By Robin Mather
When your customers mention entertaining at home, are they thinking about strictly within the four walls of their own houses? Or are they also planning what we’ve come to think of as entertaining-at-home-adjacent — the upscale picnic that goes to the concert in the park, or dinner on the dock, or the day at the beach, or the kids’ birthday party anywhere but home?
Though retailers haven’t focused specifically on that trend, we saw a number of items at the recent Las Vegas Market that work especially well for entertaining away from home. The manufacturers we met agreed that their customers, especially their Millennial and younger customers, adore the idea of entertaining in locations away from their homes.
While wine glass charms have been around for some time, Going Stemless offers super-powered magnet single charms and sets of charms so guests can identify their own glasses. A stainless steel magnet goes inside the glass, and the dangling brightly-colored charm clips onto the outside. The benefit here is that these adorable little charms also work on the kind of glasses we often take on picnics: the iconic red Solo cup. The company’s best seller is a beach-themed set of five charms with a suggested retail price of $21.95.
Two items from the Di Potter line are perfect for an elegant dinner outside the home. Wine glass shades rest on any wine glass; drop in a battery-powered tealight, and you’ve got an instant, upscale, safe light for an intimate dinner. With a suggested retail of $18 for a set of six, they’re an affordable addition to your customers’ entertaining pantry. The Bottle Light, a battery-powered light that drops into a wine, champagne or water bottle, casts a dreamy, soft light that is especially appealing. Using three AA batteries, Bottle Light’s batteries will last 80 to 100 hours of use, or customers can replace them with a rechargeable USB power source (suggested retail price $30). The Bottle Light is available in clear and colored versions; suggested retail price is $30 for clear and $50 for a color option that allows you to choose from a number of colors.
Messermeister has introduced a line of knives with cheery colored handles, in red, orange, yellow, green, blue and black. The six-inch cheese and tomato knife (suggested retail $7.95) has a slightly serrated blade, which makes it ideal for soft foods such as fruits, vegetables and cheeses, as well as harder foods such as baguettes and firmer cheeses. Holes in the blade keep soft foods from sticking, and its pronged tip makes serving sliced cheeses easy, too.
JK Adams, makers of cutting and carving boards, also has a line of just-the-right-size cheese and cutting boards made from maple, ash and other fine woods. Suggested retail prices start at around $12 for these little guys, and retailers can offer personalization at an additional cost.
Sophistiplate showed a line of handsome and especially sturdy paper plates and cutlery, available in a wide range of colors and patterns. Ruffled edges on some pieces make an especially charming place setting, and 70-piece sets for service for 10, including plates, bowls, napkins and cutlery are available with a suggested retail price of $39.99.
Twine Living continues its seaside line of picnic helpers, including a tidy ticking striped picnic blanket with a waterproof lining and four stakes to secure its sturdy grommeted corners. The blanket comes with a handsome leather carrier to make toting it to its destination easier. With a suggested retail price of $49.99, the blanket would be a welcome addition to the entertaining away from home closet.
By Lorrie Baumann
Millennials are grown up, becoming parents and even sending their youngest children off to school now, and kitchenware and housewares manufacturers are responding to their current needs with products to streamline their experiences in the kitchen while also allowing them to be certain of what they’re eating and what they’re feeding their children. That same Millennial need to be certain of the value of what they’re feeding their children is also spurring growth for organic food, personal care products and fibers, which are all seeing a boom that’s not expected to bust any time soon.
For the household, that need is being fulfilled by take-along food containers that can be filled with grass-fed yogurt or organic butternut squash soup and then tossed into a school lunchbox without much fear that they’ll leak all over last night’s math homework all the way up to a picnic cooler from Built NY that’s designed to take on the weekend-in-the-woods competition with YETI’s soft-sided cooler totes at a more attractive price point. Many of these offerings will be launching this year at the International Home + Housewares Show, scheduled for March 10-13 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois.
Goods for the On-the-Go
Pack-It is in this mix of products designed to appeal to active and health-conscious Millennial consumers with its new Freezable Double Wine Bag, which comes out of a night in the freezer with enough chill power to keep two bottles of wine cold for up to 10 hours. It has an over-the-shoulder design in nontoxic poly canvas with an interior gel divider to provide 360-degree cooling for the bottles inside and a webbed strap. It comes in two fabric colors: the multicolored Blanket Stripe and Sophie, which is a charcoal gray herringbone tweed look. Both have black stripes. The Freezable Double Wine Bag will retail for $21.99.
Also new is Pack-It’s Freezable Can Cooler Backpack, which will chill 18 12-ounce cans or a family meal and keep it cool for three or more hours with Pack-It’s new Radiant Shield Technology. A welded inner liner allows for the addition of extra ice in a leak-proof interior that cleans up easily. A front zipper pocket will hold car keys and a cell phone while a top zipper pocket provides storage for napkins and eating utensils. Like other Pack-It products, it folds flat to go in the freezer or for storage between uses. It’s available in either Charcoal or Navy Buffalo.
