the International Housewares show was held in uncertain
times - a sluggish U.S. economy, the specter of possible
war, and continued fears of terrorism - the show
was a launching pad for new product introductions,
as consumers continue to cocoon and purchase housewares.
Housewares Show, held Jan. 12-14 in Chicago, IL, U.S.,
and sponsored by the International Housewares Association
(IHA), is more than just a market displaying thousands
of new products for the home. Instead, the tradeshow
often serves as a launching pad for companies to enter
into product areas, and as a barometer for future business
entered the housewares category with a cordless iron.
Electronics launched baby care products.
- Haier America
launched range hoods and a water cooler.
- Sharp Electronics
launched an air purifier.
introduced an air cleaner.
launched wireless vacuum cleaner (under the Westinghouse
Range launched a blender.
introduced a stand mixer.
as it was the year before, the "cocooning movement," or
the trend towards consumers transforming their homes
into personal sanctuaries, continues very strongly,
even in tough times. While a sluggish global economy
took its toll on many industries in 2001, industry
sales of housewares in 2001 rose to U.S. $75.3 billion,
up from $69.5 billion in 2000, according to IHA's 2002
State of the Industry Report. More encouragingly, the
average sales growth on housewares over the last 5
years topped 7 percent per year, according to the report.
times, consumers seek more comfort in their environments
and stronger connections with family and friends, said
A.J. Riedel of Riedel Marketing Group and editor of
IHA's Housewares MarketWatch newsletter. Consumers
are seeking products that encourage family togetherness,
promote quality family time, and support family traditions.
Ms. Riedel cited categories such as tabletop and dinnerware,
candles and fireplace/hearth products, board games
and entertainment products, popcorn poppers, photo
albums, comfort foods, and decorations and collectibles
for Christmas and other holiday seasons as strong sellers
in 2003. Ms. Riedel also predicts that feel-good products,
such as stress-relieving massagers, health care, and
personal care items, also will continue to sell well.
are not just limited to products. Consumers may indulge
in a home remodeling or redecorating project that
provides the same "feel-good" senses.
For many, the laundry room has become the room to have. According to
Ms. Riedel, the laundry room has become the new status
symbol. In a September
2002 survey by the National Association of Home Builders, Ms. Riedel
noted home buyers ranked a separate laundry room not
just a space for a washer
and dryer as the most coveted design feature in a house. She observed
that it beat out 88 other features, including a bathroom
linen closet (No. 2),
a separate dining room (No. 8), and a walk-in pantry (No. 9.).
Appliances (Newton, IA, U.S.) officially entered
the housewares arena with its introduction of a cordless
iron at the show. According to Annette Bravard, brand
manager at Maytag, the iron will help Maytag to expand
its product categories and find new markets.
iron is such an easy fit because we're already very
strong in laundry," she told APPLIANCE. "An iron
is a natural extension for us." The iron will be
sold directly to consumers via the Maytag web site
and through direct mailings, and eventually, through
retail outlets. The iron is equipped with an iron "cradle" that
acts as a docking station. Each time the iron is
placed on the cradle, it is energized with a 1,440-W
power boost. The iron also features a titanium sole
plate that has a smooth, scratch-resistant surface.
A stainless steel sole plate is also available. Other
features include an ergonomically designed handle
that allows the user to iron right-handed or left-handed,
or switch from one hand to another, and a heat-resistant
Therma-Dome carrying case that can be snapped onto
the loading dock while the iron is still hot, enabling
it to be put away safely before cooling down. APPLIANCE
As part of
the ongoing expansion of its Culinary Products Division,
Viking Range Corporation (Greenwood, MS, U.S.) entered
the small kitchen electric market for the first time
with the introduction of a blender at the show. The
2-speed blender is the first of what will be a line
of about six premium small kitchen appliances, said
Dave Becker, vice president of Product Management for
Viking. In addition to the 2-speed operation, the blender
has a pulse feature, and can be stored in two pieces.
It comes in gray, black, white, graphite gray, burgundy,
and cobalt blue finishes. It also features a 40-oz
glass jar that has measurement markings and is dishwasher
safe. A stainless steel jar is available as well.
(Glen Allen, VA, U.S.) unveiled its Classic Chrome
Blender that features 550 W, hi/low/pulse options,
and an extra-large (48-oz) glass jar. "Chrome
is timeless, ageless, and now," said Dave Kerr,
marketing director for the company.
also showed its Stay or Go™ blender that is topped
with a lidded thermal travel cup for blending a range
of to-go drinks, smoothies, ice drinks, and power beverages.
