SodaStream Creates a Bubbly Buzz
If Housewares Show attendees thought this year’s SodaStream booth at McCormick Place was bigger than last year, they were right.
SodaStream President Daniel Birnbaum said the much-talked-about company’s exhibition space at the 2011 version of the show was six times the size of last year’s—perfectly reflecting the company’s rapid growth since the last show.
The company, which went public last year, has created quite a buzz with its home carbonation system. With fewer bottles and cans to recycle than regular soda, and SodaStream’s sodamix, which contains no high-fructose corn syrup, SodaStream says its “a smarter way to enjoy soda.”
“The product has a wonderful consumer appeal,” Birnbaum said. “It addresses key environmental and health benefits for today’s consumer.” Birnbaum added that retailers get an added boost from repeat customers that return to stores to purchase SodaStream flavorings.
New at the Housewares Show for SodaStream was Fizz, a home soda maker that features a digital screen that users can set to monitor how much carbonation is being used. The new unit comes in a variety of colors including red, green, blue, black, white and pink.
Haan Steam Rolls into Cleaning
Consistency was the theme for Haan at the International Home + Housewares Show.
Featured in its booth at McCormick Place was a series of red and black floor-care products. These included the Swift SI-25 sanitizing steam mop; the Agile SI-40, which has special features for added maneuverability; the Select SI-60, which produces adjustable steam for all types of floors; the Multi SI-70, which combines the effectiveness of a steam mop with the versatility of a hand-held cleaner; the Total HD-60, which steams and sweeps floors in one step; and the Complete MS-30, a professional-grade sanitizer.
Haan differentiates itself with the packaging for these products. “People either don’t know what they’re looking for in a steamer, or have had a steamer but now want a better product,” said Chris Guckian, Haan’s vice president of sales and marketing. “The packaging now has text that explains both how the steamer works and why it works better than what they have now.”
These launches are part of the company’s strategy to expand its retail channel distribution. “We’re already in department stores and shopping channels,” Guckian said. “Now we want to get into mass merchants and home-improvement stores, but with the highest-priced product in the category.”
The prices for this line range from $99 to $179. “People will spend $179 for a product that steam-cleans without chemicals, and that sanitizes,” Guckian said.
Another key for this line is that it provides cleaning for all types of surfaces—and not just floors. “Our product line also includes items that will clean and sanitize kitchen countertops,” Guckian said.
Space Bag Stores It All
ITW Space Bag introduced a wide range of items to the market, all designed to make it easier for consumers to store and even shop for things. The San Diego-based company is introducing lavender-scented storage bags designed to keep bedding products, sweaters and jackets and other bulky items dry and clean in a limited amount of space.
The item comes in jumbo and extra-large sizes and in combo and single packs. The company is also promoting its Space Bag To Go line, including a travel laundry bag, toiletry bag and shoe bag as well as a travel bag suitcase.
The company’s Eco line features a shopping bag in a pouch, folding trolley and cart items. “These products help the retailer meet the needs of the eco-conscious consumer,” said Betty Jameson-Dunn, the director of marketing for the company.
ITW Space Bag also unveiled a line of pop-up shelves, featuring several SKUs of instant shelf organizer products with price points ranging from $14.95 to $29.95. “The home storage category is growing by about 5 percent a year and we see an opportunity there,” said Jameson-Dunn.
What the Butler Launched
Butler Home Products had one of the largest booths in the North building at McCormick Center—and for the International Home + Housewares Show last month, the company needed every square inch.
Butler Home had one of the largest volumes of product introductions at the show. New for the cleaning-products manufacturer were expansions in its Love 2 Clean line into brooms; the Mr. Clean Breeze spray mop which can use any cleaning agent; a line of sponges under the Dawn brand, one group with a patented triangle shape and another group of cellulose compressed sponges; and the Duo Sponge Cloth, with one side made of cellulose with a cotton scrim embedded inside.
A particularly noteworthy display in the Butler booth previewed the company’s new licensed Black & Decker line, which Butler will formally launch at the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas in May. This collection consists of mops, push brooms, wet mops, scrub brushes, window cleaners and dust pans.
Noting the high level of recognition for the Black & Decker brand, Michael Silverman, Butler’s senior vice president of marketing, said, “This license is a natural because Black & Decker is in every room of the house.”
Butler also used the Housewares Show to unveil its new Butler Ultra brand. Silverman described this grouping an up-market line, comparable to the Mr. Clean and Dawn collections but branded as Butler.
Euro-Pro is Smart About Steam
The Shark brand of Euro-Pro used the International Home + Housewares Show to underscore its position as a pioneer in steam floor cleaning with the introduction of the Pro Steam Pocket Mop.
