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Mastrad and Orka go hand in glove.

CHICAGO -- The name said Mastrad Inc. over the booth, but inside it was the Orka brand that helped start the silicone revolution in the United States and subsequently grew into a line of kitchen tools.

[ILLUSTRATION OITTED]

It marked the first International Home & Housewares Show for Mastrad, the France-based company that had previously distributed its products through iSi North America.

"As we have grown considerably, we have addressed our growth issues by establishing a core Orka brand specific to the U.S," said Mathieu Lion, president. "We anticipate launching approximately a new product per week over the next two years."

Mastrad, based in Los Angeles, brought some of those new products to Chicago last week, as well as some best-selling favorites, led by the namesake Orka mitt. Other products on display include Orka Pod Hooks, the Orka Wall Scale, new aprons, roll-up baking sheets, and silicone basters and chopsticks.

As the company expressed in a statement, the Orka Pod Hooks solve the kitchen problem of "location, location, location." The powerful suction Pod Hooks allow kitchen tools to be placed on the kitchen wall, the refrigerator or on any non-porous surface, and support up to 17 pounds.

The Wall Scale is an all-in-one scale, clock, timer and room thermometer that can be easily mounted on a wall. It can also be used on a countertop and folds for compact drawer or cabinet storage.

The aprons Orka has launched are coated with Teflon and come in striking colors. The Roll-Up Baking Sheet, made of heavy-duty silicone, is anchored at each end with removable stainless-steel curved handles. It also comes with slide handles that glide on and off the ends, allowing the baking sheet to roll up and slide unobtrusively into any small space.

The Silicone Standing Baster with Brush, part of the Orka silicone product family, is a dualfunction baster brush that resists heat up to 570 degrees. The brush also allows the coating of hot foods without melting the bristles.

"Mastrad and Orka understand the gourmet sensibility of the U.S. market," Lion said. "The desire for healthy cuisine in the U.S. market is in harmony with our products."

Founded in 1993, Mastrad partnered with iSi, a U.S. distributor, in 1997. The company introduced the Orka mitt, which has become a signature product for the company, in 2001.

Orka products have received honors throughout the world. The mitt was granted the "Eteile" (star) of the Observeur du Design in 2002. The following year, the brand achieved the rank of "excellence" at the British House wares Awards, and was awarded the Innovation of the Year prize by the U.K. Good Housekeeping Institute. Also that year, Capital magazine in France gave Orka a "Best Products of the World" citation in the safety-items category. In addition, the Orka Silicone Mitt and Standing Baster were named Best New Product at the International Gourmet Products Show.
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Title Annotation:the markets: housewares
Author:Gill, David
Publication:HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
Date:Mar 19, 2007
Words:483
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