IHA checked in with Fran Groesbeck and Suzie Eberhardt at Whitford Corporation to get an update on trends in coatings for cookware, bakeware and small electrics that they will discuss in their presentation at the 2018 International Home + Housewares Show. At the Show, the Innovation Theater will feature 21 presentations over four days. Topics discussed will include smart home, consumer shopping preferences, branding and global market trends.
Fran Groesbeck is the North American consumer marketing manager and global retail/ brand owner coordinator; Suzie Eberhardt serves as the North American retail marketing manager at Whitford. Together, they are responsible for working with retailers and importers that develop, buy or source nonstick-coated products with the goal of getting them to specify Whitford coatings on their private label and direct sourcing products. The dynamic duo has dubbed themselves “The Nonstick Chicks.”
Founded in 1965 as Whitford Chemicals, Whitford Corporation was formed in 1969. Whitford manufactures the largest, most complete line of high-performance fluoropolymer and sol-gel “ceramic” nonstick coatings in the world. It manufactures and maintains sales offices in many countries and has agents in more than 25. Whitford covers four main market categories: consumer, industrial, flexible substrates and medical.
Fran, what is the most exciting or rewarding part of your work? What fuels your inspiration?
The most exciting and rewarding part of our jobs is working with and being able to help our customers. They all have great ideas, and they fuel our inspiration to be the best company we can be.
Can you name a pivotal event or project that impacted your career or company?
Personally, joining Whitford was the pivotal event in my career and has allowed me to use my product development knowledge to a new level. For Whitford, the continuing efforts to break into new markets and explore new categories have been pivotal to expansion across categories.
In the past few years, what has changed most in your business? How has your company met these challenges in the way you do your work?
On one side of the market—global regulations. New regulations are continually being presented and because Whitford is a worldwide company, we must comply with these regulations. We have global regulatory experts at the home office and additional members in our worldwide locations to keep up with this demand. On the product side—the explosion and importance of color choices for consumers.
Why did you choose to speak at the International Home + Housewares Show?
We believe that knowledge is power. The Show is a great avenue to share the knowledge we have so that we can help educate the audience on a variety of topics that can impact the housewares industry.
2018 Trends in Coatings for Cookware, Bakeware and Small Electrics
Saturday, March 10 12:30 – 1:20 p.m.
Innovation Theater, Lakeside Center, Room E350
Tell us what you will be speaking about and how and this topic is important for Show audiences.
The latest trends in coatings is an important topic because trends influence and set the pace for our industry. We are looking forward to questions from the audience and their response to the current trends we are seeing.
What do you see as consumers’ biggest concerns regarding housewares products?
The biggest concern is always the safety and quality of the products. The products must be deemed safe for consumer use and the quality must be represented by the price point, especially for higher-priced items. Consumers expect the more expensive items to last longer.
What are some of today’s trends or issues that new product development professionals and/or retailers face in the housewares market?
Keeping up with the colors trends can be difficult. A trending color in textiles may not be as trendy in cookware, bakeware and/or small electrics. Or it may not be possible to execute due to limitations in regulatory compliance and raw material availability.
Thanks, Fran, for giving us a sneak peek at your program. We look forward to hearing more on Saturday, March 10 at 12:30 p.m. in the Innovation Theater. To learn more about Whitford products and services, visit their website, and connect with Fran and Suzie via email or Instagram.
Learn from experts about how to invigorate your new products and services by enhancing your innovation efforts. Critical issues such as global design trends, branding, the needs of distinct consumer age and gender groups, and questions about smart/connected devices in our home environments all impact the home goods market. Be sure to attend the free executive-level educational sessions at the Innovation Theater. These programs will give you a fresh perspective as you walk the Show and will inspire, inform and improve your business. All programs will be audio-recorded and will be available at www.housewares.org after the Show.