Gtech’s AirRAM Launch at The Glass Houses in New York City
Last week, RLA client Gtech launched its industry-first AirRAM on the 21st floor of The Glass Houses overlooking Manhattan. The event was well-attended by a great cross-section of press from Apartment Therapy and the Today show to Forbes.com and HGTV Magazine. Guests got a first-hand test run of the cordless vacuum on the white carpet, and heard from AirRAM inventor Nick Grey, who is also Gtech UK’s founder and president. Guests also enjoyed talks from Gtech USA’s Senior Vice President, Greg McCormick, and special guest and tech-expert speaker, Josh Klein.
Josh Klein, Hacker Strategist and Host of National Geographic’s The Link, spoke about the impact that new and emerging technologies are having on our modern society. With the boom of the internet, there is much more competition for all products of the market. Also, everything is tracked instantly. Josh told the crowd that this, in turn, effects how consumers purchase products as the key success is innovation. Describing relevant AirRAM features that include the weight, slim profile and the USB port, he concluded by saying that technology empowers consumers to buy products that are not only more powerful, but more clever.
As part of the festivities, the flat screen TV next to the stage displayed guests’ #GtechLaunch tweets in real time, while consumers at home had the chance to win an AirRAM throughout the evening via social media. The specialty cocktail was the Cucumber Tequila Fizz, aptly colored green to match the Gtech logo, and the delicious hors d’oeuvres included filet mignon and artichoke fondue.
Rachel Litner Associates Launches Portuguese Tabletop Company, Vista Alegre, in the U.S.
A highlight for RLA this month was the official U.S. debut of Portuguese porcelain and giftware manufacturer, Vista Alegre, one of our newest clients. Considerable cross-Atlantic strategizing went into planning the inaugural events, which included a press breakfast and a festive cocktail party during Tabletop week at Vista Alegre's new FortyOne Madison showroom. Adding to the festivities was live music during the cocktail party performed by Federico Aubele and Natalia Clavier - a great duo of latin vocals and instrumentals.
A cross-section of media, retailers and other industry colleagues were treated to a unique opportunity: reviewing Vista Alegre's newest collection in a personal tour led by Sacha Walckhoff, Creative Director of Christian Lacroix. The legendary fashion designer's exclusive tabletop line is one of a continuing series of partnerships between the porcelain producer and international design talents.
This has already been a very busy year; with newly-signed clients and multiple events and campaigns in the works, 2013 is bringing a lot of exciting news. Also, after intense planning and preparation, we are happy to announce that the International Home and Housewares show in Chicago was a major success. The show was held at McCormick Place, and continues to be the most significant event for companies operating in all aspects of the housewares industry. Rachel Litner Associates is proud to represent many of leading home and culinary brands that attended, including Cuisinart, Waring Pro and Vinturi, all of which displayed their most innovative products at this annual international event.
RLA Welcomes Gtech, Tovolo and Epicurean
Rachel Litner Associates is happy to announce that three more clients have joined the roster. Expanding on our already exciting lineup, RLA welcomes Gtech, Tovolo and Epicurean. Gtech, a leading British design company, has established a U.S. subsidiary, Gtech USA, to introduce a groundbreaking cordless, bag-less and canister-free vacuum cleaner - the AirRAM. Tovolo's fun and colorful palette-happy tools such as the wipe-clean, heat-resistant silicone Baking Mats and handheld Citrus Reamers help create palate-pleasing dishes. Epicurean's new cutting boards and serving pieces include the eco-friendly, dishwasher-safe wood composite Wild Gourmet and Animal Shapes boards as well as the Skateboard, which commemorates its corporate origins as a manufacturer of skate park surfaces.
