New Housewares Products Appeal to the Senses (and the Sensible)
By HFN Staff
What do comfort foods, coatings and color have to do with each other?
They represent some of the key directions the housewares industry is following, evident by the product introductions at the International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago this month.
While an emphasis on preparing healthy food remains, many bakeware introductions this year target the comfort food category, perhaps reminding people of childhood treats and a time when calories didn't count as much.
Chicago Metallic's new items include its Surprise Pan, which allows the chef to bake cupcakes with fruits, candy or other fillings inside, while the Creme Sandwich Cookie Pan can create the shortbread and other cookies to make ice cream sandwiches or sandwich cookies.
Meyer's Rachael Ray brand has added a 12-cup Whoopie Pie Pan and other items to the Oven Lovin' Bakeware collection. And the chef known for comfort food, Paula Deen, will have a new line of bakeware for the show, consisting of nine items with generously proportioned side handles with red silicone grips.
Cupcake-related items continue to excite the industry, which will unveil more cupcake-related products at the show. Other snack-makers, such as Back to Basics' cotton candy machine and Mastrad's Chips Maker, will be showcased in the aisles of McCormick Place.
Convenience in the kitchen always includes coatings for easy cleanups, and manufacturers continue to debut more. Whitford will launch its new Quantum 350, a low-cure, one-coat product that has the release of most two-coat products, and is designed for use on small cast-aluminum appliances such as waffle makers and grills. The Xylan line has grown with the addition of Xylan 8350 for ceramic bakeware and the Xylan protective coating, which keeps hard-anodized cookware safe in the dishwasher.
Lifetime Brands' Sabatier brand will make a big push in cookware and bakeware, and introductions include two cast-iron collections. The new lightweight cast-iron fry pans have a porcelain-coated interior for a smooth, non-stick surface and are 40 percent lighter than traditional cast iron. The porcelain enamel cast-iron cookware has self-basting condensation bumps on the lids and 18/8 stainless steel handles. Both groups are available in a wide range of colors.
Cutlery, too, is coated with resin in some instances for a sleek, non-stick (and often colorful) blade.
One of the major trends in small kitchen appliances is the number of new products that sport bright colors as electric as the power source that drives them.
One of the first vendors to extend the color palette in small appliances was Bodum. Bodum has extended its e-bodum line of appliances, launched at last year's show, with Bistro, an electric table grill colored in bright orange.
Commenting on the color trend as a whole, Thomas Perez, president of Bodum USA, said, "The insurgence of color at the turn of the economy was an uplifting notion. Color is particularly important in small electrics due to their countertop placement. You want them to 'pop' on your countertop and not tucked away in your cupboards."
Another example is Cuisinart's Metallic Red Series of small appliances, including blenders, a toaster and a coffeemaker. Each of these are colored in an eye popping red not dissimilar to the electric red seen on automobiles. Other colorful products debuting at the Housewares Show include the Baby Chef Ultimate Baby Food Center, colored in purple and white; CBTL's Kaldi single-serve beverage system, a combination of metallic blue and stainless steel; De'Longhi's kMix line of small appliances, in red, aqua and yellow; Dualit's new line of toasters in yellow, black, aqua, white and hot pink; Hamilton Beach's Cupcake Creations Hand Mixer, in pink; and KitchenAid's new Artisan Design Stand Mixer collection, in electric blue and candy-apple red.