How did you get started in the appliance industry?
In 1972, I started working for a blender manufacturing business as a door-to-door salesman. It was a humble start, but very educational. During that time, I spoke directly to customers and learned exactly what they wanted from their kitchen electronics.
I saw firsthand how appliances change lives. Without the right tools, people relied on unhealthy packaged foods for quick and easy meals. But once customers realized that a quality blender could help incorporate more fruit and vegetables into their diet, they were motivated to change their lifestyle. Purchasing the appliance was their first step toward a healthier future. That struck a chord with me.
In 1978, I created my own appliance company, NUC CO., LTD., to bring healthy living to households across my home country of South Korea.
How did Kuvings begin?
I wanted to explore new ways to consume fruit and vegetables easily. At that time, many health gurus spoke of juicing’s unique benefits, and I was intrigued. After doing some research, I learned that juicing raw produce allows the body to absorb their nutrients quicker. Aha! I found my next venture.
I knew I wanted to create my own masticating juicer. During my research, I learned that this type of juicer was the most efficient tool for juicing because of its low-speed grinding method. I also wanted to make this product available around the world, because healthy living is a global need.
In 2007, my team and I created the brand “Kuvings.” The name is a combination of the German word for “kitchen” (“Küche”) and the word “living.” The name describes Kuvings’ focus: improving kitchen life and consumer well-being with convenient, innovative products. That’s been my goal since the 1970s, but the Kuvings brand achieves this on a global scale with new technology.
Kuvings now has branches and distributors in over 80 countries beyond our own factories in South Korea. I’m very proud of how far we’ve come.
What inspired Kuvings’ signature product, the Whole Slow Juicer?
We asked ourselves, “How can we make the juicing process more convenient?” Then we identified that preparing ingredients before juicing can be time-consuming.
After extensive research and development, Kuvings created the world's first Whole Slow Juicer in 2012. As of 2021, we have patents in 65 countries.
Conventional slow juicers have a 1-2 inch feed chute, which requires the user to cut ingredients excessively before juicing. Whole Slow Juicers have a 3-3.2 inch wide feed chute, large enough to fit a whole apple. Most ingredients can be inserted into the machine without cutting them, reducing prep time.
It was tricky to create a low-speed motor powerful enough to handle whole ingredients, but our hard work paid off. Unlike traditional slow juicers, the motor inside each Whole Slow Juicer has the power to crush large pieces while keeping valuable nutrients intact.
What makes Kuvings stand out from other appliance brands?
Quality assurance is very important to me. We’re constantly testing our products and looking for ways to improve them. We have expanded our investment in research and development centers for this reason. I strongly believe that if you don't challenge and innovate your products, you can't move forward as a brand.
There are a lot of copycat products out there, and we always test our products against them to ensure our quality. We see that our products are unmistakably superior, and I think our customers recognize this too.
Where does inspiration come from?
There are many cases where ideas come unexpectedly from everyday life.
For example, while driving, I got to thinking about my car and how its built-in technology makes my driving experience so much more pleasant. I thought about how I could integrate some of its convenient technology, such as Bluetooth connectivity, to our products.
I’ve gotten ideas while watching sci-fi movies, too. Those types of films imagine new, tech-forward worlds, and they prompt me to think about the future of household appliances.
Ultimately, I think it’s important to be open to ideas and inspiration from our daily environment. We’re living in an age where everything mundane actually has powerful technology working behind it. Stopping to consider this technology and its potential applications can be the beginning of a great idea.
What’s next for Kuvings?
I always have products in the works! It’s just my nature. I’m constantly looking for bigger and better ways to make healthy eating as convenient as possible.
For example, Kuvings recently launched a low-noise vacuum blender that dramatically improves the freshness of blended beverages, and it’s equipped with a cover to reduce noise. The appliance removes air from the chamber before blending, so beverages stay fresh and nutrient-rich for a longer period of time.
Vacuum blending is a new technology, and we’re excited to be a pioneer of this technology in the USA. And this is only the beginning—we’re working on making the next generation of this product even more advanced.
Additionally, we plan to launch a portable BMI meter that’s compatible with Kuvings juicers and blenders. Users will be able to check their customized health information, get recipes, and watch exercise videos through a connected smartphone app.
We’re also working on a new line of products to make healthy choices accessible to more people. They’ll provide an introduction to juicing and blending with less spatial and financial commitment to the new lifestyle. These products will be ideal for busy people who are interested in becoming more health-conscious.
Ultimately, Kuvings will continue to combine new technology and our 40 years of experience to create healthy living appliances.
What is your favorite juice?
I prefer juices with a good balance of fruit and vegetables. My favorite fruits to juice are apples, oranges, pineapples, and my favorite vegetables to juice are carrots, celery, and tomatoes.
I really enjoy a carrot, orange, and ginger combination. Maybe I should call it “CEOrange juice.” Ha!