For times when the portable travel jar is not needed,
a stand-in, 48-oz glass jar is available. A SureLoc™ safety
base, exclusive to Hamilton-Beach blenders, provides
another level of security by locking the jar to the
size are the features in the SmartPower Premier™ blender
offered by Cuisinart (Stamford, CT, U.S.). The 600-W
blender features cast metal and stainless construction,
along with hi/low/pulse features. The 50-oz glass jar
is said to make it simple to double or triple recipes,
according to Mary Rodgers, director of Marketing Communications
for the company. The blender also has a Count-Up timer
with a digital display that keeps track of blending
time, so each recipe is followed, and a continuous
beep after 5 min of blending time, to ensure that ingredients
are not over processed. "Consumers want a blender
that is easy to use on a daily basis, but powerful
enough to accommodate large crowds on special occasions," Ms.
its food preparation range with its first hand blender
featuring ergonomic styling and easy cleaning. The 1-speed,
200-W hand blender is designed with a front-facing power
button with the electric cord at the back. The power button
has a large, nubby-textured, non-slip rubber finish. On
the opposite side are rubber rubs for secure handling.
are introducing new toasters with sporty designs and
features, as the upscale toaster business grows.
MA, U.S.), for example, has been targeting the premium
toaster segment, most recently with a new range of
2- and 4-slice toasters that combine premium features
with new, modern designs. A 46-in warming unit platform
on top of the toasters reportedly warms 25-percent
faster than toaster ovens, and five-times faster than
traditional wire-rack bun warmers.
launched a 2-slice model that reportedly features one
of the widest slots on the market (1 3/4 in), allowing
consumers to toast oversized slices of specialty breads,
muffins, and deli-sized bagels. Additional features
of the toaster include reheat, defrost, and cancel
button controls, along with a slide out crumb tray,
and cord storage.
Brook, NJ, U.S.) launched a new toaster with an interactive
feature - a visual display that counts down, from minutes
to seconds, the elapsed toasting time. The digital
countdown is fully adjustable at any point in a cycle.
A re-heat function warms previously toasted bread;
waffle and defrost functions cater to specific morning
fare; and a 9-position electronic browning system is
said to ensure consistent toasting each time.
Lack of time, combined with a desire for convenience,
is prompting many consumers to purchase high-quality
products that provide professional results at home. Items
such as commercial quality kitchen tools allow consumers
to save time and money by recreating the professional
experience within the home.
To meet that need, KitchenAid (Benton Harbor, MI, U.S.)
announced a new line of eight commercial-designed appliances.
The KitchenAid® Pro Line™ collection combines
high power with commercial capacity and design to provide
professional, quality performance. Products in the line
include a blender, burr coffee grinder, coffee maker,
espresso machine, frozen dessert maker, food processor,
toaster, and waffle baker.
"As for styling, the [The Pro Line] appliances
are designed to look professional, but not industrial," said
Brian Maynard, KitchenAid Brand director, Integrated
For example, the commercial blender features a high-efficiency
motor that reaches speeds up to 24,000 rpm. Stainless
steel cutting in the commercial burr coffee grinder is
said to ensure consistency in grinding, and can be adjusted
to compensate for wear or calibrated to meet standards.
The ProLine™ coffee maker features 12-cup glass
carafe, a die-cast metal base, and a stainless steel
commercial boiler versus traditional aluminum tubing
for durability. The ProLine™ dessert maker, a first
in this product category from KitchenAid, features a
self-contained refrigeration unit housed in brushed stainless
Unlike the vertical freezing cylinders of conventional
frozen dessert makers, the appliance has a commercial
horizontal freezing cylinder to control the amount of
air mixed into the dessert. And, the ProLine™ commercial
quality waffle maker is a double-sided "clam shell" baking
unit that can be rotated to allow the batter to flow
into areas where it may not otherwise reach.
Electrolux North America (Augusta, GA, U.S.), known
for its major appliances and floor care products, launched
the Electrolux Assistent Swedish stand mixer. The mixer
has been a staple in European homes since 1940. It has
a 450-W motor located in the bottom of the unit and an
8-quart stainless steel bowl.