Hubert Keller's Art de la Cuisine
On July 31st, RLA client Cuisinart hosted an event at Haven's Kitchen in Chelsea, NYC, entitled "Cuisinart Presents L'Art de la Cuisine: Bringing Home the Traditions, Tastes and Techniques of Hubert Keller's Alsace." It was a beautiful event and a great success, and one of which all of us are proud. Editors and producers from the country's top-tier media outlets joined Cuisinart and Chef Keller for an Alsatian wine, cheese and charcuterie tasting, followed by a cooking demonstration of Chef Keller's favorite traditional Alsatian dish, Baeckeoffe. After the cooking demonstration everyone enjoyed a delicious meal and wine pairings, including a scrumptious dessert that was a unique take on traditional black forest cake, a favorite in the Alsace region of France.
May 2012 - The past two months here at RLA have been all about the trade show circuit -we've been promoting our clients as well as checking out other intriguing events that caught our eye. From the New York Tabletop Show and KBIS in Chicago to some fresh, fun grassroots happenings like the Brooklyn Food Book Fair, we've been attending panels, chatting with interesting people, soaking up tons of new info, and getting the scoop on other great upcoming events. We're brimming with inspiration, ideas, and news, so starting today with Tabletop we'll be bringing you highlights from our recent travels. Read on and check back soon for more updates.
On the Slate
Natural and textural elements abound at the New York Tabletop Show at 41 Madison and in keeping with this theme slate was a stand-out material. RLA client Maxwell & Williams showcased a variety of new collections which garnered a lot of attention, including Slate, the latest addition to the company's versatile White Basics line. The sleek and modern porcelain serving sets that make up this collection are paired with gray slate slabs in varying sizes that are ideal for displaying the accompanying dishes. These unique slate pieces also make excellent cheese boards or Sushi platters, plus consumers can customize their presentation by writing personal notes in chalk which can later be wiped away.
Maxwell & Williams' Slate Collection
Birds, Butterflies, and Beyond
Designers continue to look to the great outdoors for inspiration. At this year's show both birds and butterflies appeared on plates, glasses, serveware, and more. Along with whimsical avian and insect prints, showroom exhibitors built on the trend by incorporating texture and unexpected raised elements such as flatware patterns resembling bark. RLA client Fitz and Floyd featured 3D bird figurines perched on top of teapots and sugar bowls in the company's fanciful Cockatoo collection while butterflies and blooms teamed up in the Courtyard collection. Stylized, oversized, and moody watercolor florals and other artful nods to the garden also played a prominent role throughout the show.
Fitz & Floyd's Cockatoo Collection
Fitz & Floyd's Courtyard Collection
Putting the Fun in Food
One other trend that has been popping up repeatedly is this idea of food as an art form or a theatrical experience. Consumers are looking to add an element of fun and lightheartedness to their entertaining. They're embracing themes as well as out-of-the-box accents that will introduce a sense of drama to the tabletop. This idea was reflected at the show where a variety of visually exciting themes were on display. Two great examples include M&Ws' casual-chic beach presentation, which paired pieces from their Paint and White Basics collections together with seashells and various summery elements, as well as the company's bright polka dot Sprinkle collection. Products that tell a story like this around a theme allow consumers to easily create their own experience by mixing and matching and picking the pieces that speak to their personal style.
Maxwell & Williams' Sprinkle Collection
Maxwell & Williams' Beach Presentation
04/04/12 - This past weekend through Monday, RLA client Cuisinart received major coverage at the 34th Annual IACP Conference which was held for the first time ever in New York City at the Millennium Hotel. As one of three platinum sponsors, Cuisinart had a strong presence throughout the event; the company hosted two breakfasts, exhibited at Sunday's Culinary Expo and saw their logo appear on signage, program guides, and gift tote bags. Rachel sat in on a variety of exciting panels and workshops and of course, was there to support the Cuisinart team. This year's conference theme, The Fashion of Food, captured the glamour and allure of the city while attracting an array of prominent speakers including Ruth Reichl, Amanda Hesser, Dan Barber, and Marcus Samuelsson. Here's a sampling of programs Rachel attended along with some interesting trends and take-aways.
