By David Gill
CHICAGO–The lure for consumers of preparing good food quickly and conveniently is behind many of the new products from manufacturers of small kitchen electrics at this week’s show. Blenders, food processors and hand mixers that promise plenty of power and versatility are among the key product introductions this week. The added influx of new coffeemakers and espresso makers demonstrates that this category continues to be an important one, with plenty of growth ahead.
With tea as a beverage on the rise, the company is introducing utiliTEA, an electric kettle with a variable temperature control. The control enables the user to select the temperature at which it shuts off, instead of automatically shutting it off at boil—a temperature that’s ideal for black tea but ill-suited for green or white teas.
Also new is the TriniTEA, an electric tea maker that simplifies the preparation of tea from loose leaves. The product has a three-part system that quickly heats water in one chamber, infuses the leaves to an adjustable strength in another chamber and then filters the tea into a glass carafe. A warming plate beneath the carafe keeps the tea hot, so it can be enjoyed for hours.
The company continues its expansion efforts on its product line of indoor garden appliances. Among the new items is the AeroGarden 3, which is about half the size of the original AeroGarden Classic for people with smaller counter spaces. The AeroGarden 3 grows herbs, vegetables, salad greens and flowers throughout the year, and the company offers more than 15 herb and vegetable seed kits for the new product. The new AeroGarden Deluxe has twice the light and twice the height of the original AeroGarden, with three full-spectrum glow bulbs that deliver 2,725 lumens at a distance of 6 inches; a 2-foot extendable lamp arm grows full-sized tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. AeroGrow is also unveiling the Garden Starter Tray, which serves to transplant seedlings begun on an AeroGarden outdoors. The company is also debuting new seed kits such as the Salsa Garden, the South of the Border Herb Kit, the Holiday Herb Kit, the Salad Bar Series and the Herb and Salad Chef Packs. The Herb ‘n Serve Fresh Salad Dressing and Marinade Maker allows users to create dressings and marinades by combining herbs, oils and vinegars, and then pressing the button.
The division of Meyer Corp. has added to its assortment of French press coffeemakers. The Rhone Collection Insulated French Press offers a patented Flavor Lock filter system, which shuts off the brewing process with a twist of the knob on the lid. Its double-wall glass carafe traps and maintains the coffee’s just-brewed temperature, aroma and flavor longer.
Cuisinart has extended its product lineup in the hand-mixer category. It is introducing two hand-mixers under the name Power Advantage, with one of them a seven-speed unit and the other a five-speed unit. The new products can handle tasks ranging from whipping egg whites to mixing cookie dough and feature a speed control, a beater eject lever and a swivel cord for right- or left-handed use. The seven-speed model has a one-step power switch and a patented SmoothStart function with three low mixing speeds.
Also new are a line of Programmable Slow Cookers, which feature digital technology to ease the process of making home-cooked meals. The two models offer 24-hour programmable cooking times, three cooking modes and an automatic shift to keep-warm mode once the cooking is finished. Other features include a touchpad control with an LCD timer display, a brushed stainless-steel housing with chrome-plated handles and dishwasher-safe glass lids and ceramic cooking pots.
The Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus 4-Cup Food Processor enlarges the capacity available on the previously launched Mini-Prep Plus with a larger work bowl. It also offers the trademarked Auto Reversing Smart Blade, which processes both soft and hard foods, a stainless-steel blade with sharp and blunt edges, touchpad controls and dishwasher-safe parts.
The North American unit of the Italy-based housewares producer has added two products to its coffeemaker roster. The Complete Frontal Access Drip Coffee Maker offers frontal loading capabilities that provide easy access to the water tank and the ground-coffee filter, which eliminates the need to move the coffeemaker out from under countertops and cabinets, and thus helps prevent spills. It sports a 10-cup capacity, an aroma button that activates a time-released brewing process to enhance the aroma and flavor of the coffee, and a double-walled thermal carafe to preserve the temperature and flavor for hours. The Perfecta Digital Super Automatic Espresso Machine expands De’Longhi’s line of single-touch systems. It includes the company’s Direct-to-Brew system with Thermo-Block technology, which provides greater heat distribution, while the conical burr grinder has 13 settings to allow users to adjust the fineness of the bean grind. Also featured are a single-touch cappuccino and latte function.
De’Longhi’s Digital Toaster Oven comes with user-friendly digital controls that allow the user to bake, broil, toast or keep foods warm. A special toaster-color selector enables the user to choose toast settings from light to dark. The new model also offers a temperature quick-check feature, which provides precise and consistent temperature readings at any point in the cooking process.
