The Voices of Zojirushi – Andrew!

It’s December and our final Voices of Zojirushi post. We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know our employees this year and sharing in our centennial anniversary!

Andrew, one of our Sales Executives, shares his inspirations and hopes for Zojirushi as we go into the new year. Andrew was born in Japan and raised in the United States, enjoying both Japanese and American cultures, food and lifestyles. He began his career working in a Japanese restaurant, and through his exposure to Asian foods vendors, began to work in sales.

Andrew, you have such an interesting background. Tell us a bit about your career at Zojirushi.

I had always had an interest in sales. I wanted to sell products I had confidence in—and, now I do, because I work for Zojirushi, selling the finest quality small appliances in the industry. Zojirushi prides itself on bringing only the highest quality products to market. They also keep keen focus on what the consumer is looking for—for example, the new Stainless Mug (SM-TA36/48/60) has a smooth, rounded finish on the opening of the bottle so that it is more comfortable to drink out of and clean. It may be a small thing, but that’s the type of small detail that consumers really appreciate. I like being a part of that.

The Stainless Mug’s smooth and rounded bottle opening

Zojirushi has always cared about their customers, and our corporate slogan Inspirations from Everyday Life, reflects that. How do you see everyday inspirations in Zojirushi products?

Every new product we develop is inspired for everyday use. When a new rice cooker comes out there is always something new that was not on the previous model. For example, when the NS-LAC05 (3 cup capacity) was discontinued it was replaced by two models, the NS-LHC05 and the NS-LGC05. Although nearly identical in appearance and function, the NS-LHC05 and the NS-LGC05 have different settings, adapted to the different preferences of consumers. The NS-LHC05 has special porridge setting for making rice porridge and a jasmine rice setting geared towards some Asian consumers, while the NS-LGC05 has a steel cut oatmeal and long grain white rice setting created to capture the general market consumer. Paying attention to the needs of different types of customers is what keeps Zojirushi on top.

Our corporate philosophy is “Creating a Quality of Life for our customers. How do you believe your job at Zojirushi supports our customers?

We recently started a new project as a company, with a focus on incentive and corporate gifts, since a lot of companies like to give their employees or customers a gift with their company logo on it. Putting company logos on mugs and bottles is nothing new to the industry, but usually the bottles are cheap. Our product, on the other hand, is double or sometimes triple that dollar amount; but, with more customer awareness of the high quality of our brand, more inquiries are coming in—from small establishments like coffee shops, to big corporations like Google and Facebook. I am happy to see that more customers prefer quality over price.

The Gourmet Sizzler® Electric Griddle (EA-BDC10)

Since you sell so many products for Zojirushi, you must have your own favorite! What do you like cooking?

I have fond memories of visiting Japan every summer as a kid. I think that it was there I first tried monjayaki, a traditional Japanese meal or snack that is cooked on a hot plate. Since then I have missed eating monjayaki but I’ve been able to enjoy it again thanks to the use of our Gourmet Sizzler® Electric Griddle (EA-BDC10). And my wife made Paella using our griddle. She used fresh clams, shrimp and mussels, as well as chicken and sausage—it turned our great, and was very easy to make!

We’re grateful to Andrew for sharing his thoughts with us and wish you all a very happy holiday season!

The Voices of Zojirushi – Marilyn!

We hope you’re enjoying our Voices of Zojirushi series. We’ve enjoyed sharing perspectives from Jesse, Seitaro, Saori, Nao, Amy and Manny with you.

This month, we visit with Marilyn, our North American Marketing Manager. She works closely with the Vice President of Marketing on everything from product research and development to campaigns and promotions to advertising and public relations.

Marilyn’s unique background–born in Los Angeles, moved to Tokyo when she was eight years old, and returned to Southern California as an adult–gives us such interesting insight into her career at Zojirushi.

Marilyn, start off by telling us what inspired you to work at Zojirushi?

As with most Japanese Americans, I grew up using Zojirushi products and was familiar with their reputation, so it was a no-brainer for me. What keeps me at Zojirushi though, is knowing that the products I help develop bring joy and convenience to others. I love it when new people I meet can’t wait to tell me how much they love their Zojirushi products!

Marilyn’s Tuff Mug has been through the ringer, but still works like a  champ

That’s got to be the best feeling. Since you help to develop and market Zojirushi products, how do you believe our corporate philosophy of Creating a Quality of Life influences you?