According to Eddie Johannson of the company, the Assistent
offers professional results and versatility, and is heralded
by cooks throughout the world for its high-quality performance
in bread and pastry making. It weighs only 19 lb, and
may be turned on its side to accommodate attachments.
show is a relatively recent venue for major appliances,
albeit an increasingly important one.
displayed its new high-speed oven, which is said to
dramatically reduce cooking time. According to Joy
Weiss Daniel, product manager for Microwave Ovens,
the new oven uses super-heated air to cook the food
2-5 times faster than traditional ovens. The oven works
by air that is forced into the food cooked at very
fast speeds. It has two heaters and 2,900 W of resistance.
It also features 84 basic food recipes representing
nine categories (appetizers/snacks, fish/seafood, poultry,
meats, casseroles, desserts, cakes/breads, pies, and
pizza). The oven has two turntables (racks) for two-level
baking, a stainless steel front, silver painted cabinet,
and easy-to-clean interior finish. Ms. Daniel told
APPLIANCE that for now, the oven won't be found in
traditional "box" stores such as
Best Buy and
Target, but will be sold through high-end channels.
In addition to showing a new line of range hoods and a water cooler, Haier
America (New York, NY, U.S.) exhibited its 6.6-lb capacity portable washer
with electronic controls. Pankaj Paleja, product manager for the company, said
that Haier is adding to its line with pieces ranging from 3.3-lb to 19.8-lb
capacities as portable washers continue to grow as an essential housewares
item for small spaces and specialty uses. Mr. Paleja added that traditional
portable washers do not have electronic controls, which is why Haier's new
washer is unique.
the need for small appliances for small spaces, Haier
also exhibited its counter-top freezer. The unit is
1.3 cu ft and has an adjustable thermostat control,
reversible door design, and a manual defrost feature.
Haier is marketing it as the perfect freezer to complement
compact- and apartment-size freezers, or as a solution
to in-home bars or special occasions.
(Ridgefield Park, NJ, U.S.), which recently was named
one of the world's Top 100 brands by BusinessWeek magazine,
showed its entire line of full-size refrigerators -
its bottom-freezer, and side-by-side models - one of
the few companies at the show to exhibit larger appliances.
All of Samsung's refrigerators utilize the company's
Twin Cooling System, Multiple Flow Air Vents, and Digital
Temperature Display and
ensure fresher, healthier food preservation. The Twin
Cooling System offers independent control of the refrigerator
and the freezer; and individual evaporators and fans
to maintain humidity, temperature, and cooling performance.
The Air Vents distribute cool air evenly with outlets
on every shelf and drawer.
to Haier America's success in the housewares
category, buyers have been asking for additional
products, says Rebecca Espinueva, public
relations manager. As a result, Haier launched
a water cooler with a refrigerated compartment
on the bottom that has an adjustable/removable
shelf. There are two additional versions
with built-in storage compartments, one with
a see-through door, and one opaque. A desktop
version of the water cooler has the same
2-, 3-, and 5-gal water bottle capacities,
with dimensions at 13-in x 13-in x 18 1/8-in.
to Jim Cataldi, brand manager for Dr. Scholl's Appliances
for Helen of Troy in El Paso, TX, U.S., there is an
increasing trend towards consumers to self medicate. "Baby
boomers are driving this industry," he told APPLIANCE. "We
are living in a time when people don't go out as much,
but people still want to do things to make themselves
feel better, and they can do that at home with our
Helen of Troy
has been working with Dr. Scholl's Appliances for 5
years, licensing its line of personal care products
such as hand massagers, paraffin hand waxers, manicure
sets, facial brushes, and pore refiners, all of which
were exhibited at the show. The appliances were shown
in feminine colors with soft lines, "to give it
a more cleaner look," said Trish Licon-Delgado,
brand manager for Revlon Spa Appliances for the company.
care appliance maker that was focused on meeting consumer
needs was Wahl Clipper in Sterling, IL, U.S., which
launched its METRO line, a range of clippers, trimmers,
and shavers specifically created for Hispanic and African-American
families. "The Hispanic and African-American demographic
segments have become a larger force in the marketplace
every year," said Scott Andersen, Wahl's vice
president of Sales and Marketing, citing statistics
that show that the African-American consumer comprises
30 percent of total U.S. hair-care expenditure, yet
accounts for only 13 percent of the population, while
the Hispanic population has grown 58 percent in the
past 10 years, and by 2010 is projected to reach 56
The Wahl METRO
bump-preventing shaver is said to provide a close shave
and reduce the likelihood of razor bumps. It has an
open blade design that cuts off the whiskers with a
blunt edge as opposed to the pointed edge left by a
razor blade. Therefore, the whisker is less likely
to grow back into the skin.