The company’s new Professional Food Processor features an E-disc, which can be used for whipping cream and emulsifying sauces and dressings. Also in its design is a bakery-grade dough blade and fully adjustable slicing disc. It’s outfitted with a heavy-duty induction motor and pulse setting, plus long-life stainless-steel chopping blades. The Cordless Jug Kettle is fitted with a rapid-boil concealed element, heat-proof handles, an oversized non-drip spout, a laser-cut lime-scale filter and a large water indicator on both sides. The Espressivo Coffee Center creates both crema espresso and a dense, aerated latte. It has a thermo-block instant-ready heating mechanism and a 15-bar pressure pump. Its user-friendly features include a full-tray notification, a frothing nozzle, cup height clearance that fits a full-sized mug, a removable water tank and an accessory holder.
The company has enhanced its line of espresso machines with three new models. The Cafe Charm, available in white and anthracite, is a compact espresso maker with a Thermo Cream System and Maxi Cappuccino device to prepare high-quality espresso and cappuccino. The Cafe Professional Stainless, made of heavy-duty stainless steel with a chrome finish, has a high-performance pump-driven system that provides constant and uniform pump pressure for both espresso and cappuccino. The Caffe Novecento has a body made entirely of chrome-plated metal, and features a professional brass filter holder with the Thermo Cream System and the Maxi Cappuccino device.
The company is putting its emphasis on green and efficient cooking products. The new products include the Portable Induction Cooktop, a compact cooktop suitable for a boat, camper, dormitory room or studio apartment. It uses 90 percent of the energy required by other cooking methods without flames, heating elements or gas emissions. The cooking surface surrounding the pot remains cool to the touch, and the unit cooks 50 percent faster than gas or electric cookers. The 6-quart Electric Multi-Cooker combines the functions of a pressure cooker, a slow cooker and a rice cooker. It also includes a brown-and-warm function for true one-pot cooking and a self-locking lid with an automatic pressure-release setting.
As its entry into the beverage-making category, Hamilton Beach is unveiling the Dual Wave Blender, a trademarked product. The Dual Wave Blender is constructed to use both an 80-ounce jar or two 16-ounce, single-serve jars. The dual blades and dual motors deliver 1,000 watts of peak power, enabling it to blend an entire pitcher full in less than 30 seconds. The two smaller jars allow for the blending of separate drink mixes. The new product also features the Dual Wave-Action system, a patented technology that ensures that ingredients are blended for smooth results with no ice chunks.
Also new is the BrewStation 60-Cup Urn, a patented redesign on the traditional coffee urn. It provides one-hand dispensing, allowing for faster filling of cups in a buffet setting, and a dispensing area with a higher cup clearance than most urns. The powerful center heater brews the entire tank at a rate of 45 seconds per cup, less than the 60-second average for most urns, and shuts down after brewing. A keep-warm heater then maintains the coffee’s temperature without scorching it. The urn also features a stainless-steel tank that can be removed by releasing the clamps.
The company has added a stainless-steel model to its patented Todco Roasted Garlic Express program. The Stainless Steel Roasted Garlic Express is equipped with a digital timer that counts down the minutes to assure properly prepared garlic bulbs. It also comes in an upscale, contemporary design. The product roasts three garlic bulbs in 27 minutes, compared to conventional ovens that take from one to two hours.
The company’s Nuwave brand extends to include the Nuwave Twister Multi-Purpose Blender. This seven-piece product includes accessories to make the blender more convenient, versatile, quicker and easier to use. Among these are two blades that are each designed to work on various textures of food: a flat blade for grinding coffee beans or dried spices or for whipping cream or mousse, and a cross blade designed to chop fruits and vegetables for salsa, pesto, sauces and egg dishes. The two interchangeable blending containers measure 8 ounces and 4 ounces, and they come with lids that allow for ingredient storage in a refrigerator.
A revolutionary new ironing board will be on display from the company. Called Revolution 360: The Smart Board, the new product’s perimeters follow the contours of the human body, holding clothing taut as it rotates 360 degrees to provide twice the ironing surface, and eliminating the need to continually move and adjust garments by hand. It includes an insert for collars, cuffs and pockets, as well as pants clips to allow for easy creasing and pants ironing. Other features include curved and flat sides, a removable and washable cover, neck and sleeve boards, and a safety iron rest. The Revolution 360 comes in a retro design, a nature motif and silhouette design, and a classic look with an oiled bronze finish.