When developing products or creating marketing materials, I think of our customers a lot. How would this product benefit our customers? How can I make this product better, so it’s easier to use, easier to clean, or more useful? What would our customers like to read in our newsletters or on our website? By thinking of these Hows, Whats and Whys, I hope to make the lives of everybody who interact with us and our products in any way, better.

For example, as a manufacturer of household appliances, safety is one of the most important qualities at Zojirushi. How can we design the cord so the unit isn’t pulled off the counter accidentally? What can we do to prevent burns? How can we make it child-proof? What happens when someone struggles to open a lid or cook something better? These are the questions asked every day at Zojirushi and implemented into our products.

Since you’re so close to the products, tell us about your favorite product and one you’d like to see created in the future?

My favorite Zojirushi product is the Tuff Mug I’ve been using since I started working for Zojirushi in 2002. It’s scratched, beat-up and dented, but still works amazingly well. Newer mugs have better design features like a disassembling lid and are much lighter, but there’s something about this mug that I just can’t get rid of it (including the lipstick stain on the lid because the lid doesn’t disassemble)!

And as someone working in product R&D, I have lots of great ideas under my sleeve, but I wouldn’t mind taking a step backwards and having a glass-lined vacuum bottle in our lineup. I remember a day in elementary school when I dropped my glass-lined vacuum bottle and it shattered, spilling barley tea all over the place, but glass is so much easier to clean and keep sanitary.

Marilyn enjoys cooking takoyaki with friends who join her in turning batter into balls

We do love our Zojirushi bottles! We know barley tea was your drink of choice in elementary school, but what can you tell us about your favorite dish now, especially one that’s made using a Zojirushi appliance?

Takoyaki. Growing up in Tokyo, I would’ve never thought of making takoyaki at home (it’s more of a Western Japan thing), but it’s so fun to make when we have guests over. I also enjoy using the griddle to make French toast and hash browns on Sundays.

Thank you, Marilyn, for sharing your thoughts with us today. Any last thoughts?

If there’s one thing about Zojirushi I would say, it’s this: Dedication. The dedication each employee has for this brand always amazes me. Everybody works hard to make the best product they can think of, help customers as much as possible, or try to provide the best Zojirushi experience for every single customer. It keeps us fresh and inspired!

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We hope you enjoyed meeting Marilyn, and stay tuned for our next voice, next month!

Product Inspirations – Stainless Bottle (SJ-JS10)

Our large 1-liter capacity Stainless Bottle (SJ-JS10) is here, just in time for spring!

This new bottle is lightweight, compact and strapless, maximizing capacity while minimizing the space it takes up your bag. The twist-off lid functions as a standalone cup and lets you drink hot or cold liquids like you would in a teacup or mug, and conveniently allows you to let your beverage cool or warm to the temperature of your preference. The inner surface of the bottle utilizes an innovative double nonstick coating to enhance durability and provides greater protection of the stainless steel against salt-containing beverages like sports drinks.

Along with these unique features, this Stainless Bottle is made with high-quality, durable 18/8 stainless steel, and utilizes Zojirushi’s superior vacuum insulation technology. The air between the outer and inner layers of the stainless steel is removed so the heat is blocked from transferring through it, greatly minimizing the temperature change of your beverage.

This bottle is smart under the lid, too! It features an advanced stopper with a spout that is opened by a one-touch button, making pouring simple and mess-free. And pressing the close tab seals the spout. The extra-wide mouth accommodates full-sized ice cubes, which makes filling the bottle easy. The stopper and spout, as well as the other areas that come into contact with your beverage, are BPA-free. And as with all Zojirushi products, this bottle can easily be washed with warm water and mild dish detergent.

The Stainless Bottle (SJ-JS10) comes in two finishes, a classic Stainless and a bold Red with a fun camping print.

So, with a 1-liter bottle such as this, which favorite drinks would you carry around? We have so many to choose from! We always love a perfectly brewed cup of Hot Green Sencha Tea and classic British Tea. For a cold treat, we love this Shaka Plantation Tea which blends black tea and pineapple. And you can’t go wrong with Simply Iced Coffee!

No matter what you drink–water or tea or coffee–we know you’ll love carrying this stylish, versatile bottle wherever you go!

