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The Diet Plate Story PDF Print E-mail
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The Diet Plate Story
Post 2000
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Kay Illingworth invented The Diet Plate® in 1995 - the world's first portion control plate. Keeping the concept secret until the idea was safe wasdifficult, but a year later it was awarded design registration, trademark and copyright security.

Kay Illingworth invented The Diet Plate® in 1995 - the world's first portion control plate. Keeping the concept secret until the idea was safe was difficult, but a year later it was awarded design registration, trademark and copyright security.

The Diet Plate Pre-2000

From 1996-97, under confidentiality agreements, Kay showed the plate around the potteries in Stoke-on-Trent, beginning with Wedgwood. Kay soon realised that she had approached the very top of the china market, when really the plate needed to be made of fine earthenware so that it would be more robust for everyday use.

The Sales Director of Wedgwood thought that the concept was amazing and referred it to Johnson & Johnson, whose lines were fully booked for the following two years. However, not giving up, Kay took the product to Staffordshire Potteries, in Stoke-on-Trent, who were more than willing to take it further.

Unfortunately the decision to manufacture did not come quickly enough and, like many of the major pottery companies, Staffordshire was in decline and succumbed to market forces, going into receivership. So two years down the line, the plate had still not been made.

Not discouraged, as, by this time, Kay had lost nearly six stones using her new methodology, she took the plate to Churchill's Pottery. However she was told that they mostly supplied restaurants and this product was for the home market. The MD though was very impressed and thought it was too good a concept to let go.

He referred Kay to Royal Staffordshire Potteries and in particular the CEO, Norman Tempest - a wonderful man who agreed to "take a punt" and manufacture 500 plates to see if Kay could sell them. These rare plates (the design was changed in the next run) are in the hands of early customers. A potential collector's item of the future - especially when The Diet Plate® is a household name!

In July 1999 Kay started The Diet Plate® Ltd. and began trading in January 2000 - over excited and full of promise, with not a clue how to run a business but enthusiastic and six dress sizes slimmer! Kay sold her first diet plate, the champagne was opened and the office celebrated.

Expectations were running high, the web site was finished and we got a full page of editorial in The Birmingham Post. The web site received over 1800 hits in one day. Unfortunately disaster struck - the webmaster had not set the order system to "live". It had remained in "test" mode and every enquiry was lost.



 
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