This show marks the official launch of the Italy-based company’s new Hyper Espresso Method, a capsule system that is engineered to consistently yield a perfect shot of espresso with the touch of a button, which is the technological hook for the company’s Francis Francis X7 espresso maker. The new capsule system uses a complete extraction method that functions with a two-phase preparation process. The first step is hyperinfusion, in which the coffee and water come into contact under optimal pressure conditions, with enhanced flavor and aroma due to the Hyper Espresso Method’s elasticized valve seat. This is followed by the emulsion process, in which the coffee passes through a valve to form the crema.
Three new programs join the company’s Gaggia brand of coffeemakers: the Platinum Line, the Espresso Line and the Gaggia Baby Line. The Platinum Line encompasses four automatic espresso machines—the Platinum Vision, the Platinum Swing, the Platinum Swing Up and the Platinum Vogue—all with stainless-steel front panels and multiple programming options. Each model includes a touch screen, an electronic drip tray, an espresso plus system that regulates the intensity of the coffee, a milk island for frothing, a revolving frothing wand, a ceramic coffee grinder and an aqua prima filter that removes impurities from the water.
The Espresso Line includes the Espresso Dose, the Espresso Pure and the Espresso Color. Each of these models has a thermostat to maintain proper and consistent brewing temperatures, a regulator for pressure accuracy, a 58-millimeter filter basket and chrome-plated brass portable filter, a stainless-steel boiler, a passive cup warmer, a removable water reservoir, and a frothing wand and ball joint.
The Gaggia Baby Line includes the Baby Twin, the Baby Class and the New Baby. These models offer a removable water reservoir and a frothing wand and ball joint. The Baby Twin features an independent boiler system that produces rapid steam, allowing the user to instantly switch from brewing to steaming, along with stainless-steel housing, programmable brew volume and a three-way solenoid valve. The Baby Class and New Baby are semi-automatic models that feature both brush stainless-steel housing and a stainless-steel front panel.
Jarden Consumer Solutions
The housewares powerhouse has added to the rosters of three of its top brands: Oster, Sunbeam and Margaritaville. The Oster brand welcomes the 3 in 1 Hand Blender, Mini Chopper and Electric Knife, a combination appliance that blends, chops and cuts. It includes a stainless-steel blending rod that permits the user to make purees and baby food. The powerful chopping element can both cut vegetables and grind nuts and spices. The electric knife allows for the precise slicing of various meats and other foods.
The new product in the Sunbeam brand is the hot Iron Storage Case. This product safely stores a hot iron right after use, minimizing the risk of burns. Its interlocking handle ensures that the iron won’t fall out when picked up, and that it’s comfortable to carry. The case also fits all full-sized irons and has a special compartment for cord storage.
The Margaritaville lineup now includes the Fiji Frozen Concoction Maker. The Fiji has four completely automated preprogrammed drink cycles, which shave ice automatically to fit margaritas, daiquiris, slides and smoothies. It also has an enhanced ice reservoir that holds enough ice to make two and a half pitchers of frozen drinks, but is also capable of producing frozen concoctions with a one-, two- or three-drink setting. Its design encompasses heavy-duty die-cast components, a brushed-nickel housing and polished stainless-steel accents.
The company, which has been the exclusive distributor for Bosch small appliances in the United States and Canada for more than 30 years, is adding products to each of these lineups. It is launching a new version of the Bosch Universal Plus Kitchen Machine, the first design change in this product in more than 20 years. The Universal Plus offers an 800-watt motor with four speeds and a momentary function. Accessories are also available for purchase, including a slicer shredder, a food processor, a stainless-steel bowl, a meat grinder, cookie paddles, a cereal mill, a berry press, a fancy cookie attachment, pasta attachments and a citrus juicer.
Kitchen Resource has now added Cloer, a Germany-based producer of small electrics, to its distribution family. Cloer manufactures waffle makers, coffeemakers, toasters, electric water kettles, juice extractors, tea makers, percolators, bread-roll bakers, barbecue grills, table grills, induction plates and electric woks.
