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Help for healthful habits: housewares manufacturers blend functionality with flair in a variety of new products for the health-conscious consumer.

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NEW YORK -- While many people know eating healthy is the way to go, many have a hard time following through as temptations or time constraints get in the way.

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Mothers who work full time, in fact, spend only 38 to 46 minutes a day preparing meals, according to a report released in May from the Economic Research Service of the USDA. In addition, this food preparation doesn't result in much fruit or vegetable consumption, as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that fewer than a third of American adults eat the recommended daily amount of these items.

It seems that anything targeting healthy eating had better be eye-catching and quick to use. Luckily, a number of manufacturers offer such items to help consumers craft a more healthful way of life.

For the past year and a half, Zyliss has used the tagline "Eat Healthy. Live Healthy." while taking into consideration what colors and shapes might better appeal to customers, said Sanjay Choudhuri, chief executive officer. Its salad spinner, for example, is not only functional but also "visually attractive." The company also recently reshaped its salad shaker to release the Quick Blend container, which can be used for making salad dressing, blending protein shakes or simply carrying water. Retailing for $5.99, it also attaches to a number of popular blenders to mix drinks and fits into car cup holders and bike bottle holders. Some customers even buy the product in a few different colors for different members of the family, he said.

"You can have both fun and healthy" in one product, Choudhuri said. People who want to live a better lifestyle "also want that convenience aspect," as well as "tools that are multifunctional," he added. "It doesn't need to be a major chore."

"We're gearing [products] toward preparing foods yourself," rather than eating takeout, added Tim Yee, director of marketing for Zyliss. Items that can be easily stored is another benefit, as many consumers lack space in the kitchen. Zyliss' 4-in-1 Slicer and Grater saves both time and space in one compact item, as two slicers and two graters can easily clip on to be used.

Compact storage is also a mission for Mastrad, which owns the Orka brand. "As a company we're interested in coming up with things that fit in a small kitchen," said Carla Hunter, director of marketing. Among these types of products is a new hanging wall scale for the kitchen that folds up easily when not in use. Plus, it's multifunctional, as it is also a dock, timer and stopwatch.

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Orka by Mastrad also debuted its personal steamers this year, which "are not only designed for healthy cooking but also fast cooking," Hunter said. Available in several colors, the personal steamers come in a 12- or 20-ounce oval dish, a 27-ounce round dish and a 32-ounce square dish, as well as a tagine. Not only can it cook a meal quickly in the microwave, she said, but it can be put on the bottom rung of the dishwasher to be cleaned.

Responding to consumers' increasing consumption of fresh produce, Lifetime Brands has begun a new collection called Garden Fresh under its HOAN (Housewares Of All Nations) brand. Each tool is not only colorful but contains an image inside the handle that corresponds to the fruit or vegetable for which the item is meant to be used, making it easy to spot in a kitchen drawer. With retail price tags ranging from $1.99 to $7.99, the collection includes a tomato corer, lemon zester, julienne peeler, herb mincer and more.

Other brands from Lifetime incorporate a healthy outlook as well. KitchenAid, for example, has a silicone vegetable steamer, a deluxe mandoline slicer set and a mezzaluna and chopping bowl set, while Hoffritz has an asparagus steamer and a three-tier steamer set.

Fit & Fresh, which has always offered products for healthy eating on the go, recently partnered up with British chef Jon Ashton, who, after struggling with his own weight issues, is now devoted to teaching people how to eat better. The Healthy Food Snacker and the Breakfast Chiller are the latest products to join Fit & Fresh's line, which includes the Salad Shaker and Lunch on the Go, its number-one and -two products.

For people who are also interested in creating less waste when they are on the go or who try to steer clear of plastic containers, To-Go Ware offers stainless-steel food carriers and bamboo utensil sets. "Our goal is to provide reusable, non-plastic foodware to people looking to reduce their ecological footprint and to give them safer options," said Stephanie Bernstein, the company's founder. Most recently, the company redesigned its utensils in response to consumers' requests for a more "elegant" set and made plans to add a carrying bag to its food carrier.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:the markets / housewares
Author:Lillo, Andrea
Publication:HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
Date:Jul 9, 2007
Words:810
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