the first time, Philips North America had
one booth at the show with a united front
of brands. Philips exhibited products for
the U.S. and Canadian markets, including
men's grooming (Norelco and Philishave),
lighting oral care, home medical, domestic
appliances, and baby care. "We believe
that showing all areas together will provide
a better understanding of all we do," said
Rob Westerhof, president and CEO of Philips
North America. Shown is one of the products
in the company's new line of baby care products:
the LCD Baby Monitor, which features an integrated
thermometer and LCD display. A Talk-button
on the monitor allows a parent to reassure
baby by letting it hear a parent's voice.
the proliferation of neighborhood coffee bars, the majority
of coffee preparation still takes place in the home. According
to the National Coffee Association's National Coffee Drinking
Trends 2002 Report, 62 percent of all "gourmet coffee" is
prepared at home. (Gourmet coffee is defined as premium
whole beans or ground variety.)
As such, Cuisinart
has created a coffee maker that can create flavorful,
fresh-tasting coffee without going out to get it. The
keystone of the company's Grind & Brew™ line
is that the whole beans are ground just before brewing,
ensuring fresh coffee. One of the most significant
benefits of the coffeemaker, said Ms. Rodgers of the
company, is the separation of the grinding chamber
from the grinder basket. This design is said to reduce
moisture in the grinding chamber, making it easier
for consumers to clean the machine after each use.
Another new feature is a charcoal water filter that
removes impurities from the water and improves the
is bringing back coffee percolators. The company's
stainless steel percolator is making coffee making
an event, and not a chore, said Brian Schwartz, senior
product manager for the company. A large, ergonomic
handle on the appliance is said to ensure for a solid
grip for larger hands, while a drip-free spout helps
filling and pouring. Interior fill markings for both
water and coffee grounds take the guesswork out of
to Hamilton-Beach, coffee urns are making a comeback
in a big way. The company brought back the sturdy,
trusty coffee urn with an updated design and improved
safety features. A large, easy-to-read water interior
water level markings is said to take the guesswork
out of filling. Brewing speed, powered by 1,100 W,
is maximized at a cup per minute, and when the bright
ready-to-serve indicator light flashes on, a two-way
dispenser provides pouring versatility for a cup at
a time or continuous pouring when coffee pots need
to be filled. Safety features include a twist-lock
lid and a internal monitor boil dry safety shutoff.
also exhibited its Cappuccino Espresso Maker with a
15-bar pressure Italian pump and easy froth feature.
ESE pods are prepackaged, perfectly ground, measured,
and tamped packets of espresso coffee that look like
teabags. Each ESE pod produces one shot of espresso.
Mr. Schwartz said that until this product, no one has
been able to deliver a quality performer in the home
espresso market at a reasonable price, adding that
other products with the same powerful pump and pods
filter holder cost much more.
(Seoul, Korea) recently claimed that in November 2002
it was named number one in global manufacturing capabilities
of microwave ovens by the Fuji Research Institute Corporation
at LG Electronics world headquarters. LG Electronics
said that it has a 23-percent share of the world microwave
oven market from sales of more than 12 million units
doubt that the company has been a strong competitor
in the microwave oven industry since June 1981. In
addition to its original Korean facility, LG has built
factories in the UK, China, and Brazil, which have
a cumulative total production of 75 million microwave
recently launched two new round cavity microwave ovens
to its home appliance line. The interior cavity is
said to provide a larger turntable than conventional
microwaves, which enhances even cooking, cleaning,
and energy saving. With no edges to clean, the company
said the round cavity prevents dirt and mold build-up,
making cleaning easier. Both appliances feature 1,200
W of power, and one model features a 1.4-cu-ft cavity,
a 16-in turntable diam, sensor cook technology, and
LG also introduced
its Glide & Cook microwave oven, which features
a sliding tray system that allows consumers to cook
food in 10-x 15-in rectangular dishes instead of round
dishes. "This is a great development for home
chefs," said Simon Kang, president of LG's Home
Appliance Division. "By enabling users to cook
more food thoroughly in larger dishes, the Glide & Cook
makes microwave oven cooking for family and guests
as easy as cooking for one person."
a round microwave oven was Samsung Electronics. According
to Dan Baxley, director of Marketing for the company,
for years, Samsung has worked to offer quality products
that benefit consumers. The new microwave ovens are
small on the outside and big on the inside, providing
1.0-cu-ft interior capacity while only taking up an
exterior space of 0.8-cu-ft compact oven. This feature,
said Mr. Baxley, increases the cooking area of the
microwave by 20 percent, and increases the diameter
of the dishes one can place in the unit by 10 percent.
