Top Trends in Kitchenware, Food & Drink Focus on the Comforts of Home for 2009

The top trends emerging from January’s Atlanta International Gift Show place the focus squarely on the comforts and pleasures of home, especially a home with a green kitchen as the gathering point for family and friends to share in cooking and eating.

“The exciting news out of Atlanta is the exceptional number of products that have seen improvement and innovation for the modern kitchen-centered home,” said Bob Kratchman, president and chief buyer for Kitchen Kapers upscale retail and website stores. “There is definitely a movement towards the comforts of home for entertaining as well as preparing meals with friends and family.”

In entertaining, Kratchman cites the new mantra for 2009, “Beer is the New Wine,” confirming that beer and beer-related products are hot and getting hotter. He points especially to The BeerTender TM from HeinekenR and KrupsR as the new standard in at-home beer consumption which puts fresh Heineken beer on tap right at home. Kratchman also picks barware and beer sets from Libbey International and Guinness’s Classic Pub Mugs as must-haves.

Bob Kratchman, together with brothers Rick and Ron, has been involved in the family owned and operated business for most of the company’s 35 years and has seen trends come and go. However, he reminds us that wine, as well as the many products that help consumers enjoy wine better than ever, is here to stay. He points to new wine aeration products from Vinturi and Oenophilia as bringing sophistication to the appreciation of wine drinking as well as to cooking with wines. Bob also notes the always exceptional glassware from Reidel as delivering the most pleasurable experiences possible from any wine vintage.

Portable potables get a nod, too. Colorful, highly-designed hydration bottles (aka, water bottles) are about to become ubiquitous personal statements of the importance of proper, and stylish, fluid intake. Of particular note, SIGG and Oggi are the ones to grab when on the go.

About the Atlanta Gift Show, Rick Kratchman, vice-president of Kitchen Kapers and veteran of hundreds of gifts shows, said, “What particularly impresses me is the explosion of functional, yet really beautiful, products for the home that are based on environmentally sound principles. Not an easy task.” Continued Rick Kratchman, “Finally, with their use of renewable materials and green production methods, many of these products go well beyond paying lip-service to the notion of being able to have a truly green and eco-friendly home.”

Among the products singled out by Rick Kratchman are:

Cuisinart’s GreenGourmet line of eco-friendly, high-performance cookware, noteworthy for its Ceramica nonstick technology that avoids the use of petroleum in its production.

Fagor's Portable Induction Cooktop, trending as the hottest kitchen tool on the market for home cooks as well as the pros. Energy efficient and safe, Fagor’s innovative technology provides precise, instant heat in a sleek, compact design.

Everything bamboo, especially a great new lightweight composter made of all natural bamboo that has been 100% sustainably harvested.

Tote Bags: In every color, pattern and design iteration imaginable, these reusables are helping to save the planet One ToteTM at a time.

At the center of trends for 2009 and growing fast is, of course, the movement back to home-based entertaining, cooking and just hanging with family and friends. At home after all, is where comfort foods are created and appreciated best. Pizza, hamburgers (sliders), cupcakes, home ground herbs and spices all get special attention with new products geared to ratchet up the quality and flavors.

New in products for stay-at-home nesters: exceptional, high-value, low-priced French Skillets from industry giant All-Clad (e.g.: 12” fry pan with lid for $89.99); bakery-quality cupcake tins; slider makers for burgers made to perfection; products that allow you to grind, crush and mix herbs, spices, nuts, etc., such as Flavour Shaker by Jamie Oliver (the Food Network’s Naked Chef) and mortar and pestles from American Masala; Chef’n’s newest innovation EmulStir; and kids cooking sets from the Playful Life.

“I find the return to home and hearth one of the most gratifying trends of the new year,” said Ron Kratchman, vice-president of Kitchen Kapers. “Being from a close-knit family that enjoys working together daily, I especially appreciate the infinite possibilities that exist to participate in creating family dinners together using products geared to producing quality results right at home.” Says Ron, “Being able to make a crisp-crusted ‘designer’ pizza using a professional quality pizza stone in the oven is a special treat for my three young children. We’ve even started cooking pizza on the grill. What great authentic pizzeria flavors grilling brings out.”

Finally, what would cooking at home be without at least one person whose skills and love of food can get things started in the kitchen? Well, the latest big trend is cooking classes.

“For even the most timid and inexperienced cook-wannabees, there are thousands of cooking classes across the country designed to teach everything from the basic skills to the highest levels of cooking and techniques, including all kinds of ethnic and regional cuisines and specialties,” said Ron Kratchman, whose responsibilities include overseeing the Kitchen Kapers flagship store (at East Gate Square in Moorestown, New Jersey) where the company’s extensive Cooking Class Program takes place. He notes that cooking classes are growing in popularity exponentially for all ages and abilities, especially kids and teens cooking classes. Surely an indication that home cooking will continue with future generations.

For additional information call 856-424-3400.

To see the vast collection of kitchenware products carried by Kitchen Kapers:

January 16, 2009

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