Inspired by Paula Deen’s love of country farms, Meyer Corporation, U.S. introduces Paula Deen® Country Barnyard, a new assortment of kitchen accessories spotlighting a quartet of classic farm animals – cow, pig, sheep and rooster. Designed in crisp white with illustrations of each farm animal in shades of blue, Paula Deen Country Barnyard is crafted in a mix of materials, including durable ceramic, sturdy and lightweight melamine, stain-resistant enamel on steel, and natural acacia wood. The collection’s nostalgic and playful styling celebrates the peaceful charms of country life and timeless appeal of farm animals. Faux hand-painted soft blue stripes on some of the items, which echo the design of country-style kitchen linens from the 1940s, further accentuate and enhance the collection’s nod to our pastoral past.
Countertop items in the Paula Deen Country Barnyard collection include a ceramic Tool Crock ($19.99), and an assortment of kitchen tools featuring solid acacia wood, and acacia wood handles with silicone heads that are each decorated with various farm-life motifs. The Kitchen Tools line includes a 12.5-inch Spatula and Spoonula in a set of two, a 10-inch and 12.5-inch Solid Spoons sold as a set of two, a set that includes a 12.5-inch Solid Spoon and a Slotted Spoon, a 12.5-inch Solid Turner, a 12.5-inch Slotted Turner and a 10-inch Solid Spoon.
For baking and serving dessert, Paula Deen Country Barnyard offers the following accessories made from dishwasher safe melamine: 3 Piece Mixing Bowl Set (Rooster 1 Quart, Pig 2 Quart, Cow 3 Quart), Cake Stand; Cake Serve and 2 Piece Set (Cake Stand and Cake Server). The Cake Stand and Cake Server feature a delightful stacked farm animal motif, and the mixing bowls include a rubberized base for added countertop stability, along with a generously sized lip for extra support when lifting the bowls.
The retro-style, enamel on steel Paula Deen Country Barnyard Pie & Cake Carrier is durably constructed to protect baked goods during transport. The locking lid – which provides 4.5 inches of height clearance – includes a sturdy handle for easy carrying of all types of desserts, including layer cakes, pies, tarts, and more.
Also made of easy to maintain enamel on steel is the Paula Deen Country Barnyard 3 Piece Canister Set, which offers tight-fitting acacia wood lids and silver knobs. Ideal for countertop display and storage of often-used dry ingredients, the small, medium and large-size canisters whimsically blend the collection’s signature motif of farm animals and retro country kitchen linen.
The new Paula Deen Country Barnyard collection will be available at retail nationwide in fall 2017.
by Micah Cheek
We’re finally approaching spring, and consumers are getting outside and shaking the cold off. Picnics are an affordable and fun entertainment option for the season, and developers are moving to serve the growing market of Millenials headed outdoors.
Igloo made a splash with the Daytripper line the company introduced at last year’s International Housewares Show, and the response was strong enough the product was actually released early. “The Daytripper sparked out of a design language meeting we had a year and a half ago, when we started to look at who our consumer is and how they live,” says Lisa Hayashi, Director of Brands, Igloo. “We have a customer segment called the ‘Downtowners.’ Female-centric, fun-loving, she buys for her or them, she likes to entertain, and her primary focus is urban exploration.” Igloo started developing designs that would accommodate these young professionals.
The growing interest in urban exploration is in part due to these Downtowners looking for events or gathering places that are more active and less expensive. “Even if you’re going to go out and find something that’s less expensive, there’s still ways to pack up nice food and have a great experience,” says Hayashi. “We’re not going out to fancy dinners all the time, but maybe we’re finding ways to gather outside while creating memories.” This sentiment was reflected in product testing. The line resonated with customers who were looking to try something new. “We did some fun events with REI-sponsored Outessa this summer, and this event was designed to get women out there and try guided experiences. We tought women how to pack out the Daytripper with nicely curated food and drinks,” says Hayashi. “Every class was packed. It was exciting to be with like-minded women who love great food, drinks and the outdoors.”
During research, Hayashi was able to identify some changes in direction they needed to take. More traditional picnic and travel sets were often large and cumbersome. Their functionality was often compromised by being overloaded with added tools and accessories. For the Daytripper, Igloo tried to bring it back to basics. “Our pack-ins were very conscious. We selected for quality. We did research to take out pack-ins that people wouldn’t necessarily find helpful,” says Hayashi. “When you turn the backpack around, there’s spaces for carabiners, a bottle opener and there’s support for lumbar support when you’re carrying around your goods. I am a pretty small person, and I have zero trouble using this bag.”
The Daytripper Tote is designed to hold snacks for two to four people, and comes with a cutting board, cheese knives, corkscrew and fold-out tray. The larger Backpack has more storage space along with the cutting board, cheese knives and corkscrew. Both are made in charcoal grey with orange accents.
