Press Release Headlines

Consumers Continue Quest for Cozy, Casual Cocooning

New Products Point to the Comforts of Cooking and Entertaining at Home

CHICAGO – Jan. 13, 2003 — International Housewares Show — January is a month of resolutions, new beginnings and trend citing. Industry experts predict that the "cocoon boon" that was solidified by the after-effects of 9/11 will only get stronger as consumers spend more time and dollars making their home environments cozy, comfortable and ready for casual entertaining.

This trend, combined with the fact that 70% of Americans admit their diet could be somewhat or a lot healthier, according to the Food Marketing Institute, bodes well for both the grocery and the housewares industry as consumers are buying both fresh food and the tools and gadgets to prepare meals at home.

This year like every January in recent history, retailers and exhibitors from all over the world flocked to Chicago to check out the new products at the International Housewares Show. The show opened yesterday to record-breaking attendance, according to show organizers, as retailers count on cocooning to channel dollars into sales in the housewares industry.

"As people spend more time at home, the money they spend inevitably goes into products that make that time more fun or productive-that's why we've seen an increase in sales of both cooking equipment and entertaining products," says Robert Laub, vice president of sales and marketing of Harold Import Company.

The SILPAT(R) (photo: popularized by Martha Stewart is a great example. Every cook worth their salt has one of these heat-resistant mats that prevent cookies and other baked goods from sticking. New this year, the manufacturers of SILPAT introduced the ROUL'PAT (photo: -a non-stick counter-top work station with a non-slip grip. It is a "must have" for any home baker; perfect for rolling out sticky dough for breads, pies and cookies. Suggested retail price for the SILPAT(R) is $19.99 and the ROUL'PAT by SILPAT(R) is $39.99.

The coffee craze has created the need for the Aerolatte(R) frother (photo: This cream de la cream of frothers allows consumers to make cappuccinos and lattes at home in a snap and for a fraction of the cost. The Aerolatte is small battery-operated round whisk that turns hot or cold milk into great mounds of froth in seconds. The sleek silver Aerolatte will change your morning coffee and there is no need for an espresso machine. The original Aerolatte is joined this year by the colorful blue and yellow Areolatte(R) Shakes (photo: The new product is a milk shake kit for children of all ages and includes two matching cups. Suggested retail price for the original Aerolatte is $19.99 and the Areolatte(R) Shakes is $39.99.

If you've been reading the food magazines, you know that ceramic knives are the hottest new items for many a foodie. The reason is simple, ceramic blades are intensely sharp and are never supposed to loose their edge. The new Mandolin Slicer with Ceramic Blade (photo: from Japan takes this one step further. Never again dread cutting potatoes for a gratin, the sophisticated black mandolin slicer makes short work out of slicing and the hand-guard makes it simple and safe to use. Suggested retail price for the Mandolin Slicer with Ceramic Blade is $39.99.

And what could be more fun than poking a little humor at the serious pursuit of wine tasting while trying new wines — or drinking old favorites. Artist Erika Ollner has re-interpreted wine terms and phrases with her colorful and whimsical "Sniffers" line (photo: that includes cocktail napkins, coffee mugs — for the morning after when you need a sense of humor! — and magnetic memo pads. Favorite Sniffers include, "Roses and Cherries on the Nose," illustrated by a Clark Gable-type figure balancing roses and cherries on his nose! These products are guaranteed to bring a smile to your favorite oenophile and are great to have on hand for entertaining or make a perfect hostess gift. Suggested retail price for Artist Erika Ollner "Sniffers" line of cocktail napkins is $3.99 per package.

While you are drinking wine, get the newest incarnation of wine charms. The Chain Letter Name Charms (photo: lets you identify a glass or express a feeling by using alphabet blocks and a beaded silver chain. This is a great gimmick that breaks the ice at a party, lets everyone add their own special touch to the evening and keeps the glasses straight. Suggested retail price for the Chain Letter Name Charms is $7.99.

For those who are renovating their kitchen on a shoe-string budget, the Eurojet(TM) Sink Sprayer (photo: is perfect! It acts like a fancy sink sprayer but even better because it has a double-swivel, adjustable sprayer to reach every inch of your sink. It's ecological too, as you use a lot less water to clean dishes, and turns low-pressure kitchen faucets into a powerful jet spray. Suggested retail price for the Eurojet(TM) Sink Sprayer is $12.99.

Another clever new product for the frugal housekeeper is the Squeeze Ease. The toothpaste tube is now safe from middle squeezers and you can easily get the last bit out of any tube. The Squeeze Ease is a simple gadget with two cylinders connected by rubber bands that simply and efficiently roll up the tube as you use it. You have to see it to believe it! It's definitely one of those, "gee why I didn't think of it!" products. Suggested retail price for the Squeeze Ease is $1.49.

That's not all, but it's some of the best-and products that are predicted to be hits with the homeward bound American consumer as they cook up new adventures this year. All products are available nationwide at gourmet and specialty retail stores and national home centers or at For more information or digital photography of any of the products, contact Elizabeth Karmel at 312-951-8394 or Email.

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