Sick of the metallic or plastic taste that comes with using that style of silverware? Don Ladanyi has created a unique, non-metallic silverware that allows the true flavor of the food to come through. His TruFlavorWare is great for people sensitive to those tastes, but the quality of the product and the “Made in USA” label is enough to attract many different users.
I recently asked Don a few questions about his unique product, and the inspiration behind it.
Tell us a little about TruFlavorWare.
TruFlavorWare “Simply makes Food taste Better!” pretty much says it all about what our innovative flatware product line actually does. This amazing feat is accomplished by our proprietary, non-metallic material which does not react with food and give off any extraneous, impure taste sensations whatsoever like metal and plastic flatware does. This claim was proven by an amazing 2 to 1 majority of 100 panelists at a major Ivy League university in 2010.
What inspired you to create your unique line of silverware?
I did indeed create TruFlavorWare (non-metallic flatware) from the name itself down to the proprietary material used in its manufacturing. I even edit and publish our own website. I discovered the need for such flatware while dining at Benihana’s. My girlfriend stated that her steak tasted better than mine. I said how could that be since both portions came from the same mix on the hibachi grille? As it turned out, she was using bamboo chopsticks and I was using a metal fork. Therein lay the difference. I later researched and surprisingly discovered that metal reacts with food substances in three different ways* that detract from food’s natural, pure flavor in a big way. Bamboo does not. I then set about making the “Americanized” version of the bamboo chopstick as a familiar easy-to-use “fork.” The only difference was that I had to come up with a material that could hold up to long-term use, unlike bamboo that only has a very limited lifespan. Thus, my TruFlavorWare invention was created after several years of dedicated trial and error research.
*The three ways that create aversive (bad) food taste when using metal flatware: (1) The inherent “metallic” taste of the metal itself. (2) Galvanic action which occurs when placing metal in your mouth that creates a negative taste sensation, sort of like licking a 9-volt battery as we did when we were kids. Not pleasant. (3) The bad-tasting ion generation reaction that occurs when food comes into contact with metal. Our taste buds are ion receptors for the most part and easily pick-up on this bad tasting ion generation. Our minds have been trained over time to block out the metal taste sensations. Unfortunately, this blocking action also takes out many other good tastes with it that we unfortunately won’t experience. Simply solution: eliminate the metal and “Savor ALL the flavor!”
How many styles/colors does it come in?
As of today, TruFlavorWare comes in two distinct colors: Natural Almond and Deluxe Black. The style is of the “less is more” visual philosophy culminating in our “Modern Oriental” pattern.
Do you have any plans to expand on your product line?
Yes, definitely. We plan to have unbreakable TruFlavorWare companion products like cups, bowls and plates. Milk in one of our TFW cups won’t stink like in a plastic cup.
Why did you choose to have your product manufactured in the USA instead of overseas? What are the benefits?
We want strict USA standards and local “control” over the manufacturing processes in order to achieve the highest levels of purity possible, right down the line in our TruFlavorWare products. Who knows what goes into products made overseas? I heard of way too many health-related issues with toys and tableware coming in from overseas.
Do you have any goals you’d like to accomplish in the next year or so?
We would like to become synonymous with the growing Farm-to-Table movement (aka Farm-to-Fork) as the flatware of choice to deliver locally grown organic food to one’s palate as pure, safe and uncontaminated as possible.
Additionally, we would like to have more healthcare related patients be advised of our solution to their metallic taste problems (aka “silverware taste”). These patients cover an alarming wide-range including: chemotherapy, impact trauma, autism, certain medications, dental issues and some sleep aids, just to name a few.
What separates your product from the competition?
I would say strength. No “rubbery” feel here, just plain stiff strength without bending. You can literally dig in to rock-solid frozen ice cream without any fear of breaking your TruFlavorWare spoon. Our utensils are literally unbreakable in normal culinary use. And, our material gives off no toxic oils, plasticizers or formaldehyde like most common-place plastic utensils do.
What are some lessons your business has taught you?
Finding a solution to a problem is the EASY part. Getting the product to market is the HARD part. Listen to others who have gone there before you and never, ever, fail to listen to those who have not made it there either. Learn from their mistakes.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Winning the Cool Idea! award has meant the difference between life and death for TruFlavorWare. Without the award, I would still be back in the stone ages trying to promote the concept without the goods to demonstrate or deliver. In other words, before the Cool Idea! award, the best that I could do was to wave my arms around telling anyone who would listen, how well the TruFlavorWare concept would work. Now, I can prove easily prove it with actual eating utensils in hand… and the orders are coming in! So far, we have received glowing testimonials from end users as you can see posted on our truflavorware.com website.
Do you have any advice you’d like to offer fellow entrepreneurs who are just getting started?
Never give up on your dream. Ring those doorbells! No one will ever answer the door unless you ring that darn doorbell. Dreams can become a reality with perseverance.