Housewares Wrap-Up: Emson Cooks Up a Sharper Image

       

       

A standard bearer in the as-seen-on-TV product category, Emson has taken a step ahead with its Sharper Image line of cooking products.

The line—which first reached retail in the form of its wide-mouth Super Juicer in the fourth quarter of 2008—now encompasses the Stainless Steel Super Grill, the Stainless Blender, the Super Wave Oven, the Citrus Juicer and the Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker. The Super Wave Oven, which Emson has just introduced, is the most recent addition to this line.

“The Sharper Image name means quality and innovation to the consumer,” said Eddie Mishan, owner of the company that has been in his family since its founding in 1946. “It is also well recognized around the world.” Mishan added that the line has been placed in department stores, specialty stores, dot-coms and TV shopping channels.

Emson has put a great deal of marketing weight behind the Stainless Steel Super Grill. The company has been running an infomercial on the product on a number of cable-television channels, and has introduced a Web site devoted to the product, sharperimagegrill.com.

“This grill is really three machines in one, with five interchangeable plates for grilling, griddling and waffling,” Mishan said. “At a $99 retail, it addresses a value price point as well.”

The Sharper Image collection provided the centerpiece for what Mishan described as Emson’s “blitz” at the International Home + Housewares Show in March. “We had a bigger and totally revamped booth in the South building (of McCormick Place, where the show was held),” he said. “We also had advertising on the shuttle buses that took people to and from the show.”

But (as the as-seen-on-TV pitchmen often say) that’s not all. Mishan said Emson is planning to expand Sharper Image to 15 SKUs this year and in 2011. The company also has ambitious plans for two other collections in its portfolio: The Big Boss Grill, which is a grill, wafflemaker, griddle, omelette maker, doughnut maker and sandwich maker; and the InStyler, which Mishan said is the only rotating hair-styling iron on the market.

“We will expand The Big Griddle with other SKUs in 2010/2011,” he said. “We’ll also launch different variations and styles of the InStyler.”

Emson is running an aggressive marketing campaign for the Sharper Image Super Grill that includes an infomercial and a Web site devoted to the product. emsoninc.com