Unique small appliances in retro design continues to be the drawing card for Nostalgia Electrics as the company introduces merchandise in its Retro Series. Among the new products it plans for the show are the Margarita Oasis, a machine for margaritas and other frozen drinks, which also functions as a blender and an ice shaver. The Margarita Oasis comes with a glass pitcher with measurements listed on the side, a choice of ice shave, an ice tray and a lid for the ice compartment. Also new is the Martini Shaker by Nostalgia Electrics, a trademarked product that automatically shakes cocktails and features a 16-ounce capacity. The Retro Popcorn Maker is a working replica of a popcorn maker from the 1950s, and works with hot air instead of oil to produce the popcorn popping sound. The Retro Kettle Popcorn Maker is a throwback to kettle popcorn making and offers a 2-ounce stainless-steel kettle, a built-in stirring system and a measuring spoon and cup, and pops up to 1 gallon of popcorn per batch. The Dough-Nu-Matic Doughnut Maker automatically forms, fries and drains dough to make a dozen mini doughnuts in less than 10 minutes. The Large Hot Dog Cart and Umbrella, reminiscent of vending carts from the early 1900s, is a full-sized hot-dog griller with a roller for grilling hamburgers, onions and other vegetables. The cart also has two steaming inserts with lids for warming hot dogs and buns, three condiment inserts for sauerkraut and relish, a side beverage cooler, and a service shelf to hold paper goods. The Retro Hot Dog Roller holds up to eight regular-sized or four foot-long links of hot dogs at a time, and includes a built-in bun warmer.
The company will be featuring its Frisper Freshkeeper system, an electronic food-storage device. It’s a countertop vacuum sealer that features professional-grade bags with recloseable tops that create airtight storage. The user fills the bag, closes the seal, places the seal side in the unit and then clicks the lid shut. It automatically begins working to remove air and lock in the food in one step. The unit comes with five 1-gallon and 1-quart bags.
The company’s new patent-pending Hot Beverage Center and Tea Urn makes tea and hot cocoa using a patented electric kettle with a thermostat, a new coffee press with a tea infuser and a cocoa frother. The Flowering Tea program is adding new flavors, including white tea with peach, black tea with Earl Grey, vanilla and peppermint. New tea-brewing accessories will also roll out, including teapots with built-in infusers and hardware to keep the lids secure.
On the garment-care front, the company is introducing the Pantman F5 Professional Quality Digital Pant Press, a trademarked product. The new press offers an extra-wide pressing area large enough to accommodate garments of all shapes and sizes in a walnut veneer unit. The user loads the pants into the unit and selects the fabric and the desired time (20, 30 or 45 minutes). It also includes an automatic shutoff control, which prevents overheating and protects the fabric from damage. The digital control also allows for accurate temperature regulation for all types of fabrics.
Reliable is also launching the Empressa Digital Steam Press, also a trademarked product. This press provides more than 10 times the pressing surface of a regular iron. The user places the garment on the pressing surface and lowers the press onto the garment. It includes a digital control with which the individual can choose the temperature for the fabric.
The HPS-SG3 Indoor Barbecue Grill established Sanyo’s presence in this category, and this week, the company is looking to expand that presence with two new models, the HPS-SG2 and the HPS-SG4. The former features a 120 square-inch cooking surface and 850-watt heating element. The latter is a combination grill-griddle with 200 square inches of cooking surface—with about one-third of the area holding a griddle section with a lid and the traditional grill surface accounting for the rest.
Also new from Sanyo is the Electric Kettle, which can be used to prepare tea, instant coffee, baby formula or instant noodles. It features a bright stainless-steel finish and an internal blue LED light that shows through the top and water-gauge window. Its 7-cup capacity makes it suitable for family use, and it includes a 1,500-watt heating element for rapid boiling. The 360-degree swivel base conceals the power cord. Safety features also include auto-stop boiling, which automatically turns the unit off when water reaches the boiling point, and a concealed heating element for safely cleaning the inside of the kettle.
The Sanyo SK-WA2S Toaster Oven features an interior large enough to allow users to cook a 10-inch pizza, five slices of toast or casseroles and other gourmet meals. The heat-resistant dish measures 10 by 10 inches by 3 inches, and U-shaped quartz upper and lower heating elements provide rapid and uniform heating throughout the oven.
Among the company’s new products is the Rotating Serving Tray, in which an electric motor turns a traditional three-tiered tray. It also includes an integrated battery source, allowing for operation with or without a power cord. The Over-Easy Express is for making pancakes and snacks and comes with a patented flip Over-Easy hinge by which the user turns it over for cooking on both sides. The Over-Easy Express Omelet Maker is designed along the same lines as the pancake maker, with the same flip-over function for making omelets in minutes.
The company last year introduced its Weil by Spring trademarked collection of cooking products, centered on the noted integrated-medicine expert Dr. Andrew Weil, and it is extending the small-electrics portion of the group at this week’s show. New to the line are a Belgian waffle maker, a two-tier electronic food steamer and a juice extractor. Previously, the company also added smaller versions of its rice cooker and slow cooker.
