Trudeau: More Brand for the Buck
By Andrea Lillo
While other companies might focus on accumulating a number of brands, Trudeau only wants to focus on one: Trudeau.
Trudeau recently purchased New York-based housewares company Silvermark -- its first U.S. acquisition in 20 years -- but the most viable part of the company is "its capabilities and products," Philippe Trudeau, president of Trudeau Corp., told HFN -- not the brand itself. "We are focused on developing Trudeau as a key brand."
Founded by a husband and wife team in New York, Silvermark is known for its Toss & Chop, which helps one prepare salad easier, as well as other food prep and cutlery items. At Trudeau, Silvermark's co-founder Michael Silver will now focus on new product and business development while also maintaining relationships with key suppliers.
"The fit, culture and timing was perfect for both companies," Trudeau told HFN. The acquisition will allow Silver to "do what he does best -- to create products." The Silvermark line will be folded into Trudeau's line, and Silver will remain based in New York. (Trudeau Corp. is based in Boucherville, Quebec.)
The companies have complementary product lines and distribution channels, as well as a shared objective to develop products targeting the trends of healthy eating and easier food preparation.
Trudeau will provide Silvermark access to distribution it didn't have before, Trudeau said. And Silvermark brings to Trudeau a number of patents and trademarks, as well as relationships with its own factories in China and an office in New York City.
And though it's been 20 years since its last U.S. acquisition, Trudeau is open to others. "We're a debt-free company," Trudeau said. "We're always looking for businesses to make us stronger." Its last U.S. acquisition was the U.S. distribution company for ROSTI, a Danish brand, in 1992, which gave Trudeau a real presence in the U.S.
Trudeau added that today the company's business is pretty evenly spread out between Canada, the U.S. and internationally.
At the International Home + Housewares Show in March, Trudeau said that Trudeau will expand its Stress Less line to go beyond kitchen gadgets and food prep items. The line was launched last year and is designed to reduce the strain on hands and joints. In addition, its booth at the show will be new and wider.