The act of cooking for many is a means to an end, a task that must be performed in order to survive and is a burden because of it. There aren't many products that make cooking enjoyable for people. Instead, there are a multitude of services that eliminate it altogether (Uber Eats, Doordash, etc.). The Spicy maraca is an effort to inject an element of fun into the mundane experience that is cooking by connecting it more intimately with listening to and creating music. Who doesn't find themselves drumming on a steering wheel or tapping a pen on a desk while listening to their favorite musical artists? The Spicy Maraca is specifically designed to fill that void when it comes to cooking by making your cooking instrument a musical instrument.
The "Spicy Maraca" is a cooking instrument designed in the language of Joseph Joseph. Kinetic movement and direct user engagement were the foundation of this design concept. The user is intended to put a mixture of spices/seasonings into the Spicy Maraca, then shake to mix. Once mixed, the Spicy Maraca acts as a means of dispensing the mixture onto whatever is being cooked. It consists of two halves that hinge open when a linear slide is pulled. There is a locking mechanism on the top of the instrument that also acts as a way for different amounts of spices to be dispensed. The base functionality of this product, the opening and closing using a linear slide, was inspired by another kitchen instrument that I found myself playing with whenever I would use it. Tongs are an instrument that are fun to play with despite not being designed for play.
Whether it be clapping or locking them, both movements are engaging to do. Why not implement them into something that is designed for play and how can that improve the experience surrounding the product? Making tasks more simple and shorter to perform is not a good solution to having people enjoy them, making them fun on the other hand is. The experience surrounding the Spicy Maraca is inherently more complicated than just directly seasoning food, but because the experience is fun, the end-user is expected to enjoy themselves while cooking more. The best part about maracas is how simple of an instrument they are, anyone can play one. Being able to more directly engage with the music one loves through cooking will ideally provide the user with an incentive to do so. Dancing around the kitchen, cooking with friends, and finding music in the most basic aspects of life all provide the user with the opportunity to have a genuinely memorable experience through something as simple as a way to season your food. Think about how unmemorable food preparation is currently.
For most it feels like a burden, so people turn to alternatives. From frozen food to Doordash, services and products simplify obtaining food to its bare bones. Popping something in the microwave or opening an app on your phone provide no engagement and do not seek to improve the experience at all. Worst of all, neither option is incredibly healthy. Services like HelloFresh come close by providing the user with the food they need and instructions on how to prepare it, but the experience of cooking itself remains relatively unchanged. The Spicy Maraca makes way for a line of products that could provide a more intimate interaction with the food being prepared, be it musical or not, that no other food related products and services seem to provide.