By Amber Gallegos
This month, OXO will debut its first ever line of electric appliances, OXO On. The 25-year-old company will initially introduce a collection of eight small appliances to begin with, all featuring the innovative functionality the brand is known for and that has earned OXO many design awards in the past two decades.
From start to finish, OXO On has been three years in the making now. Small electrics is a category the company has always wanted to get into and the timing ensures that the feature set is fully developed and deliverable, explains Kate Lubenesky, OXO Sales Director.
“We have always had our eye on this market because it’s an important market for a housewares brand to be in. As OXO evolves from primarily being known for tools and gadgets, it’s a natural progression for us to create a line of small electrics that has an innovative feature set, sleek design and intuitive functionality that the brand has become known for,” says Lubenesky. “The company had to be a certain size and scale in order to be able to handle a launch of this magnitude. Now that we have really good systems and processes in place it felt like the right time to be able to tackle this project, which is much more complicated than a potato peeler.”
The launch will include a 9-cup coffee maker, 12-cup coffee maker, conical burr coffee grinder, cordless glass electric kettle, two-slice motorized toaster, four-slice motorized toaster, illuminating digital hand mixer, and illuminating digital immersion blender. All items are styled in black and brushed stainless steel and feature backlit LED displays.
Suggested retail prices for OXO On range from $79.99 for the hand mixer to $299.99 for the 12-cup coffee maker. Lubenesky says the prices fall in the mid-range, making them a step up from some of the cheaper products on the market, but still attainable enough so that they’re not such a decided purchase for many consumers.
OXO sees the line as appealing to customers who appreciate good design and the function that follows. Lubenesky points out that the electrics would be a nice option for bridal registries since the collection has a cohesive line look and the appliances are aspirational items, giving retailers a chance to sell more than one product at a time. She also notes that OXO has a strong MAP policy to protect independent specialty gourmet retailers. Lubenesky describes OXO’s approach to independent retailers as leveling the playing field for them.
“For authentic gourmet specialty retailers and kitchenware shops, we protect them by letting them win not on exclusivity or price, but by having good customer service, great in-stocks and access to the full product line,” says Lubenesky. “We let retailers compete on a fair playing field. How does the store look, do they have products in stock, is their customer experience good, do they have trained employees on the store floor; that’s where specialty independent retailers excel. OXO’s strong MAP policy is taken very seriously; it’s not just in word, it’s also in deed. If you go online, you won’t find our products for less at any major retailer, including Amazon.”
A must-have option for mixers these days is color. Blame it on KitchenAid, c’est la vie. Anyhow, it was only a matter of time until the kitchen color explosion seeped over to the small appliances category. Even the well-established Vitamix has forayed into color – if only in black, white and red for now. Currently, KitchenAid remains the color giant in the realm of mixers – and how could it not? The brand has launched over 85 colors and finishes for the iconic stand mixer and offers an online quiz to determine what color will best suit a customer.
While companies like SMEG look to make a splash on the U.S. market with a combination of color and function, an interesting juxtaposition has arisen where premium blenders have risen to the prominence of premium stand mixers. Now, it is seemingly KitchenAid, with the new Magnetic Drive Torrent Blender, looking to dominate the premium blender category in a fashion similar to that achieved with the brand’s stand mixer.
While the price gap is closing between premium blenders and mixers, there is still a functional gap between the two machines that requires any self-respecting kitchen appliance junkie to absolutely have both. Otherwise, a customer will have to decide if they’d rather bake sweet and savory treats or go on a liquid diet of smoothies, soups and sauces. Perhaps a happy medium could be for a customer to go for premium on the appliance they will use frequently and opt for a more inexpensive version of the machine they know they are less likely to use. Save up that next premium appliance purchase for a major life event, like the kids finally going away to college!
BLACK+DECKER’s Digital FusionBlade Blender features a two-tip stainless steel blade providing enhanced blending and ice crushing to create smoother smoothies, velvet purees and protein-packaged power drinks. The four function automatic digital control and pulse includes a pre-programmed 30-second smoothie function. Accessories include a 6-cup glass jar with an easy to remove lid, level markings and ergonomic handle, and a 20-ounce BPA-free personal jar with travel lid and blade base. Cleanup is a breeze with dishwasher-safe removable parts.
Suggested Retail Price: $39.99
The BISTRO Blender from BODUM is a powerhouse tool that easily mixes, chops, grinds, crushes and liquefies everything from nutritious smoothies to satisfying soups. The blender features an easily adjustable continuous speed dial and a convenient pulse function. The pitcher holds 42 ounces, is made of an enormously sturdy BPA-free plastic, and the lid has two openings: one with a filter to hold back any large food pieces, and the other to pour thicker liquids.