Product Inspirations – Stainless Steel Food Jars (SW-EAE35/50 and SW-FCE75)

We are so excited to feature our Stainless Steel Food Jars (SW-EAE35/50 and SW-FCE75) this month!

They come packed with practical features and in fantastic new colors!

The food jars provide a convenient, versatile way to enjoy fresh foods on the go, wherever you are, especially when you need to take foods to a location where a refrigerator or microwave may not be readily available. They come in three different sizes, with the SW-EAE model available in 12 and 17 ounce capacities, and the SW-FCE model in a larger 25 ounce capacity.

Each food jar uses Zojirushi’s superior vacuum insulation technology, which keeps hot contents hot, or cold contents cold, for hours. By removing the air between the outer and inner layers of the stainless steel, heat is blocked from transferring through it, greatly minimizing the temperature change of your food or beverage. Dimples on the lid make it easier to grab and open the jar, and the tight-fitted lid with gasket seals to minimize leaks and maximize heat retention.

Like Zojirushi’s other vacuum insulated products, these food jars are made of durable and sanitary 18/8 stainless steel and BPA-free plastic. The interiors utilize an electro-polished SlickSteel® finish that resists corrosion and repels stains, and the large 2 ½ to 2 ¾ inch openings makes it easy to fill and clean, as well as allowing for eating directly out of the jar.

Both the SW-EAE and SW-FCE models come in gorgeous colors, including Stainless, Aqua Blue, Shiny Pink, Cream and Dark Brown.

Adventurous Couscous Medley

The range of foods that you can pack and store in these food jars is phenomenal. If you’re craving soups, then these food jars are ideal for keeping your soup hot. Try a classic Chicken Noodle Soup or a Rich and Creamy Irish Potato Soup for lunch one day. If you’re in the mood for breakfast, try Steel Cut Oatmeal To-Go in Your Food Jar or a savory Japanese style Thick and Hearty Veggie Porridge. And if you’d like a complete, filling meal, try our recipe for an Adventurous Couscous Medley. The coolest thing about these food jars is that you can even fill them with dessert and salad. Our Stacked Pasta Salad is amazing and our Red Cranberry Gelatin with Mixed Berries is the best!

There are so many uses for these food jars, and the various sizes make it perfect for individual portions and ones large enough to share. Try them out and tell us your favorite foods!

Product Inspirations – Travel Mug (SM-YAE48)

We’re excited to showcase our Travel Mug (SM-YAE48) as our first Product Inspiration of 2018!

This mug is a stylish and convenient way to take your favorite tea, coffee or other beverage with you whenever you’re commuting or on the go. We’ve designed it with travel-friendly features, like a generous 16-ounce capacity, a design that rests more securely in car cup holders and can fit beneath most single cup brewers, and superior vacuum insulation to keep drinks hot or cold for hours.

The exterior comes in four great colors—Lime Green, Cherry Red, Dark Cocoa and Stainless—while the interior features Zojirushi’s SlickSteel® electro-polished stainless steel, which uses an electrically charged polishing process to treat and finish the interior, without adding any nonstick coating. The result is a corrosion resistant surface that repels odors, foreign substances and stains. The wide mouth opening makes it easy to pour liquids into the mug and clean the inside, and the interior fill line markings help to prevent overfilling, which could cause leakage. Plus, all parts that come into contact with your beverage are BPA-free.

The Travel Mug also has an ingeniously crafted lid, with a safety lock that makes it leak-proof, a sipping area that comfortably fits the contours of your face, and an air vent design on the opening which allows for beverages to flow out smoothly. Best of all, the lid gaskets are removeable for easy cleaning!

Our customers love that the same trick that can be used with our insulated food jars can be used with this mug—pre-cool the interior with icy cold water before filling with a cold beverage, or pre-heat with boiling hot water before filling with a hot beverage and the temperature is kept even longer!

We’re so inspired by this travel mug and how our customers use it that we love to come up with great drinks for you. With cold winter weather upon us, we often like a warm drink, and our Cold Buster Smoothie is the best! And if you prefer something with a bit more kick to it, try out our Shake It and Take It Matcha. And of course, for those who love coffee drinks, try out our Oh So Soy Latte!

No matter what you drink, the Travel Mug (SM-YAE48) is ideal for enjoying your favorite drink when you’re on the go. And you know that the SM-YAE48 is our very own Jesse’s favorite! We hope you love it and our recipes as much as we do, and don’t forget to tell us how you use it!