Innovative Gadgets

Lanarkshire inventor Helen Waterston is busy marketing the Roast Cosy, a chain mail based product that protects and extends the life of meat at the cooking, resting and serving stages.

Helen can demonstrate that using the Roast Cosy helps to deliver better quality food and lower costs to both the domestic and commercial markets.

She presented her invention on BBC TV's Dragons Den, winning support and raising the profile of the product. Targeting retail multiples and catering suppliers as well as private consumers, she has won significant orders from major customers including Lakeland Plastics, Bunzl Lockhart and Comet.

A serial inventor, Helen created Innovative Gadgets in 2004 in order to provide a vehicle for developing products. She holds a UK patent for the Roast Cosy and its larger version, the Roast Blanket.

The products, using a similar chain mail base as that used in butchers' armoured gloves, are currently made in Germany and China, but Helen plans to start manufacturing in Lanarkshire in future.

The Roast Cosy is used to cover joints of meat or whole poultry during and after cooking. Its unique design retains moisture, reduces loss of weight and improves texture during cooking. It also helps preserve the temperature during serving, a very useful aspect for caterers and restaurants.

"Products like these rely heavily on marketing, promotion, and the raising of awareness among key targets. So our retail marketing approach includes an e-commerce website and the Ideal World TV shopping channel, for example," comments Helen Waterston.

"Business Gateway have helped with the business and financial planning, and that has been very important to us."

Helen previously invented the LapTap, a special lap cushion for laptop computers. She says she has several other gadget ideas in the pipeline.

"Innovative Gadgets is an exciting company and the Roast Cosy and Roast Blanket are products that have real potential. Because they are inventions they have no real competition at this stage, so they offer real opportunity," commented Business Gateway Lanarkshire adviser Tom Pettigrew.