Suggested Retail Price: $80.00
The Dash Go Everyday Mixer saves time so that you can make nutritious, unprocessed recipes everyday. This pint-sized powerhouse can whip up everything from whole wheat pancake batter, to oatmeal cookies, to whipped cream with ease. Convenient and compact, the Dash Go Everyday Mixer has a 2.5-quart capacity bowl and is designed with a smaller footprint that fits underneath most kitchen cabinets. Available in pastel blue, pastel pink, red or black.
Suggested Retail Price: $69.99
The Dualit Professional Hand Mixer (model #88520) has been designed for both commercial and home use and comes with a professional heavy-duty 300-watt power motor. On top of the solid ingenuity, this mixer has four speed selections with rotational speeds of 540 rpm to 1200 rpm, including blending, beating, whipping and turbo settings. Additionally, it is equipped with a unique manually retractable power cord which cleverly winds into the rear cap end, ensuring easy and tidy storage at all times. The mixer comes with a balloon whisk, two oversized flat beaters, and dough hooks. The soft touch finish with easy-grip handle is available in variety of colors.
Suggested Retail Price: $120.00
KitchenAid’s first-of-its-kind Magnetic Drive Blender for home use, utilizes magnets to secure the pitcher to the motorized base and drive the blades, resulting in an easy front-load, slide-in design. Helpful pre-programmed, hands-free settings for juices, soups and sauces, milkshakes, icy drinks and smoothies take the guesswork out of blending and eliminate the need to constantly monitor the blender. An ingredient feed on the top of the blender allows for the addition of ingredients at any point during the blending process, while an intuitive Intelli-Speed® Control system automatically optimizes blade speed to efficiently complete blending tasks.
Suggested Retail Price: $599.99
The Omega TF6064S combines power, durability and capacity while turning out tantalizing combinations of delicious drink blends. It features a 3-peak horsepower motor that spins blades at up to 26,500 rpm and propels the blade tip speed over 250 mph, 10 percent faster than its closest competitor. The Omega TF6064S includes a commercial grade motor with the motor mouth engineered with new air flow technology that decreases noise pitch, creating the quietest blending experience in Omega’s line of high performance blenders. Commercial construction coupled with its precision controls make the Omega blender the go-to tool whether blending for business or pleasure.
Suggested Retail Price: $449.95
With the SMEG 50s Style stand mixer, recipes take shape thanks to a reliable, robust, and efficient assistant featuring planetary rotation and a 600-watt motor. The 5-quart stainless steel bowl with ergonomic handles enables small and large quantities of mixtures to be prepared, augmenting any recipe. Ten adjustable speed setting guarantee the greatest versatility in the preparation stages, including a Smooth Start function. The numbers printed alongside the lever suggest the correct speed based on the hook in use. A stainless steel wire whisk, aluminum flat beater, aluminum dough hook and anti-spray pouring shield are included. SMEG offers many possibilities, including the use of accessories which are inserted on the front, and will enable you to cut or stretch fresh pasta. Available in cream, red, black, pastel blue or silver.
Vitamix® introduces the latest innovation in personal blending: the S55. Engineered to deliver power and premium results in a compact machine, the S55 makes it easier than ever to create individual smoothies and small batches of recipes including soups, dressings and sauces. Four pre-programmed settings, variable speed control, and pulse function are conveniently housed in a single dial, offering the versatility to create a variety of textures. A 40-ounce container with a two-part lid is included, as well as a double-walled BPA-free 20-ounce container to blend individual servings and take them to go. The interchangeable blade base attaches easily to both containers and features the signature laser-cut, stainless-steel blade design of every Vitamix machine. A safety interlocking system turns the machine off automatically when the container is lifted or rocked from the base.
Suggested Retail Price: $459.00
This story was originally published in the May 2015 issue of Kitchenware News, a publication of Oser Communications Group.
Start your conversation with the customer in front of your mixer and blender display by asking what they plan to bake. A hand mixer is good for customers who only do occasional baking and bread making. If a customer is an avid baker who regularly bakes and requires help with kneading large amounts of dough, a stand mixer will be a better choice. A strong blender, like Blendtec Designer 725, will be able to make small batches of batter, dough and whipped cream.