The small-appliance division of Groupe SEB has added two new products to its Emerilware lineup. The Emerilware Bread and Baguette Maker by T-Fal offers a variety of settings and features that allow the user to create breads ranging from whole-grain, whole-wheat, rye, gluten-free and salt-free. It makes up to four classic or personalized baguettes and includes non-stick baguette trays and loaf pans and a finishing blade to create authentic baguette marks. It has three loaf-size settings, three custom-crust settings and 14 preprogrammed settings. Also included are an express cycle that bakes a 2.5-pound white loaf in one hour and 20 minutes, a one-hour keep-warm feature and automatic shutoff.
The 3-in-1 Food Processor by T-Fal, aka The BAM! Machine, is a multitasking appliance that combines a food processor, blender and juicer. Its 500-watt motor handles various food consistencies and quantities. Among the functions it performs are chopping, slicing, shredding, emulsifying and making dough. Its features include a stainless-steel chopping/mixing blade for fine or coarse options, and two stainless-steel slicing/shredding discs.
Two major introductions from the company are the Apollo Personal Blender and Sproutman’s Soil-Free Wheatgrass Grower. The former, a trademarked and patented product, is an all-in-one blender that allows users to make single servings of blended smoothies, protein drinks, salsa, baby food, soups, desserts and other items. It comes with a single-serving cup, making it easy to drink from and clean. Sproutman’s Soil-Free Wheatgrass Grower, produced in partnership with Steve Meyerowitz, an expert on wheatgrass and sprouting, produces wheatgrass in 10 days, with or without soil. It comes as a three-level unit that can be expanded to as many as 10 levels, with each level capable of producing up to 15 servings of wheatgrass juice.
The company’s new Stanza Hot-Cold Serving Tray is a powered chaffing dish that features dial-in serving temperatures for both cold and hot party foods. It features a stainless-steel construction; a power server; and Peltier cooling technology, which provides the optimum temperatures for each food item.
The company is upgrading its CIA Professional Series—which it introduced last year in partnership with the Culinary Institute of America—with new technologically advanced materials, a cool-running motor and design improvements to enhance functionality and performance. One of these enhancements involves the use of Eastman Tritan, a trademarked material that is supposedly as durable as polycarbonate but containing no bisphenol A, a material linked to adverse hormonal responses. The material improves sound dampening and provides greater durability, even with heavier use. The new series also features a two-peak horsepower motor, which is designed to improve efficiency and performance and that processes heavier mixtures ranging from peanut butter to ice cream. It also includes a new lid-locking design that makes it easier for the user to remove. The product comes in platinum, onyx or ruby colors, and carries a seven-year warranty.
The brand is introducing two models of Professional Convection Ovens, one measuring 1.5 cubic feet and the other at 0.9 cubic feet. The two models can accommodate a quarter-sheet commercial baking pan and feature 1,700 watts of power and a 120-minute timer. The larger unit comes with four shelf positions and provides five different cooking methods: conventional baking, convection baking, rotisserie, roasting and broiling. The rotisserie can hold up to 9 pounds of meat. The smaller model has three shelf positions and offers the same cooking functions as the larger unit, and its rotisserie holds up to 7 pounds of meat. Each model features a stainless-steel interior, a rotisserie spit, rotisserie skewers, and a handgrip that allows for even cooking of whole roasts and fowl.
The company is targeting wine connoisseurs with a couple of product launches. The VinoView 20-Bottle Wine Display Refrigerator has a convex display door to allow opened bottles to be stored upright, while the pull-out chrome shelves hold unopened bottles sideways. It also features a digital temperature control that maintains ideal storage conditions for both red and white wines, and has three pull-out chrome shelves.
The TriBeCa Wine Cellar Console can house up to 20 bottles of wine on five shelves, and has a hardwood veneer exterior with an espresso finish. Its temperature control maintains prime storage conditions for both reds and whites. The thermoelectric cooling provides silent performance, allowing it to fit right in to any living space.
The company will debut its updated Gourmet Roaster, a countertop appliance that simplifies the task of roasting meat and fish to enable the user to pursue a healthier diet. The new version features top and bottom heating elements, making it unnecessary for the cook to flip the food during roasting. The extra-wide roasting rack can accommodate meats and fish up to 13 inches wide and directs excess oils and fats away from the food. It boasts 1,300 watts of power, thus ensuring quick cooking, and comes with a catalytic filter that minimizes odors and smoke. It also has an adjustable timer up to 30 minutes, a flip-open lid and a food server.