Oftentimes consumers only consider a few specific uses for products when those products can also be utilized in other ways.
Take, for instance, the cooler. This summertime tailgating staple can be a lifesaver during the holidays, and can be used for more than just keeping drinks cold. Additional uses for coolers include:
- As a defrosting station for frozen foods. While using ice to keep the cooler cold, certain foods, especially meats, can be slowly defrosted prior to cooking. This saves refrigerator space for other items.
- As a warming drawer. Insulated coolers can also be used for keeping hot foods at serving temperature while the rest of a meal is finished. Line the bottom with a towel and place heated, aluminum wrapped bricks or heated gel packs on top of the liner. Hot dishes can be placed on top of the bricks or gel packs; with the lid closed, foods stay warmer for longer.
- As a proofing drawer for yeast dough. In the same way the cooler works to keep foods hot, yeast dough can be kept warm and draft-free while rising. This is a great way to keep countertops clear for other things.
- To keep take-home leftovers cool before and during transport. When the leftovers are packed into their to-go containers, keep them in a cold cooler before sending them off with family or friends. It saves refrigerator space and makes an easy spot for departing loved ones to grab their goodies prior to heading out. And for those leaving the festivities, a cooler kept in the car is a great way to get those tasty treats home safely!
During the holiday season, retailers can promote alternate uses for coolers. A small display, along with additional items like reusable or disposable heat packs, wire racks for creating shelf space within coolers, plastic food storage containers, and disposable aluminum pans, can go a long way in encouraging consumers to think outside of the box.