By David Gill
The small-electrics vendors who will be exhibiting at this week’s Gourmet Housewares Show are aiming their sights at different retail targets, rather than rolling out new products.
The show won’t be devoid of product launches from the small-electrics manufacturers; here and there, some will be displaying products that weren’t seen at the International Home & Housewares Show in March in Chicago. But most of the small-appliance manufacturers will be presenting products they introduced at the housewares show—but slanting them at the upper-end retailers that are attending this show, rather than to the mass retailers who frequent the Chicago show.
“The focus at the gourmet show shifts toward the independent retailer,” said Rob Sheard, brand director-North America for Breville. “We try and tailor our offerings to their strengths, which include the ability to tailor their assortment to their particular geographic area, create compelling stories around niche categories and focus on personalized customer service.”
Mary Rodgers, director of marketing communications for Cuisinart and Waring, said, the show “gives Cuisinart and Waring the opportunity to work directly with our specialty retailers, making it a valuable event for both companies.”
It’s not that smaller, independent housewares retailers don’t go to the Chicago housewares show. But this week’s gourmet show gives vendors a chance to pay more attention to this sector of their customer base, rather than having to crowd them into their schedules with their mass-class customers.
For example, Tribest, which exhibits at both shows, won’t be introducing any new products specifically for the gourmet show; every product that it will display this week was seen at the housewares show. Brian Choi, the company’s manager of public relations and marketing, said, “We attend the Gourmet Housewares Show because it gives us a chance to talk to retailers in a more focused and intimate setting. This gives us the opportunity to give more one-on-one attention to each of our retailers, and it’s crucial in helping us develop deeper relationships with our retailers.”
Rodgers agreed, saying, “Specialty retailers play a central role in the success of Cuisinart and Waring, and the gourmet show gives us the opportunity to spend more one-on-one time with buyers to focus on new products as well as their individual needs.”
Some small-electrics manufacturers do have products to introduce, however. Krups is unveiling the XP7320 Compact Fully Automatic Espresso Machine this week. With 1,450 watts of power, the machine features a thermoblock heating system with a 15-bar pump, a frothing system that includes a patented steam nozzle, a metal conical burr grinder with three grinder settings and a Claris water-filtration system.
The XP7320’s design includes a titanium face with a stainless steel frame, and an LCD graphic.
KitchenAid will offer its 4-Speed Blender, with a patented stainless steel blade and six modes: stir, mix, puree, liquefy, chop-ice and pulse. This new model offers a 48-ounce, shatter-resistant polycarbonate pitcher in one piece, making it safe to clean in a dishwasher.
The 4-Speed Blender also comes with KitchenAid’s patented Soft Start feature, in which the motor starts at a slower speed to pull food into the blade, then quickly accelerates to the selected speed setting.
AeroGrow will add the Garden Starter Tray to its AeroGarden line of indoor gardening products this week. The Garden Starter Tray is a plate with holes that the user fills with dirt, and then places on the AeroGarden bowl, which is filled with water, and plants seedlings in each of the holes. Once the plants begin to grow, the seedlings can then be transplanted to the user’s outdoor garden or planter.