more for the catering businesses.”
Plus, the Starks have a new product under development. “People want us to make one for peeling avocados.
“They wanted one that was strong and made from stainless steel.”