With the extra space, Mr. Baxley said time is saved
by heating up two small dishes/bowls together.
introduced its Toast & Bake Microwave Oven, a three-in-1
kitchen appliance that combines a toaster oven, a 1,750
W grill, and a 1.0-cu-ft microwave oven. All three
functions are activated via instant touch pads on the
front panel. Other features include a ceramic enamel
interior for easy cleaning, a pull-down door handle,
and two level rack holders for multiple tray or rack
The oven uses
Samsung's multi-grill heating system, which automatically
moves into place when activated. As a toaster, the
appliance toasts up to four slices of bread without
turning, using the top browning and bottom crisping
heaters, and a special toast rack provided with the
unit. When broiling or baking foods, the oven offers
consumers the option of placing either the included
broil rack or baking tray. As a microwave oven, the
appliance uses a turntable for even cooking or reheating,
and incorporates Samsung's one-touch cooking pads.
Electronics introduced its combination
toaster and microwave oven that features
a 2-slice toaster and 0.9-cu-ft microwave
oven. It also features 900 W of power for
the microwave and 800 W of power for the
toaster, a horizontal key pad, nine browning
levels, and a stainless steel finish.
are also becoming more conscious of keeping their homes
clean. A recent Home Business Study reports that men
are more likely than women to say, "Cleaning is
something we do frequently."
IL, U.S.), which always has an impressive product demonstration
at the show, demonstrated the power of its True HEPA
sealed filtration. To prove a point about the superior
filtering performance of its LiteSpeed upright, the
company filled a chamber with smoke and a firefighter
equipped with a breathing apparatus. The demonstration
was to show the benefits of True HEPA filtration as
the Eureka vacuum was switched on and the smoke chamber
is cleared using only the vacuum. Kathryn Luedke, public
relations director for the company, said that Eureka's
WhirlWind LiteSpeed bagless upright cleaner actually
draws all the air in the chamber through the sealed
filter and the smoke disappears.
said that Eureka has sealed the air pathway on the
WhirlWind LiteSpeed. The air must pass through the
pleated True HEPA filter before it exits back into
the room. The LiteSpeed retains 99.97 percent of all
particles down to 0.3 microns. It picks up the dirt,
captures it, and holds on to the smallest particles,
in Glenwillow, OH, U.S. exhibited its new Platinum
Force™ Vision Bagless Upright that has a patented
dirt path - one that is shorter, wider, and located
in the center of the nozzle - for more suction power.
It features a 12-A motor, and a HEPA Filtration System
that the company said traps 100 percent of pollens
and ragweed, and more than 99.97 percent of dust and
allergens. It also features a MotorGuard® system,
which protects the motor from damage.
new Breeze® Bagless Upright weighs only 12 lb,
yet has 12 A of cleaning power. Instead of vacuum bags,
dirt is vacuumed into a clear dirt container that has
MicroFresh® filtration, and is said to trap 99.9
percent of dust and allergens. Pushing a button releases
the spring-loaded cap to lift out the dirt container. "We're
really excited about the new Breeze Bagless Upright," said
Rick Farone, executive vice president of Sales, Marketing,
and Engineering at Dirt Devil. "Along with its
powerful performance, the price of this vacuum is exceptional." Other
features of the vacuum include a scuff guard bumper,
a 25-ft power cord with quick release, and foot controls.
From the point
of view of housewares executives, 2002 posed unique
times seem a bit uncertain…but I don't think anything's
changed about the nesting phenomenon," said Linda
Graebner, president/CEO of Tilia, Inc., in San Francisco,
CA, U.S. "As consumers see their portfolios shrink,
they're probably going to be inclined to nest more
- which puts them in the kitchen and buying kitchen
products. My expectation is that they'll go back to
the tried and true, the brands they know, convenient
products like ours (vacuum packaging systems) that
save them money. They won't go for the faddish sorts
Bissell, president and CEO of BISSELL, Inc., Grand
Rapids, MI, U.S., believes that the overall economy
is "tough" for everyone - with no second
half recovery visible - he sees several opportunities. "The
market in our industry is very dynamic," he said. "Just
the fact that we have some new players coming in, which
we haven't had for a while, is interesting. It's just
not the same old business anymore. Product life cycles
are short. You have to make your money quickly and
move on to the next item. The retailer concentration
going on also is a trend, and that's accelerated. The
big box stores are dominating our business today."