The Fashion of Food
Kicking off the conference, this keynote session featured moderator Kim Severson of the New York Times along with Adam Rapoport, Bon Appetit's new editor-in-chief; Food Republic's Marcus Samuelsson; and Susan Lyne, Chairman of Gilt Groupe. The group explored the creative collision of food, fashion and media which led to provocative debates on a variety of hot topics. One interesting conversation centered around the fact that restaurant menus are adding more meats and desserts even though consumers continue to look for ways to eat healthy at home. The health movement seems to be running concurrent to the high demand for high-fat, high-flavor items like artisanal bacon and chocolate (which incidentally is the top seller on Gilt Taste). Talk also turned to the popularity of cooking videos, apps, and digital content. However, as Marcus noted, the platforms we use to access food trends and recipes might be changing but people are still looking for a trusted voice.
Can a Video Teach You to Cook?
Through a mix of discussion and video show-and-tell, this panel tackled the question of technology in the kitchen. Can it ever really take the place of hands-on teaching? The overall consensus among the speakers which included representatives from Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) as well as the co-founder of Rouxbe Video Technologies, an online cooking school, was that video technology can be a great tool- it can teach viewers the vocabulary and the knowledge- but it won't ever replace the crucial problem-solving skills that come from hands-on experience. Professional and home chefs need to learn how to fail and then fix the problem, something cameras can't get across. As Marcus Samuellson live tweeted: Nothing beats "doing" ... You're not going to lose weight by watching sports... The same goes for cooking.. Practice makes perfect!
The New Frontier in Magazines: Finding a Model that Works for Readers, Writers...and at the Bank
As more and more readers turn to the internet, ipads, and iphones for content, magazines have had to rethink the way they deliver their message. Three leading names in the industry-Maille Carpenter, editor-in-chief of Food Network Magazine; Peter Meehan, co-editor of Lucky Peach; and Ruth Reichl, editorial advisor to Gilt Taste and former Gourmet magazine editor discussed the new direction of food publishing and shared the secrets that led to their successes. The panel spoke enthusiastically about all the new platforms available to publishers these days yet made this crucial point: although digital tools can excite and attract readers, if the quality of the content isn't there as well people will quickly lose interest. Whether it's print, online, or apps, you need that combination of inspiration and instruction to remain a meaningful and major media resource that keeps readers engaged and coming back for more.
For more information on the International Association of Culinary Professionals and a recap on the conference visit the IACP home page.
3/20/12 - Just back from the whirlwind of this year's sold-out International Home & Housewares Show in Chicago, Rachel was thrilled to return to one of her favorite stomping grounds where she reacquainted with old friends and connected with new ones. Five of RLA's clients were showcasing an array of new products to enthusiastic attendees. Representing the kitchen and the bar to the backyard and beyond the following were just a few of the items RLA's clients had on display:
Like having your very own personal barista at home, Cuisinart's versatile Compact Single Serve brewing system makes it easier than ever to enjoy a variety of hot beverages.
Grown-ups and kids alike will love Waring Professional's easy-to-use Cotton Candy Maker and Snow Cone Maker.
Maxwell & Williams' laser-etched Bubbles Galore Champagne Toasting Flute Set is guaranteed to add that extra special touch to any celebration.
Instantly aerate and enhance fine liquors and spirits with Vinturi's innovative Spirit Aerator.
Prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the Cuisinart* Griddl'n Grill Portable Gas Grill, the kitchen stove of the great outdoors.
*The Fulham Group has the exclusive rights to market the Cuisinart brand for outdoor kitchen and grilling products in the United States.
Ambia's Radiant Heater provides multi-directional radiance you control using two knobs so you can point the heat exactly where you want and share the warmth.
11/11/11 - Rachel just returned from the International Foodservice Editorial Council Conference in Washington D.C. As part of the conference, Rachel was privileged to meet with Chef Jose Andres in his new restaurant America Eats, which showcases American history through native ingredients accompanied by recipes and stories from the National Archives. Rachel also had the opportunity to interact with over 25 of the industry’s top editors during office hours. The office hours portion of the conference is always a highlight and a great way to kindle new relationships.