Other differences between appliances for mixing and blending include materials. Reading the fine print on the specifications of stand mixers will give insights as to the difference between a $100 mixer and a $600 one. The motor gearing can be metal or nylon, metal being more long-lasting. The mixer can have a lift or tilt mechanism for the bowl, the difference being a matter of preference. The number of speeds will vary, but at least six are preferable. Consider the weight of the mixer; a heavier machine will minimize any movement while in action. Dishwasher safe attachments will make clean up easier and a splash guard will help keep the batter in the bowl. A mixer with planetary mixing action will reduce the amount of time spent scraping down the sides of the bowl.
Then of course, there are the accessories. Some mixers will come with all the extras while others are limited to the basics: a whisk, dough hook, and beater. Others might have a special drive where separate attachments will transform the mixer into a meat grinder, pasta maker, citrus juicer, food processor and more. Here are a few choices for you to consider adding to your selection.
The Ankarsrum Original Kitchen Machine (formerly known as Verona, Magic Mill, Electrolux Assistent, DLX), a favorite mixer of Swedish cooks since 1940, is now available for North American homeowners. Fashioned from sturdy chrome and steel, this 600 watt professional quality kitchen tool is a durable all-purpose mixer that produces superior baking results. A variety of optional attachments transforms the Ankarsrum Original into a complete kitchen center, eliminating the need for a separate food processor, meat grinder, or slicer. The Ankarsrum Original offers professional functionality and versatility in one convenient counter top tool.
The Blendtec Designer 725 is a 1700 watt super‐machine that delivers the commercial‐quality power and speed needed to blend even the toughest ingredients like ice and frozen fruit safely, quickly and evenly. Exclusive SmartBlend technology senses and identifies potential problems that could interfere with the perfect blend-including loading errors, overheating, or air pockets – and then tells users how to fix them. The capacitive touch slider provides seamless precision speed control for 100 speeds with the slide of a finger. The Blendtec Designer 725 features six preprogrammed custom cycles: Smoothie, Salsa, Ice Cream, Whole Juice, Hot Soup, and Clean. Suggested retail price: $649.00
Perfect for the design-conscious baker, the BISTRO Stand Mixer from Bodum is a stylish addition to any countertop. It has a compact design for convenient under-counter storage, tilt-up head, 4.7-liter steel mixing bowl and a body made from rubber-sprayed plastic that comes in many colors with a transparent top. The Stand Mixer comes with three dishwasher-safe hooks: a dough hook and a flat bubbler made from aluminum, and a stainless steel egg beater. The powerful 700-watt motor has seven speeds to mix, knead, stir and whip. A removable splash-guard and funnel attachment allows users to safely and easily add ingredients into the bowl while mixer is operating, eliminating countertop mess. Suggested retail price: $286.00
With the new design, stainless steel bowl and 450-watt motor, not only does the Bosch Styline Mixer look good but it also performs well. Mixing, blending, whipping, and kneading can now be done in style. Includes motor drive covers, accessory bag, beating whisk, stirring whisk, dough hook, transparent lid with filler hole and continuous shredder. Features an easy arm lift with special gearing and three drives. Bowl and tools are dishwasher safe. Rubber suction feet add extra stability. One year warranty included. Suggested retail price: $379.99
Chefman Rubberized 6-Speed Hand Mixer
Thanks to its powerful motor, this convenient hand mixer from Chefman can take on almost any mixing task – from whipped cream to dense cookie dough. Shift from six speed settings with the easy to use slide control. It also comes equipped with an extra long 6-foot power cord giving you more mixing options. The rubberized finish not only looks good but feels great in the hand. Accessories include dough hooks for even more versatile mixing. Available in black, purple and red. Suggested retail price: $29.99
With a 1000 watt motor, 12 variable speed settings, 4.8 liter bowl and powerful planetary mixing action, this Dualit stand mixer can be used to create a host of culinary treats with ease. Included is a beater, spatula beater, dough hook and whisk making quick work of whipping up sponge mixtures, cream, meringues as well as kneading bread and making pastry. The mixer also benefits from a timed mixing action, with countdown timer, so other tasks in the kitchen can be completed, while the unique instant pause function lets users check the progress of their creation or add extra ingredients.
The newest Stand Mixer from Hamilton Beach® (Model 63390) features planetary mixing action with a mixing head that spins as it rotates, ensuring complete bowl coverage and better mixing than stand mixers with two beaters. No need to stop and scrape ingredients from the side of the bowl. Three attachments for mixing versatility: includes nonstick flat beater, nonstick dough hook and stainless steel whisk. Attachments are dishwasher safe for fast, easy cleanup. Splatter shield guards against messy drips, drops and spills. Mixture stays in the 4-quart stainless steel bowl and off the counter. Seven speeds and a 300 watt motor power through any mixing job. Suggested retail price: $99.99