As the industry
heads into 2003 there will be new challenges, as well
as lingering ones, such as the U.S. West Coast dock
strike, which Mr. Bissell observed, "showed how
the world has become a global economy, how sensitive
it is, and how it doesn't take much to disrupt it."
other thing going on, of course, is that the population
continues to age," added Tilia's Ms. Graebner.
We're trying to make our buttons easier to push, make
the machines more 'idiot-proof.' Since I'm time-starved,
I should be able to walk up to one of our products
and make it work without opening the manual. I think
consumers are going to look for that in all categories."
these challenges, Mr. Brandl of IHA said that the housewares
industry is well positioned to continue the 7-percent
average annual growth it has experienced over the last
5 years. With the consumer at home more often, a creative
home and housewares products industry will be the beneficiary.
The 2004 International
Housewares Show will move to new dates in 2004 and
will be held at McCormick Place from Saturday, March
20 through Monday, March 22, 2004. In addition to the
date change, the 2004 show also will feature new categories,
including a Gourmet Home District (GOHO) that will
feature gourmet specialty foods, a rapidly growing
category in traditional housewares retail channels.
The GOHO District also will feature food tasting, celebrity
chef appearances, and a retailer education program.
Statistics & More New Products
for the 2002 International Housewares Show was just
more than 56,000, a slight increase over last year's
55,959 registrants. The show also featured 1,780
exhibitors, including 429 new companies, 521 international
companies, and more than 100 international design
the growing global nature of the event, show attendees
from outside the U.S. comprised nearly 30 percent
of total attendees and represented 103 countries
and 6 continents. Exhibitors at the 2003 show from
outside the U.S. grew by 8 percent over 2001, making
up nearly 30 percent of total exhibitors.
New Products Seen at the 2003 Housewares Show
- A chest-style
freezer with a glass top and built-in drawer that
is ideal for keeping frozen food such as ice cream
at a ready-to-eat temperature.
- A bathroom
scale that stores, recalls, and displays the user's
weight history for up to 2 years. It also can be
used as a conventional scale or the readout can be
mounted at eye level.
- An updated, "smart" slow
cooker that features 200 recipes programmed into
the digital appliance, making it more convenient
- A roasting
machine that locks in juices and seals in flavor
and can also be used for baking as well as steaming
rice, vegetables, and seafood.
deep cleaning vacuums that are narrower and can fit
easier on stairs.
- An electric
appliance that can make froth and hot beverages as
well as prepare sauces, dips and desserts.
Shamrock Green for 2003
spend more time and money on their homes, color has
taken on a new importance in housewares. The color
for 2003? It's shamrock green, or the new yellow, which
was retired in favor of a vivid, yet vintage green.
to the International Housewares Association (IHA),
people want their homes "to reflect their personalities,
and that means they want color choices beyond white,
beige, and almond." Consumers also are looking
for hues that make them feel comfortable and secure.
Shamrock apparently has met that need because it reminds
consumers of nature. IHA says that consumers' concerns
and fears, along with their search for security and
safety has manifested into soft, muted colors such
as blue greens, copper and metallics, and conservative,
neutral colors such as browns and earth tones.
after 9/11, we saw a spate of red, white, and blue,
mostly in promotional, decorative items," said
Jay de Sibour, president of the Color Marketing Group. "In
a broader sense, it raised consumer's minds about the
need to reconnect, to consider the issues of home,
family and religion.
the economy is good, people tend to be more daring
in terms of color, however, when the economy is tight,
people put more value in their purchase," he said. "They
tend to be less frivolous and less risk-prone because
it may be a long time before they can replace that
If the economy
improves, Mr. de Sibour predicts the color palette
will get cleaner and brighter. "People want to
move on and would like to say it's time to reconnect
and enjoy life again," he said. "They want
to shed the turmoil of their lives and get out of their
colors from KitchenAid, which already offers a collection
of colorful housewares products, including pink stand
mixers (whose sales help benefit the Susan G. Komen
Breast Cancer Foundation) and cobalt blue refrigerators,
as well as empire red dishwashers. This year KitchenAid
had two new hues: "ice," a very light blue,
and a green called wasabi, named after a paste people
may eat with sushi.