GoodCook brings its Meals on the Run collection with a whole range of sizes and styles of containers with silicone-sealed locking lids to keep food safe in backpack or purse. One of the coolest of these is a double-decker container that unfolds to hold a sandwich in one half and the lettuce and tomatoes or sliced fruit or sticks of rabbit food in the other half. The collection even includes a bento box container with eating utensils included. They’re all sold individually with retail prices ranging from $3.99 to $8.99.
For even stronger leak-proof performance, there’s the EMSA Clip&Go containers, high-end containers offered in the U.S. through a partnership between Bradshaw Industries and German manufacturer EMSA. Freezable and microwavable, these plastic containers are engineered with integral silicone seals in their lids that leave no gaps, so the containers are airtight, leak-proof and impenetrable by germs. Foods stored in the containers have been tested and proven to stay fresh twice as long in these containers during refrigerator storage, compared to foods stored under plastic wrap, according to the company. They’re virtually indestructible and guaranteed to last a minimum of 30 years, with suggested retail prices ranging from $2.99 to $9.99.
At the top end of this spectrum is the BUILT NY Welded Cooler Bag from Lifetime Brands, which is constructed with a leak-proof body and welded seams of a heavy-duty material similar to that used for whitewater rafts, so that it will, according to BUILT NY, keep its contents cold for days. Its zippered top opens out to create an opening about the diameter of a bushel basket, so it’s easy either to clean or to load in 10 pounds of ice along with 18 cans of soda or up to 30 pounds of ice alone. It has a padded, adjustable strap and reinforced side handles, an attached bottle opener and multiple tie-down points. Clearly aimed at shoppers who will also be looking at YETI Hopper soft-sided cooler bags, the BUILT NY Welded Cooler Bag is a pound and a half lighter than the comparable-size Hopper bag and will retail for $179.99.
For inside the kitchen, Instant Pot is coming out with a new model called the Instant Pot Max that’s the first small household pressure cooker on the market that can develop 15 pounds of pressure per square inch and maintain it for extended periods, so it can be used for pressure-canning of low-acid products as well as for the everyday multi-cooking that has built a cult following for Instant Pot. Available to ship in April, the Instant Pot Max has a 6-quart capacity – that’s total capacity; it won’t accommodate six quart-size canning jars – and offers touch screen controls and an automatic stirrer for an easy risotto or bone broth as well as button-controlled venting so the user doesn’t have to reach over the pot to the valve to release the pressure.
Thirteen safety features – more than offered by previous Instant Pot models – keep the device safe for the kitchen, and a lid detection indicator is designed to prevent the frustration that some novice users have reported to the company after their pressure cooker has refused to operate because the lid wasn’t properly secured. It’ll retail for around $200.
Robinson Home Products is bringing out a couple of lines of tools and utensils that are of particular interest. The Studio Cuisine collection is a line of utensils with handles in faux natural materials. They’re made with hydrographic printing, a new technology that creates designs that mimic the look of natural wood, yet they’re sturdy and durable. A line with handles that mimic granite will be coming out soon. Pieces retail for $4.99 and up.
Robinson Home Products’ Craft Kitchen is a brand of gadgets, cookware and casual dinnerware designed to appeal to the Millennial foodie. The gadgets are the classic essentials – peeler, whisk and so on, in matte steel with black acacia wood handles, designed for a retro look but updated to be ergonomic for a combination of solid performance and a satisfying feel in the hand. The pieces offer a lifetime guarantee on all items, and they’ll be ready to ship in June.
Progressive is bringing out a couple of really cool unitasker gadgets for its PL8 line of premium kitchenware products. The patented Flip-Blade Avocado Tool has a retractable blade that halves and slices avocados safely, a pit remover and a silicone scoop all in one easy-to-store tool that’s dishwasher safe. The Core & Peel Apple Tool has a hollow metal tube to core apples or pears and an integrated peeler mechanism that slides out to eject the core and then peel the fruit. The peeler locks into position for safety, and this gadget is also dishwasher-safe.
DKB Household USA is offering its own handy unitasker with the Zyliss 2-in-1 Pepper Corer. This handy little gadget is designed to hollow out a bell pepper or a jalapeno with a turn of the wrist to make stuffed peppers an easier standby. It’s easy to store, easy to clean, and it’s dishwasher safe. It’ll retail fro $9.99. The Zyliss Twist & Scoop Grapefruit Tool is designed specifically to segment clean cuts of grapefruit with its built-in corer and double-sided stainless steel blade. The corer locks inside the scoop for compact storage, and it’s dishwasher-safe.
The Negg is another handy unitasker. This little gadget makes child’s play out of peeling perfect hard-cooked eggs. It’s a plastic container with silicone caps, molded with little knobs on its inside wall. The user drops the egg inside the container, adds a little water, caps it and shakes it for a minute or two to knock the egg around against the plastic knobs. The shell shatters, staying attached to its inner membrane, so it peels off the egg with a minimum of effort, leaving behind an unpocked egg.