French Bull has debuted its first holiday collection, a natural extension of the celebratory lifestyle brand’s LIVE VIVID® attitude. The collection comes packaged with dangling ornaments and gift tags, ready for gifting. The festive mix includes a Cookie Platter for Santa, a four piece dessert plate set in the brand’s cheery Dotty Tree pattern, four neatly wrapped spreaders in a candy-cane pattern and a set of two nesting storage containers in a merry ornament-inspired pattern for treats and left overs.
Jackie Shapiro says, “My favorites are the candy cane spreaders because of the sparkling dangling ornament around the set of four. Since nobody remembers who brought the wine, I think our customers will make a lasting impression with whomever they celebrate the season, and they will make fantastic stocking stuffers.”
The Charleston Basket from Picnic Time is the essential picnic basket. It includes everything AND the kitchen sink. For service for four, the basket has beautiful porcelain plates and stemless glasses. The set also includes a full-sized wooden serving tray, as well as a blanket to sit on. Included is our Made-in America festival blanket that features a wide array of colorful patters for style and comfort. Also included are an insulated wine tote and food cooler to keep food and drinks at the perfect temperature. With its premium 18/10 stainless steel flatware and paddle cheese board and cheese knife, this is a truly functional basket. You’ll be having the perfect picnic for years to come.
For more information, call Picnic Time at 805.529.7400.
By Micah Cheek
In the spirit of avoiding a sad desk lunch, I packed a lunch using some items from the FUEL Collection, a lunch carrier set from Trudeau.
I prepared a red pepper salad for lunch, along with pecans and chips, the most fragile snack I could think of. The red pepper salad went in the egg-shaped Stainless Steel Food Jar, which proved to be very leak resistant and kept my salad cold. The rounded edges make it attention grabbing, especially at a desk during lunch. The steel interior made cleanup easy. Additionally, the bare metal you see when you open the bowl matches nicely with the set’s color scheme. The Stainless Steel Food Jar has a suggested retail price of $24.99.
My chips went into an included Snack Pocket made of the same material as the main lunch bag. The Pockets have a suggested retail price of $12.99 for a two pocket set. The bag looks flat, but against all odds, my chips remained intact.
The Condiment Set features little condiment jars made to look like miniatures of the Stainless Steel Food Jar. I used one to hold vinaigrette for my salad. It performed admirably, not letting any oil seep into my lunch bag during transit. While it holds runny liquids like vinaigrette well, the Condiment Set is also sized to hold a sandwich-perfect portion of mustard or mayonnaise. You wouldn’t guess just by looking, but the FUEL Collection cutlery fits perfectly into the condiment jars, making products like jam and hummus an easy option. The Condiment Set comes in sets of three jars, and has a suggested retail price of $5.99.
A water bottle is also available for the collection. It only holds 15 ounces of fluid, but it is sturdily built and easily cleaned. The spout is wide enough that it could be effectively used for smoothies or unfiltered juices. The spout is also in a straw setup, with a flexible tip that won’t hurt your teeth if you bite it. Called the Splash Bottle, this bottle retails for $9.99.
All the separate parts of the collection fit snugly into the Classic Bag, which has a papery plastic outside reminiscent of a brown paper bag, and a thermally insulated plastic layer inside. The bag follows a muted color pattern, centered around sage green, eggshell white and charcoal gray.
For someone who frequents the convenience store hot dog bar as often as I do, eating a real meal with color-coordinated containers is a refreshing experience. I think I enjoyed my meal more than I would have if I had packed it in a disposable plastic bag. The only thing I didn’t like about the aesthetic was the Snap Cutlery Set. While it worked perfectly well and was color coordinated, the proportions of the fork and spoon make them look like the entry-level silverware for toddlers. That said, their small size allowed them to fit into the bag efficiently with everything else. The Snap Cutlery Set retails for $5.99.
The use of Velcro strips to hold the Classic Bag and Snack Pocket closed was an interesting move away from the usual zipper sealing closures. My main concern with it was in washing out the bag, with the possibility of water getting trapped in the strip’s fibers. With hand washing, the bags cleaned up easily, and pressing a cloth into the Velcro fibers is effective at drying them out. The bags can be turned inside out, but I found it unnecessary for cleaning up dry snack residue. Unlike more traditional bags, the Classic Bag does not seal horizontally along the top. Two long strips of Velcro are laid out vertically along opposing sides of the bag. To seal, I rolled the top down so that one strip of Velcro comes in contact with the other, closing up just like an old-fashioned brown paper bag. It’s a system I haven’t seen in other lunch containers and is surprisingly effective. Even though most of the bag’s mouth isn’t held together, the rolling action that seals it is surprisingly strong, which allowed me to turn the full bag upside down and shake it without the Velcro coming loose.
Price may be a concern for some consumers. The full retail value of this entire lunch set is about $60, although the pieces are sold separately. However, the set looks composed yet casual, seals very well and is sturdy. All FUEL products are BPA-free as well and include a lifetime warranty. Many are available in Kiwi and Raspberry colors. This set is perfect for the customer who is willing to spend a little extra to have a lunch tote that will impress daily and last a long time or who’s picking and choosing specific containers to meet individual needs rather than splurging on the entire set at once.