The key to this new product is its “intelligent” steam control, said Stuart Babb, Euro-Pro’s director of marketing for steam products. “The control includes a dust mode, a mop mode and a scrub mode or tough stains,” Babb said. “It also has upgraded microfiber pads, which are reusable and which sanitize in seconds. It also comes with both rectangular and triangular heads.”
Along the same lines is the new Shark Lift-Away steam mop. This has everything the Pro Steam Pocket Mop has, along with a handheld unit for sanitizing any surface above the floor. The Lift-Away also comes with a garment steamer and tools for scrubbing counters.
Shark’s new vacuum, Lift-Away is also the name of a new Shark entry into its line of vacuums. The Navigator Lift-Away has a Lift-Away mode that enables it to clean stairs, furniture and curtains. It’s designed with a swivel head that makes it easily maneuverable around furniture.
The Navigator Lift-Away is also made with an anti-allergen feature which works along with the HEPA filter to trap allergens inside.
Jokari Takes More Healthy Steps
With healthy eating still top of mind with consumers, Jokari expanded its successful Healthy Steps line with nine new items at the recent International Home + Housewares Show.
They include a pasta server, which can measure portions of both cooked pasta and pasta sauce; a fish turner, which has a spring-loaded, double-blade design to keep fillets intact while turning; a nut bowl and scoop, to portion out single servings of nuts; a chicken tool to skin and debone chicken; and a dressing cruet, which includes recipes of healthy dressings on the bottle, as well as measurement lines in case consumers want to make their own.
“We continued to focus on portion control items, as portion control appears to be a hot button,” said Cindy Pruitt, vice president, sales, Jokari. “Then we explored kitchen tools that related to healthy foods, such as fish and chicken.”
The new items will hit stores later this summer, and will range from $2.99 to $7.99.
Zyliss’ New Tools
Diethelm Keller Brands (DKB) introduced a number of tools in its Zyliss brand designed to make it easier for consumers to peel and eat fruit. Included in the new entries is a strawberry huller ($3.99 suggested retail price), a cherry pitter ($9.99), an avocado tool ($5.99), a citrus/kiwi tool ($3.99) and a melon slicer ($4.99), and three styles of graters.
“We really think these products work well with grocery because of their cross-merchandising opportunities,” said Timothy Yee, director of marketing for the Irvine, Calif.-based company.
Product Specialties Cleans Up
Product Specialties unveiled a variety of products at its third Housewares Show. The Whitney, Ontario-based company emphasized the versatility of its new motion-activated SoapSense liquid soap dispenser by filling the unit with hand sanitizer at the show. Housewares attendees sampled the free germ-killing liquid—while experiencing the hands-free operation of SoapSense—throughout the event, said Product Specialities General Manager Martin Kehoe.
The company also garnered attention for its Dolci-branded Hot Air Theater-Style Popcorn Maker. The unit features a retro theater design with marquee and a “keep warm” function.
Product Specialties also introduced a large line of wine accessories, including corkscrews and numerous decanter and aerator sets under the Final Touch brand.
Meyer Expands the Brands
Among Meyer’s numerous cookware introductions at the recent International Home + Housewares Show were extensions in its Anolon and EarthPan brands, as well as more color choices in its Paula Deen and Rachael Ray lines.
This latest generation of EarthPan uses an exclusive Ceramtech PFOA- and PTFE-free non-stick coating for a line that can withstand high heat. Safe up to 850 degrees on the stovetop and 500 degrees in the oven, the new EarthPan Ceramtech High Heat Cookware is offered in two metal constructions: durable, hard-anodized with a clear exterior coating, and polished stainless steel. In addition, the company has enhanced its original EarthPan line so that it is now dishwasher safe and safe for use on all cooktops, including induction.
A year after its introduction of the Anolon Nouvelle Copper line, Meyer now offers a stainless steel version for those chefs who want that construction. With a mirror-polished stainless steel exterior, the new Anolon Nouvelle line has an encapsulated magnetic stainless steel base enhanced with a layer of copper to deliver fast and even heating, as well as to ensure compatibility with all cooktops, including induction. It will also have the same tulip-shaped body of Anolon Nouvelle Copper. Offered in both open stock and sets, the line will debut at retail this fall.
Its Rachael Ray and Paula Deen cookware collections introduced more color at this show. The Rachael Ray line now has a two-tone gradient hard enamel non-stick cookware line, as well as purple and white colors in its stoneware. The Paula Deen collection boosted its assortment with the addition of pear in its stoneware, robin’s egg blue as a 10-piece cookware set in its traditional porcelain enamel non-stick cookware, and oatmeal speckle and pear speckle in its porcelain non-stick cookware.