Bonnie Tyler, who invented this work of genius, says she had the idea after she had foolishly volunteered to bring a dozen deviled eggs to a potluck, only to discover after her eggs had been cooked that the shells wouldn’t peel off the whites without leaving divots. She knew immediately that there just had to be a better way, so she went to work to figure out what that might be. She did some research into how industrial food processors shell hard-cooked eggs, came up with an idea for a home kitchen version, and got together with business partner Sheila Torgan, who knows how to do computer-assisted design. The two of them had worked together for decades on branding and marketing, but Tyler had a yen to produce a tangible product of her own, and Torgan was all in.
They used the 3-D printer in their local public library to produce their first prototypes, and when they had a product that was ready to bring to market, they arranged to have it manufactured in Connecticut and started selling it on HSN, where Tyler just has to demonstrate how easily it produces perfect results to do land-office business at a retail price of $17.95. It’s dishwasher safe and available in seven colors.
4WD Supacentre has recently announced the launch of a brand-new range of Adventure Kings Portable Ice Boxes. The release marks the first of a series of newly released summer products from Adventure Kings, and is available for purchase through the 4WD Supacentre network of retail outlets, licensed dealers and online shopping.
Through rigorous research and development, the product management team worked tirelessly with manufacturers and engineers to produce what they believe to be one of the best-value ice boxes on the market.
Released in four sizes, 40L, 60L, 80L and 100L, they are made from a durable blue polyurethane plastic with a highly efficient CFC-Free Polyurethane foam core, which has proven itself among many brands on the market to be one of the most environmentally friendly and efficient insulation solutions available, leaving less of an impact on the environment and providing more insulation than has been traditionally available for keeping food and beverages cold during typical outdoor activities such as camping, boating, fishing or driving.
The product development team has stuck to the typical Adventure Kings approach of affordable quality, and has been firmly committed to making sure that the Adventure Kings Ice Boxes have a lot of similar features found on much more expensive units on the market, such as the integrated drain plugs, thick EVA seals and stainless-steel latches. Customers can be assured that they are getting more than their money’s worth.
The Adventure Kings range of Ice Boxes are priced competitively and have been released at the beginning of the Australian summer, this timing is perfect for the Australian consumer who is looking for a high-value product at a minimal price tag, and with the development team’s attention to detail, is sure to not disappoint. For more information, visit www.4wdsupacentre.com.
Cheeki, an Australian brand of stainless steel water bottles, travel cups, lunch boxes and food jars, will be exhibiting this year at Natural Products Expo West and the International Home + Housewares Show as the company’s debut into the American market.
“These are exciting times for Cheeki,” said Simon Karlik, Owner of Cheeki Holdings. “Supporters of plastic waste reduction are demanding more choice of healthy and sustainable products. Australia is well known for their love of the outdoors and living a healthy lifestyle. We feel the U.S. consumer will benefit from having Cheeki as a market leading product choice.”
Bisphenol-A or BPA has been identified as a potential carcinogen that is found within many common household plastics including some baby and water bottles. A chemical used in the manufacture of plastics, BPA has been linked to brain synapse, breast cancer as well as reproductive and developmental impairments.
Cheeki’s Classic Range has a cold retention of 36 hours and heat retention of 24 hours and comes with a lifetime warranty. Patent pending lids have a unique silicone shield that wraps around the lid’s base to ensure liquid never comes in contact with the plastic of the bottle’s lid. There are two styles available, a twist top and a sports lid. The twist top is fully insulated to ensure maximum bottle temperature retention.
Cheeki Travel Cups are all double-wall insulated and have heat retention of up to 8 hours and cold of up to 12 hours. Travel Cups come in two styles and 10 colors. The Pop-Up Mugs have a unique leak proof technology. The Flip-up Cup has deep threads – it is spill proof and robust.
Cheeki’s stainless steel lunch boxes are leak proof with easy use clips. They come in three styles and are all dishwasher friendly. Recently launched in Australia, this new product became a best seller for the Christmas season.
All products are recyclable, and replacement parts are available to prolong their lives.
Star brite’s new Outdoor Collection Premium Golden Teak Oil and Outdoor Collection Premium Teak Cleaner and Brightener for all wood furniture makes teak care and restoration easy.
Outdoor Collection Premium Teak Cleaner and Brightener transforms the two toughest steps of wood preparation into one easy task, saving time, effort and money. Step 2 is applying the finish coat; Outdoor Collection Premium Golden Teak Oil features an ultra-refined tung oil base combined with premium polymers for unsurpassed beauty and protection against rain, snow and UV exposure. Outdoor Collection products are easy to use on indoor and outdoor furniture while ensuring professional-grade results even by first-time users. If consumers have any questions, they can call Star brite’s Help Line to get advice from a Star brite Teak Tech.
Outdoor Collection Premium Golden Teak Oil and Outdoor Collection Premium Teak Cleaner were formulated using Star brite’s 40+ years of experience as the boating industry’s top-rated manufacturer of products engineered to enhance the beauty of teak and other fine woods. Consumers can rely on Outdoor Collection teak products to protect their fine wood furniture from everything Mother Nature can throw at it. Star brite’s Outdoor Collection line was developed in response to the demand for quality products to serve the outdoor furniture market due to the popularity of outdoor kitchens and backyard or poolside entertainment areas.