Hot Housewares for the Holidays: An Early Preview

Holiday cooking productsConsumers want to whip up meals like the chefs they see on television, and are also hankering for home products that offer an aura of health and wellness. Those appear to be the premises some housewares brands are banking on -- if their holiday product lines are any indication, that is.

Housewares suppliers offered a sneak peak of what you'll see in retail stores during the gift-giving season at the Hot Housewares for the Holidays press exhibit in New York, held by the International Housewares Association.

Here's a round-up of some of the items you might get from Santa this year.

Top ChefCook Like a Top Chef

More than 30 Top Chef-branded kitchen tools and gadgets inspired by the popular Bravo series will be available at retailers like Bed Bath & Beyond and on, starting in September.

The licensed collection from ARG Manufacturing includes nylon and stainless steel slotted spoons, ladles, peelers and measuring cups. It was designed in conjunction with Bravo TV, which airs the culinary competition reality show, as well as Tom Colicchio, the head judge on the show and the celebrity chef who co-founded Gramercy Tavern in New York City.

The kitchenware line will be featured on season nine of Top Chef, beginning in October, and will range from $8 to $54.

KitchenAidSlice and Dice Like a Pro

KitchenAid says it has redefined the time-honored food processor with the launch of a line that combines a new cutting system with variable speeds to offer "unsurpassed control of ingredients and food preparation," and chef-worthy food from "paper thin vegetable chips... to thickly sliced tomatoes for a gratin."

The blades on the food processor can be adjusted from thin to thick, and speeds are adjustable to three settings, which enables cooks to slice softer vegetables, for one, using the slower speed and slice harder foods on a higher speed.

The upgrade comes as "more people are cooking more at home, using less processed food," said a company spokeswoman, at the press preview.

The new line of food processors are available in white, onyx, black, empire red, brushed chrome and contour silver, and will cost between $99.99 and $249.99 at major department stores.

SoftBrewBrew a 'Silky' Cup of Joe

For the java devotees out there, the SoftBrew coffeemaker from Sowden aims to take brewing that cup of Joe to new heights. It's also designed to counter the trend toward complicating the coffee making process, the Italian housewares company says.

The SoftBrew is comprised of a modernist porcelain jug and a patented, stainless-steel micro filter. With the SoftBrew, coffee grounds aren't squeezed as in a French press, but simply brewed in a pot. And unlike an automatic drip coffee maker that uses paper filters, SoftBrew coffee is not over-filtered.

The result is a full-bodied tasting coffee with full acidity and controlled sediment, the company says. Translation: "My wife says the coffee has a silky taste to it," Michael Jeansson, vice president of sales for NGL Associates, the distributor for Sowden in the U.S., told DailyFinance. The eight-cup SoftBrew sells for $59.95 on

Trudeau'Hive' in Style

Trudeau's new product lineup includes whimsical barware and kitchen gadgets aimed at serious home cooks and entertaining enthusiasts.

The collection speaks to the "hiving trend," André Daviault, marketing manager for Trudeau, told DailyFinance. Hiving, he explained, differs from the stay-at-home cocooning trend, because rather than keeping to your own clan, it involves inviting "bees into your hive," and entertaining them, he said.

Trudeau's new line includes the Herb Saver, for about $24.99, a sleekly designed storage device that uses water to extend the life of fresh herbs, as well as the Plate Clip, a stemware holder that attaches to any size plate. This $2.49 party accessory will give your guests a free hand when they're juggling eating and drinking.

Violight's latest ZapiSanitize Your Toothbrush

Violight's latest Zapi line of toothbrush sanitizers cleans your toothbrush in six minutes, and eliminates 99.9% of germs with ultraviolet light, the company says. And they're cute to boot: The Penguin, Owl and Panda sanitizers are new for the holidays.

"It's all about wellness -- people are taking more control of their lives," Fred Reffsin, president of Violight, told DailyFinance.

The animal-themed Zapi sanitizers will sell for about $29.95 at retailers such as The Container Store and Brookstone.

Take It to the MatWellnessMats

WellnessMats offer the promise of freedom from back, knee and foot pain that's often caused by standing for long periods of time --whether you're cooking or doing dishes, for example. "These ergonomically engineered" mats do so by displacing and suspending your body weight on the mat, the company says.

Indeed, WellnessMats are medically proven to promote and increase proper circulation. "In short, you feel better -- and literally are healthier -- on a wellness mat," Julia Gillespie, a company spokeswoman, told DailyFinance.

The mats, which retail for $119.95 for the smaller size, as well as the new Seasons Collection of removable mat covers (between $29 and $35), will be sold at retailers nationwide.
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