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WARING IT WELL; THE LONGTIME BRAND IS GETTING UPDATED WITH A NEW LOGO, PRODUCTS AND PACKAGING.

STAMFORD, Conn.-The Waring name may have been around for some time, but the brand itself has received a facelift of sorts, with new consumer-friendly packaging, a new logo and new products to tackle the retail world.

According to Mary Rodgers, director of marketing communications for Waring and Cuisinart, the plans for Waring Pro, the consumer division of Waring Products, began last year.

"That's when we first talked about the approach and what products would fit, changing the logo, packaging and planning. But you're just starting to see those changes at retail this year."

The lineup as it stands includes juice extractors, citrus juicers, toasters, food slicers, drink mixers, a deep fryer and a waffle maker due in stores this month. And let's not forget the blender that sparked it all.

"We feel there really is a niche for truly professional products at the retail level," said Jerry Rutigliano, vice president of marketing for Waring Products, noting the consumer trend to gourmet cooking and more high-end kitchens. "We're going to focus on those products where the consumer would really be looking for that professional level of quality." He mentioned the meat grinder and deep fryer as good examples of product situations where heft means something to the consumer.

"A lot of other brands are looking to capitalize on the professional trend, but they don't have the experience to back it up," he said, adding that many of the products Waring brings to the retail level "are from the professional realm; we've just made adjustments to make them more appropriate for home use."

Rodgers said that although no television advertising has been planned, the company is involved in print advertising and will be "doing more videos for in-store use. Our retailers request them," she said, "especially the specialty stores. It's a big benefit for us because it gets good attention."

Although Waring has in the past been more of a line for specialty stores, Rutigliano said some of the changes that have been made to the line -- consumer-friendly packaging, for example -- have piqued the interest of department stores. One particular change that has pleased the retail community, he said, has been the single message of Waring Pro products, the consumer line. The term Waring Products, on the other hand, covers all business properties, including commercial, laboratory and science, international and hospitality.

"If [the consumer is] looking for something in the store, you don't have a lot of time before they're annoyed," Rutigliano said. "The new packaging is more retail-friendly. They really need to see your name clearly."

The company contends that the products will catch consumer attention at retail, whether displayed as a Waring group or lumped with other products in a category-specific aisle. "If the retailer picks up the entire Waring family and displays them together in the store, then the consumer will get the message because the full story is laid out for them," he said. "But even if the retailer cherry-picks, the products will stand out because of their professional look and appeal."

The most recent additions to the Waring Pro line have been the Professional Food Slicer, Meat Grinder and Deep Fryer.

Notable features include the Food Slicer's 130-watt motor and calibrated slice control knob, allowing for thickness variations from one-thirty-second of an inch to a half-inch; the 150-watt motor on the Meat Grinder, as well as three cutting plates and two sausage attachments for various casing sizes; and the large-capacity, gallon Deep Fryer, which holds up to 3 pounds of food and has a pouring spout for ease in filtering the oil after frying. The new Waffle Maker promises to deliver waffles more than 1-inch thick and features a rotary handle, more commonly found in hotel or restaurant waffle makers, which allows the waffle to fill out and bake evenly.

Rutigliano said consumers will notice a good deal of the Waring machines operating via toggle switches, which he said is in keeping with the professional machines from which they were modeled.

Future product plans are being kept quiet for the time being, but Rutigliano emphasized the company's strategy to "slowly look to attack the categories we feel could benefit from the professional quality. You'll probably see more in housewares," he said.
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Author:Quail, Jennifer
Publication:HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 7, 2003
Words:705
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