RETAILERS, TAP INTO HOME ENTERTAINING BOOM
‘i K , Modular In-Line
1 /4rr> , _ Product
The category of home entertaining
specialty appliances designed for family fun
continues to grow to the extent that some
of the products originally deemed seasonal,
such as ice cream makers, are seen as
having the potential for a much wider
selling window. Specialty”treat making‘
appliances have grown to become a huge
category, with many getting
into the act. Niche
companies as well as major
small appliance companies
have introduced a variety
of products falling under the
home entertaining rubric.
Home entertaining product
development is driven, to
a large extent, by what
developers see happening
in restaurants and catering
halls. Two major product categories have
recently arisen from the catering segment:
of the chocolate and beverage fountains
often seen at weddings.
The products attempt to recreate
at home a food, meal or treat typically
enjoyed outside the home. A wide range
of items capitalize on the home
entertaining phenomenon, including
smoothie makers, quesadilla makers, pizza
ovens, hot-wing cookers, hot-dog rollers,
panini makers and indoor grills. On the
non—e| ectrics front, categories like wine
accessories, raclettes and fondue pots,
IS HITTING THE
which focus on adult--oriented home
entertaining, also have been
Menu items also are a rich source
of product-development inspiration.
Suppliers say success requires several
ingredients, perhaps most importantly, a
”wow"factor, as well as the
inclusion ofa level of
interactivity for the
consumer. Products that
embody this tend to put
on a show for the
consumer, allowing them
to view the popcorn
popping, the chocolate
ﬂowing, the cotton candy
By offering small appliances
and other types of products designed to
leverage trends from catering halls and
such, suppliers can realize a number of
beneﬁts, ﬁrst and foremost, the chance
to ride the coattails of something with
proven popularity. Ease—of—use and
convenience also are important, as is hitting
the proper price point. If a product is so
new that there is nothing else llke it on the
market, a company is then free to create the
price—value relationship, enabling retail
partners to enjoy higher margins before
the competition moves in.
I n the small appliance industry, where
increasing consolidation is putting more shelf
space in fewer hands, smaller suppliers need
to be innovative and quick thinking. One
supplier successful at doing just that is The
Helman Group, Ltd. "
Helman is the company behind Nostalgia
Electrics”: specialty small appliances that
debuted with old—fashioned popcorn
machines and now include a wide range
of home entertaining appliances, such as
slushie makers, chocolate fountains, buffet
servers, hot dog rollers, and margarita makers.
"We have an advantage in that we are small, "
said company partner Gregg Bond/ We take
chances and always have about 30 new items
that we are working on. “
To be competitive, Helman is always thinking
out of the box, keeping an eye on restaurant
and catering foods and treats that would be
difficult for the consumer to prepare at home.
Then, the company develops a home
appliance aimed at allowing the consumer
to make the item at home.
“I look for a twist of new technology to give
us an edge in the small appliance arena, "
The key is to create a high—perceived value.
as well as a "wow“factor. Cotton candy, for
example, can be purchased in a bag, but
when the consumer puts sugar in the
appliance and they and the kids can watch it
turn into something they can roll a cone in,
that makes for a "wow"product: It brings
’/ Q” a level of theatricality, as well as
All these ingredients go into creating a story
that Helman can tell buyers that allows them
to mentally conjure an image they can
relate to so they will buy into the idea
of the new product.
Helman has a leg up on its competitors
in terms of sell-in in that it has a variety
of success stories under its belt, which makes
it easier to get distribution.
Helman also helps get the products off the
shelves — and into consumers'shopping carts.
it does so by focusing on circulars, the
Internet. signage, public relations, SkyMall
and other catalogers to create interest.
Packaging is paramount: 'We need to make
sure our packaging screams, ‘Funl’and tells
the story quickly, " Bond noted.
Some new products from Helman include the
Slush-Ease” Countertop Home Slush Drink
Maker, which offers the drink made famous
in convenience stores in the privacy of your
own home. The Double Auger Home '
Chocolate Fondue Fountain permits the use
of two flavors of chocolate at one time. The
3-Station Buffet Server” features a handy
warming tray. The full sized Old Fashioned
Movie Time Popcorn Cart” makes up
theatrical-style popcorn. The Old Fashioned
Hot Dog Roller“ features a removable roller
and griddle pan. The Margarator” has a
i—galIon capacity and mixes margaritas,
various frozen and slush
a patent pending grind _
and shave mechanism, ‘
The Helman Group, Ltd. ”
Phone: (805) 487~7772
Fax: (805) 498-9975
Visit us online at:
www. helmangroup. com
We at The Helman Group, Ltd. ” thank you for supporting our
Nostalgia Electrics" branded product line.
It is our ongoing goal to continue to develop and provide fun and
entertaining appliances for the home. Currently we have over 30
products in development that will be rolling out over the next
several years. It is this breadth of newness that keeps our line fresh
and alive—and fueling incremental sales for your store.
With the introduction of our latest-generation appliances, we believe
2007 will be our best year yet! Our products are aimed to appeal to
all age groups and to create both a WOW! factor and interaction, while '
at the same time carrying retail prices that are both affordable for the
consumer and proﬁtable for you, the retailer.
We look forward to seeing you at the International Home and
Housewares Show and Gourmet Show so that we can introduce
you to our many new product innovations, as well as reinvigorated
versions of older models, for 2007 and beyond.
We wish you a successful and proﬁtable year.
Gregg Bond Andrew Helman Barry Helman