It has now been 40 years since Cuisinart founder Carl Sontheimer introduced the food processor as a consumer appliance.
Sontheimer and his wife, back in 1971, became intrigued when watching a demonstration of a restaurant food preparation machine in France. Sontheimer was then a retired MIT-trained engineer as well as an accomplished cook, and he was convinced the technology of the French restaurant machine could be adapted to a home appliance in the United States.
Sontheimer refined the design of the machine with a longer feed tube, improving the cutting blade and discs, and adding safety features to meet American standards. The "food processor" was unveiled for the first time at the 1973 National Housewares Exposition in Chicago. By 1975 the machine was earning accolades from food authorities such as James Beard, Julia Child, Craig Claiborne, Jacques Pepin, and Helen McCully, and it was being featured in Gourmet magazine, The New York Times, and other publications.
By 1977 Cuisinart was doing big business in food processors, and the was being challenged in the market by several other brands of food processors.
In 1988 the Sontheimers retired again, selling Cuisinart to investors, and in 1989 the brand moved to Conair Corp. Under Conair, the brand has expanded its small electric housewares line to include coffeemakers, hand mixers, and toasters.
In 1998, the same year that founder Carl Sontheimer passed away at age 83, Conair Corp. acquired small kitchen electrics maker Waring Products, which was established as a sister company to Cuisinart.
In the ensuing years, the Cuisinart appliance lines broadened further, as did its line of kitchen and cooking accessories. 2012 saw the brand earn several awards, including a Platinum MarCom Award and Silver LACP Spotlight Award for its IPad app and a Housewares Design Award in the Countertop Food Prep Appliances category for its Blend and Cook Soup Maker.
2013 has already seen further expansion of the appliance line-up, including the Cuisinart for illy Buona Tazza Espresso Makers collection, as well as sparkling beverage makers, a baby product line, and new countertop cooking appliances.
The current Cuisinart product lineup includes:
* blenders, including the Blend and Cook Soup Maker
* can openers
* coffeemakers, including single serve machines, and coffee grinders
* countertop cooking appliances, including the Griddler line, the Oven Central, and the Vertical Rotisserie
* espresso makers
* food processors
* frozen yogurt-ice cream & sorbet makers, as well as the Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker
* hand blenders
* hand mixers
* kitchen tools & gadgets (seven distinct collections and specialty items like the Cuisinart mandoline)
* microwave ovens
* slow cookers
* sparkling beverage makers
* stand mixers
* tea kettles
* toaster oven broilers and toasters
* waffle makers
In addition, it markets specialty products such as wine cellars, popcorn makers, bread makers, a juice extractor, pressure cookers, and deep fryers.
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