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REX: the king of all vegetable peelers

In 1947 a kitchen gadget was launched which would transform the lives of cooks, both amateur and professional, across the world, and would dominate the market for many years to come. It was the REX economy vegetable peeler (Mod. In. 11002), produced by the small Swiss company ZENA. The peeler is still sold today and its design has remained virtually unchanged over the years. Thanks to its unmistakable yet minimalist form and its unbeatable ergonomic shape, this humble vegetable peeler now ranks as a Swiss design classic. It makes light work of peeling vegetables and fruit, and can even be used to grate chocolate and cheese. Practically every kitchen in the country has one of these quintessentially Swiss gadgets.

REX: the king of all vegetable peelers.

REX: the king of all vegetable peelers.© ZENA AG

It was Alfred Neweczerzal from Davos who was behind the launch of the world’s first economy peeler in 1947. Little did he know at the time that his invention would become a design classic:

  • Lightweight and practical aluminium tool
  • Award-winning form
  • Suitable for left- and right-handers
  • A small side knife for removing potato eyes


A design classic

Today, the REX peeler enjoys cult status and is often cited in the same breath as works by iconic Swiss designers like Mario Botta, Le Corbusier and Max Bill. ZENA’s economy peeler is the embodiment of Swiss functional design. It has been exhibited in the world’s most renowned museums and features frequently in art and design literature. It even has its own Swiss commemorative stamp. 

Special-edition stamps honouring icons of Swiss design:

(in new window)

Special-edition stamps© Die Post


REX is synonymous with Swissness as it is still manufactured in Switzerland and meets every "Swiss Made" standard. ZENA, the company behind the REX peeler, is based in Affoltern am Albis, a town outside Zurich. It manufactures more than two million peelers a year, of which 60% are exported abroad.

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