Cuisinart (// kwee-zin-art) is an American kitchen appliance and cookware brand owned by Conair Corporation. Cuisinart was founded in 1971 by Carl Sontheimer and initially produced food processors, which were introduced at a food show in Chicago in 1973. The name "Cuisinart" became synonymous with "food processor." The brand's name is a portmanteau of "cuisine" and "art." Cuisinart was purchased by Conair Corporation in 1989.
|Products||Cookware, ovenware, kitchen tools, kitchen accessories|
Cuisinart was founded in 1971 by Carl Sontheimer, a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology who was inspired by his love of French food. This led to the creation of Cuisinart and its main product, the food processor. Cuisinart introduced its brand in January 1973 at a trade show in Chicago. The success of Cuisinart was limited at first, until a review in Gourmet magazine helped to lift sales.
Throughout the mid-1970s, Cuisinart sales rose due to the brand's association with celebrity chefs such as James Beard, a close friend of Carl Sontheimer. Cuisinart hired industrial designer Marc Harrison in the 1970s to design new products and improve other existing designs, many of the company's products became associated with universal design. Harrison made its products more functional for users with disabilities, designing larger fonts so that people with vision problems could see them.
By the mid-to-late 1980s, Cuisinart incurred financial troubles and suffered from falling sales. A group of investors bought Sontheimer's interest in the company in 1987 for $42 million. In August 1989, the company filed for bankruptcy. This led to Conair buying the company for $27 million.
Legal troubles with Robot-Coupe edit
In the late 1970s, a legal dispute between Robot-Coupe and Cuisinart began when Robot-Coupe stopped distributing Cuisinart products and released the products under their own name. Robot-Coupe hired Alvin Fineman, Cuisinart's former marketing director in 1979, who engaged in competitive advertisements that resulted in a lawsuit. Robot-Coupe was ordered to stop insinuating that Cuisinart sold products manufactured by Robot-Coupe.
Products produced under the Cuisinart brand include:
- Air fryers
- Handheld and standing blenders
- Bread machines
- Countertop blenders
- Brick ovens
- Can openers
- Coffee grinders
- Convection ovens
- Cutting boards
- Deep fryers
- Dutch ovens
- Espresso makers
- Food processors
- Grills, griddles
- Hand mixers
- Ice cream and sorbet makers
- Juice extractors
- Microwave ovens
- Popcorn makers
- Rice cookers
- Slow cookers
- Speciality appliances
- Stand mixers
- Toaster oven broilers
- Waffle makers
- Thomas, Robert McG. Jr. (March 26, 1998). "C. G. Sontheimer, Cuisinart Backer, Dies at 83". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
- "Conair Buys Cuisinart Line". The New York Times. December 28, 1989. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
- Lewis, Vivian (July 31, 1977). "From France, the Cuisinart". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
- Williamson, Bess (December 2012). "Getting a Grip: Disability in American Industrial Design of the Late Twentieth Century". Winterthur Portfolio. 46 (4): 213–236. doi:10.1086/669668. ISSN 0084-0416. S2CID 108978324.
- Catanese, Lynn (2012). "Thomas Lamb, Marc Harrison, Richard Hollerith and the Origins of Universal Design". Journal of Design History. 25 (2): 206–217. doi:10.1093/jdh/eps013. JSTOR 41687795.
- Kleinfield, N.R. (April 15, 1990). "How Cuisinart Lost Its Edge". The New York Times. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
- "Blade Battle". Time. May 18, 1981. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved December 8, 2018.