Tools & Gadgets
For those that love fresh citrus, Fusionbrands® has the right tools for you. This year, Fusionbrands is introducing CitrusSqueeze™, the citrus wedge press and pour. Now you can squeeze all the goodness out of lemons, limes and even oranges with a simple squeeze of the new CitrusSqueeze. Place up to a 1/4 wedge of fresh citrus between the teeth, then with one hand push the handles together to squeeze out the juice. All the juice is contained in the body and seeds get filtered as you pour the juice direct into water bottles, teas, cold beverages or right on top of salad, seafood dishes and more. The CitrusSqueeze sits flat on the table so it can be passed around at dinner to avoid sticky fingers or kept in the refrigerator for later use. The yellow silicone body of the CitrusSqueeze has a flexible wide opening to place large wedges between the teeth. The interior white teeth are rugged enough to crush the citrus, but have smooth handles to easily remove the crusher for a good cleaning in the dishwasher.
Fusionbrands also offers its CitrusPod™, a citrus station to slice, squeeze and store all in one. The CitrusPod has a built-in cutting board base for slicing lemons and limes. The squeezable silicone top is easy to grip for simple juicing and keeps hands from becoming sticky. You can also store remaining citrus in the pod to stay fresh in the refrigerator for later use.
Another handy tool from Fusionbrands is the CitrusZipper™. Whether you peel it or zest it, nothing is more invigorating than the smell of fresh citrus. CitrusZipper allows you to easily puncture and peel the skin away to reach the juicy deliciousness. With the CitrusZipper you no longer need to use a fingernail for the peeling process, leaving you with a sticky mess on your hands. Simply use the peel cutter end to cut through the peel, then use the peel lifter end to release the skin from the citrus. The built-in zester and channel knife lets you create different size zest and peel strips for flavoring and garnishing delectable sorbets, desserts, espressos, salad dressings and cool summer drinks.
For those that love to eat or cook with oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, tangerines and more, these three citrus tools will become your new best friends.
Escali Corporation has taken over the licensing rights to sell Detecto retail scales—to the consumer market—from Lifespan Brands.
While many people may recognize the Detecto name from a recent weigh-in at their doctor’s office; the retail division of detectohome.com sells consumer bathroom scales through a number of large retailers.
“Detecto is an amazing brand with a great reputation, strong awareness and loyal customers,” explained Theo Prins, President of Escali Corp. “We couldn’t be more excited!”
Escali Corp. plans to distinguish the Escali brand from the Detecto brand by targeting different consumer segments and different retail markets with distinctly different products. The Detecto brand will focus on large retail chains with consumer scales. Meanwhile, the Escali brand will continue to focus on the specialty retailers that gave Escali Corp. its initial success.
“We are lucky to have acquired a licensing rights to a brand with such heritage behind it,” noted Noah Harber, Marketing & Brand Manager of Escali Corp. “We are already working on new retail consumer products and new marketing initiative, so expect more announcements in the near future.”
Escali Corp. has made it clear that the change in ownership will not disrupt daily business operations with existing Detecto retail customers. Meanwhile, Escali customers can expect their business interactions will not be interrupted or changed either.
“Escali and Detecto will have an excellent synergy with similar levels of innovation and quality standards,” says Kelly Walsh, National Sales Director, Escali Corp. “This acquisition will give us exposure to many new markets.”
The Detecto brand boasts over 100 years of medical accuracy and heritage with applications in the doctor’s office and at home. Detecto retail consumer scales are designed to be durable and trustworthy with a therapeutic focus on health. Visit www.detectohome.com for more details.
Escali is a leading developer, manufacturer and supplier of scales, timers and thermometers that commonly make cameo appearances on TV shows such as Chopped or The Great British Bake Off. Escali has a high reputation for providing quality products, backed by unprecedented product warranties and customer support. Visit www.escali.com for more details.
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.
A trend-forward tribute to modernity in design, the Peugeot Oslo Mill combines acrylic and stainless steel, with clean lines and a gently tapered silhouette. This new 5.5-inch mill comes in four SKUs, each with a different function: Pepper Mill, Salt Mill, Wet Salt Mill, and Combi Pepper Mill/Salt Shaker.
Peugeot’s spice-specific mechanisms distinguish the designs. The iconic Peugeot mechanism is the strongest on the market, and the pepper and salt mechanisms are each optimized for that specific ingredient. Peugeot’s patented 100 percent ceramic wet salt mechanism is the first to offer a higher and more consistent output for this gourmet ingredient, with an anti-clogging spiral system that accommodates the corrosive texture of wet salt.
The collection also includes a Combi Mill, targeting consumers who prefer salt and pepper service in one compact unit.
Made in France, the Oslo Mill features the highest quality acrylic, which showcases the natural beauty of the salt and pepper inside. The clear see-through design also makes it easy to monitor ingredients to determine the need to refill.
It is a Peugeot tradition to name its mills after beautiful locations from around the world. The Oslo Mill was inspired by Oslo, Norway, which is known for its high quality of life and its natural beauty between mountains and the sea.
Each Oslo Mill comes filled with gourmet pepper and/or salt. Peugeot offers a lifetime warranty on the mechanism, and a 5-year warranty on the body of the mills.
The Oslo Pepper and Salt Mill has a suggested retail price of $32 each; Wet Salt Mill is $35 and the Combi Mill is $32. The Oslo Collection is available for immediate shipment.
Two Pillars, a San Francisco-based kitchen and home goods innovator, on Kickstarter in November unveiled its newest product, UniLid, a universal kitchen lid that fits all shapes and sizes with a food tracking dial.
UniLid helps eliminate the need for plastic wrap or foil and the annoyance of sifting through cabinets to find the correct size storage lid for the container at hand. UniLid turns almost anything into instant storage, whether it is a watermelon, avocado or an oddly shaped bowl. “Cooking is always easier when you have the right tool for the task at hand,” said Alia Lau, Two Pillars Founder and CEO. “When designing UniLid, our focus was to create a multipurpose kitchen tool suited for all households and addresses many of the commonplace problems present in the kitchen.”
Engineered for optimal food storage, UniLid’s patent-pending design creates an airtight and non-spill seal to preserve foods’ freshness and flavor. Each lid also has a rotating day-of-the-week dial that can be used to conveniently track when leftovers expire, weekly meal prep and overall refrigerator organization. Other notable UniLid features include 100 percent food-grade silicone that is both FDA and LFGB approved and a lifetime warranty.
“There has been an overwhelming increase in waste. How many times have you cleaned out your fridge and been left with a trash can of uneaten and expired food?” said Lau. Research shows the United States wastes 50 percent more food now than it did in the 1970s. “One of our many aims for UniLid is to promote eco-friendly living and decrease the amount of food and disposable materials, like plastic wrap, that are unnecessarily wasted on a regular basis,” Lau continued.
UniLid was launched on Kickstarter on Nov. 27 and is over 2,250 percent funded.