In 2010, Juhi Gupta of Eden Prairie decided she’d had enough—with plastic containers that leach toxic chemicals when heated in the microwave, with glass containers that easily break, with having to dirty multiple dishes after taking food from the freezer, then cooking it, then serving it, and then packing leftovers. So she designed the Frego Food Storage Systems.
The Frego is a square container made of borosilicate glass, with a brightly colored silicone lid that locks easily and tightly over a silicone sleeve. Available at Crate & Barrel, The Container Store, Amazon, and Wayfair, the product has taken off despite its price point: $14.95 and $19.95 for the 2- and 4-cup sizes, respectively. The price is worth the safety and convenience, Gupta says. Frego containers also won an International Housewares Association Innovation Award.
What drove you to create the Frego containers?
Necessity is the mother of invention! I was looking for a food container to pack healthy lunches in a safe environment for my two young boys. My options were metal, plastic, and glass. I felt each had a disadvantage: The inability to heat foods in metal; plastic leaches toxins and is unsuitable for the environment, and glass gets hot and is fragile. I invented Frego to eliminate all these disadvantages. Frego utilizes high-quality, non-toxic, durable materials. It’s modern in appearance and fun!
How did you find the borosilicate glass?
When searching for glass, we found that lime-soda glass (sold under the brand Pyrex) had a long history of shattering when transferred from cold to hot. Since our focus was to create a safe glass container, and knowing that children would be using it, we decided to get borosilicate glass, which has a better thermal range, is of higher quality, and is more durable. We searched for factories in China and found one way up in the northern part of China. Now more borosilicate glass factories are coming up there, thankfully!
What will you be designing next?
We would like to design a bigger size for casserole dishes and potlucks. We are also looking into water bottles.