Saturday, September 13, 2008

Tiffin Lunchbox

While browsing on The Curiosity Shoppe the other day, I saw a cute stainless steel lunchbox made by To-Go Ware. Called a tiffin lunchbox, it is a lunch carrying system from India where you can put different foodstuffs in each compartment and the lid doubles as a plate. According to Wikipedia, in South India the the term tiffin is generally used to mean an in-between-meals snack. I have seen other lunchboxes like this, but being a great fan of plastic Tupperware, I'm not so sure I can make the change.

Then, today while flipping through New York Magazine I saw a Design Within Reach ad for the Tiffin Lunch Box Set, three different lunch boxes of different sizes. At a whopping $85 for the lot (who needs three? maybe a family?), I began to wonder what these would cost in India. Heck, these may be even made in India. How ironic would that be?

With this price tag in mind I went back to To-Go Ware's website to check out the price of their tiffin lunchbox (an aside: is it lunchbox or lunch box? According to, if you type in lunch box, it says to see lunchbox), and saw that they have updated their product and that it begins shipping on 9/17/08. It also costs $18.50 and comes with a sidekick tiffin for dressings or sauces.

Let's compare the tiffins.

The old tiffin from To-Go Ware is cute, maybe a bit too cute and roundish. I think I would feel like a Japanese school girl carrying it around. Plus, since it seems to taper up to the top, I'm not so sure how much food it can hold.

Base Pot - bottom diameter : 6.5", top diameter : 2.4", Height : 2.4"
Upper Pot - bottom diameter : 5.5", top diameter : 5.1", Height : 2.2"
Plate - 5.9" diameter
Total Height : 7.3"

The new tiffin lunchbox from To-Go Ware seems more grown up and a little industrial from its hard edges, which I like. Plus the sidekick tiffin is super cool. It is also a bit bigger than its predecessor.

Pot dimensions: 6 1/2" D x 3 5/8" H
Assembled height: 6 1/4"
Sidekick: 3 1/2" D x 3 1/8" H

Design Within Reach's tiffin set is a nice balance of hard and soft edges. I have this love/hate relationship with good design and the huge price it carries with it, but I do like these tiffin lunchboxes. Too bad you can't just buy one. DWR didn't give specific measurements for each one, but it seems like the smallest one may be a bit smaller than To-Go Ware's.

Height: 4–7.5" Diameter 5.5–6.5"

Final verdict? Well, since we have lunch catered at work I never bring lunch, so I don't need one, but I'd probably buy To-Go Ware's one since I like it and I like supporting small businesses.

Which one, my dear readers, do you like? Or do you know of other cool lunchboxes? My first lunchbox was a pink My Little Pony one with a matching thermos.

1 comment:

Julia said...

Funny...this caught my eye too in The Curiosity Shoppe...I love the idea, but I tend to eat late and nuke my meal at the office. I wonder how warm it would be if warmed the meal up at home in the a.m. and kept it in the lunchbox.

Anyway, nice roundup!! thanks :)