For information on the International Foodservice Editorial Council, visit the IFEC home page.
09/20/11 - Levaqua, maker of digital showerheads, has joined the RLA client list. Based in Cresskill, New Jersey, Levaqua is a new company, founded in 2009 by a global team with decades of experience in the home environment industry. Their digital showerheads are the first of their kind; with one touch on demand spray, spa, and timer settings. We are very excited to be working with such an innovator and pioneer in the industry.
07/28/11 - RLA has begun working with three exciting new clients over the past several months. Vinturi, Inc., Maxwell & Williams and The Fulham Group have all joined our portfolio, and we've already been doing some very exciting work with them. Vinturi, Inc. is widely known for pioneering the first wine aerator of its kind in 2007, and has since evolved into an industry leader with a diversified collection of wine accessories. Maxwell & Williams Designer Homewares is an Australian housewares and tabletop client that we launched at market in April 2011; the company's many lines of eclectic and beautiful table- and barware will debut at retail in September. Lastly, The Fulham Group is the exclusive licensee for Cuisinart outdoor grilling products, as well as the manufacturer of proprietary brands, Ambia Home Comfort Products, Grill Dozer grill-cleaning steam brushes and S'More to Love indoor s'more makers.
RLA is thrilled to be working with these new clients, and we look forward to partnering with each of them going forward. Check back to our News page periodically to find out what exciting things all of our clients are doing!
01/19/11 - Rachel recently attended the International Housewares Association's 2011 Media Preview in New York City. About 60 members of the press, along with a wide range of outstanding housewares manufacturers, converged in Manhattan for an inside look at new products that will be formally debuting at this year's Housewares Show (March 3 - 6 in Chicago). Rachel accompanied Snapware's Carla Hunter to the media preview, demonstrating three exciting new product lines that will be revealed to the public in the second half of 2011.
For information on the upcoming International Home and Housewares Show, visit the IHA home page.
4/21/10 - New FDA regulations on menu labeling and salt content represent only a small portion of the challenges currently impacting the casual dining sector, and was just one of the topics discussed in a recent FOX Business interview with RLA client Samuel Borgese, President and CEO of CB Holding Corp. (the parent company of Charlie Brown's Steakhouse, Bugaboo Creek Steak House and The Office Beer Bar & Grill). Rachel was on hand to prep Mr. Borgese for his interview with FOX Business anchor Cheryl Casone, regarding what CB Holding Corp. has done to address the repercussions of FDA regulations, the effect the current economic climate has had on the restaurant business and how the company is reclaiming its classic steakhouse heritage.
After recently introducing new menus at all Charlie Brown's locations, the restaurant has seen comp sales rise consistently for the past few months. As the economy improves and consumers continue to recognize CB Holding Corp.'s efforts to improve the Charlie Brown's brand, this is a trend that is expected to continue. Ms. Casone went on to discuss the future of the casual dining sector with Mr. Borgese, who said he expects significant recovery in the industry within six to twelve months. Click on the image above to view the segment on FOXBusiness.com.
4/2/10 - Rachel recently attended Propel Media Events' Green Products Expo at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. About 300 press members and green enthusiasts gathered to catch a glimpse of the latest healthy living and enviornmentally-friendly products. These included home, food, cleaning, lifestyle, beauty and electronic items. Among the new products on display were Cuisinart's new CleanWater® Countertop Filtration System, which provides cleaner, healthier-tasting water while eliminating the need for plastic water bottles and the GreenGourmet™ Electric Skillet, which was developed using manufacturing techniques that reduce harmful carbon emissions by consuming less energy.
Mark your calendars for Propel Media Events' next media event, the 2010 Holiday Gift Guide Show on May 19th in New York City.
Visit us often to see what's new and exciting at Rachel Litner Associates!
"The preparation of good food is merely another expression of art, one of the joys of civilized living."
- Dione Lucas