By Andrea Lillo
As growing herbs and other do-it-yourself kitchen trends grow, consumers want the tools necessary to perform specific functions. As a result, kitchen shears are one category that is gaining attention, expanding beyond the standard pair of shears to more function-specific and multifunctional options.
The category has also become more fun, expanding in a range of bright colors and even decal patterns.
"Consumers are now educated on the various uses of shears," said Annette Garaghty, director of sales and marketing, Wusthof-Trident of America. "They want them to be durable and dishwasher safe, and definitely to come apart for easy and complete cleaning."
While regular kitchen shears are the "backbone" of its assortment, Garaghty said, "we do, however, expect poultry shears to continue growing in popularity as the butchering trend takes off."
The market has grown, added Marc Hoffmann, brand marketer and international sales manager, Swissmar, "because nowadays a family kitchen needs a multifunction shear that provides solutions to the everyday kitchen challenges we may encounter," from cutting through bone or wire to stripping herbs. The latest additions to Swissmar's Dalla Piazza range are multifunctional scissors, in addition to specially designed, ergonomic poultry shears. "Multitasking is a common part of our lives and a need for a multitasking tool has developed."
Beginning with an all-purpose shear, Lifetime's assortment has blossomed to a number of specialty shears for the kitchen as well as other parts of the home, said Bob Reichenbach, executive vice president, division president, cutlery, cookware, bakeware, Lifetime Brands. This includes a gift-wrapping shear, a kitchen/gardening shear, herb snips and more. It also recently upgraded its Farberware line of kitchen shears and specialty shears with sheaths that comply with new flight regulations. People also respond well to its multipacks, which include two to five pairs of shears, he added. For the company, price points range from about $5 for kitchen shears to $20 to $25 for forged versions.
"The Lifetime Brands shear business has grown dramatically in the last few years, with full shear assortments offered in all of our brands," Reichenbach said.
In addition, like other categories in the kitchen, color is key in this category.
Wusthof has brought color to its kitchen shears for the first time in red, green, blue and yellow, and which are pared with a utility knife in the company's SilverPoint II line, exclusive to Sur La Table.
Messermeister has also brought color--red, green, blue, orange and yellow--in its take-apart shears, which the consumer can separate into two parts to wash and sharpen them more efficiently. Besides their styling, they are also outfitted with additional functions, such as cap openers, lid twisters and screw driver/pryer tools, said Ethan Hamme, national sales manager. And, for more precise cuts, it's added small herb snips as well.
Already with two high-quality multipurpose kitchen shears in its line, Kai USA will bring to retail a Shun Herb Shear and a fun, stand-alone shear in the Pure Komachi 2 collection in the fourth quarter, said Kurt Zanner, vice president, sales and marketing, Housewares Division. "With the growth in farmers markets and availability of fresh herbs in grocery stores, we think there is a new focus on herb accessories and tools," he said. "Herb scissors are a natural extension."
Zanner added that the category falls into two price groups: $50 to $100 for shears that are "truly cutlery; these tools can be resharpened and will last a lifetime;" and the $10 to $20 range of basic kitchen prep, which will include its upcoming Pure Komachi 2 shears.
And Swing-A-Way, a Focus Products Group brand, now offers space-saving shears as part of its new Swingers brand. Each item in the line has a fold away handle, and will be available in September.