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Kim Sophie

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While those numbers may appear shocking, many report the category has not yet reached its saturation point. 1 source
anticipated medium priced nonstick cookware volume to grow at 2 to 3 percent a year, with the high end averaging between 6 and 5
percent per year. With all the statistics tallied, it's no wonder that the nonstick category has seemingly reached explosive
levels of activity among manufacturers. "Nonstick is clearly a big business," stated the housewares buyer for a Southern retailer.
"If you are in the cookware market and you are not into nonstick, you are in a sector of the market you do not wish to maintain."
The advancement of new technologies offering longer lasting, more durable nonsticks has prompted manufacturers to unite those
coatings with better quality .

And, many vendors also have selected to provide nonstick coatings on such untraditional metals as
stainless steel and anodized aluminum. "The feeling you get is that the cookware department ought to be called the nonstick
department," said the housewares buyer for a significant department store. "Now you will find all degrees of nonstick and they are
good quality nonsticks. "The department is actually going to change," he added. "Ninety percent of cookware will gradually be
nonstick in some form." The main reason for this action, industry observers note, is customer demand for products that save time
and effort round the home. The"poverty of period" among consumers, as one maker stated, has spurred a need for convenience
oriented products, and nonstick cookware falls solidly into that category. The simplicity of cleanup and also the capability to
use less fat and oil leading to healthier cooking have helped push nonstick cookware toward the very top of consumers' shopping
lists. "Nonstick has been driven by customers interested in healthy eating," said the housewares purchaser for an East Coast
specialty shop.


"Using less oil is attractive to the user." Based on demographics and customers' eating habits, industry members
are witnessing an entire generation of cooks in the 1990s looking at the nonstick class for the very first time. "It has become
very trendy to cook in the home," one buyer said. "Vendors see that are reacting." Nonstick has come to be an accepted manner of
cooking. Many vendors attribute the"approval" of nonstick to several factors. First of all, improved technologies featured on
greater quality vacuums have helped the consumer to recognize the durability of nonstick coatings. "Clearly there's more non
profit available in the higher end," said Thomas Reikowski, vice president of sales and marketing for Berndes/Kaiser. "It would
not become available unless the user accepted it."

"Nonsticks are light years ahead of what they had been 15 years back," said
Steven Fraser, executive vice president of housewares for Regal Ware. "Du Pont has outdone themselves, and competitions have come
out with similar nonsticks." Second, a generation of consumers has grown up experiencing the benefits of nonstick cookware. "A
whole generation of customers have grown up with nonstick," said Hugh Rushing, executive vice president of the Cookware
Manufacturers Association (CMA). "They feel comfortable with nonstick and with guarantees. Manufacturers are capturing younger
customers who are purchasing their first set of very good cookware." Several vendors report a generation of consumers have had
nothing but positive experiences with nonstick cookware. "Nonstick has become more acceptable," said Eric Erwin, director of
marketing for Copco. IMPULSE VERSUS INVESTMENT By all accounts, sellers and retailers say the high-end non marketplace is
experiencing the largest growth spurt, although it reflects the smallest segment of this market, or about 25 percent of their
whole high end market. To put it differently, they estimate high-end nonstick cookware to be about $65 million wholesale. 1
business member estimated nonstick could represent half of the total high end market in the next five decades. Industry sources
report the overall growth is coming out of moderate and better cookware goods, or sets that retail for over $100. The debut of
nonstick onto substrates such as stainless steel and anodized aluminum is helping to expand the high end market. "However, the
growth remains in the mass market with moderate priced products," explained John Badner, marketing director for Whitford Corp."The
mid section will always be where the majority of nonstick is sold." But James Forte, marketing and sales director for DuPont No
Stick systems, sees more growth in the top end as well.

"We believe there will be expansion in both the medium and higher finish
of nonstick cookware," said Forte. "The nonstick skillets company represents the majority of promotional revenue," explained
Norman Schoenfeld, executive vice president of Meyer Corp."It's an impulse business. "However, in the case of better goods, we are
talking about an investment buy. Consumers have seen the merchandise used, read literature and spoke to people about it. They've
made a conscious investment." Industry sources say that the high wind is attracting attention as it is a relatively new section of
the market, and consumers are attracted to some of the newest materials emerging, such as anodized aluminum and stainless steel.
"There's a quality of better cookware that was not available and [the consumer's] responding to this," Schoenfeld said. "We are
talking about a category of merchandise that didn't exist five years ago." Vendors say customers who traditionally were not
interested in nonstick cookware are now starting to purchase those products. Gourmet hamburgers or people who see cooking as a
hobby have started to demonstrate a taste for convenience. "The consumer is always trying to find a product that combines non
invasive and decent quality," explained George Bente, president of Scanpan USA. "Nonstick professional pans give nonstick
convenience without having to replace the pan every 2 years."


But while some sellers say the large end is seeing the most growth,
others say the mid priced segment, which represents the bulk of nonstick cookware sales, is still climbing steadily. Several
industry members state nonstick's expansion is with collections retailing at about $100, particularly those inside the 89 to $110
range. "The biggest increase is in places under $100," stated Chris Boyhan, co owner of Global Marketing, which markets Sitram
cookware. RETAIL DYNAMICS"Looking at 1993, from mass retailers to department stores we see that everyone wants to upgrade," said
Badner. "Even at the low end, we see upgrading." While all retail channels are updating, sellers say department stores, which are
repositioning their non invasive assortments, seem to be increasing. "Department stores have repositioned their non invasive. They
have gone toward the performance segment," said Erwin. "They do less in units and more in dollar volume. They have left the 8 and
12 [gauge] into the mass" "Department stores are growing their nonstick business radically," said Schoenfeld. "Mass merchants are
increasing, too, with T Fal trading up." Research conducted by National Family Opinion, which monitors data based on quarterly,
multi card responses, reveals department stores have seen some fluctuations in recent years. In 1989, department stores
represented 12 percent of nonstick advertising sales. That number climbed to 16% in 1990 and dipped again in 1991 and 1992. 1
cookware vendor noted that department stores are a limited market and are not where the non profit business is anymore. "But as a
manufacturer you will need that business," he explained. But mass merchants are growing at a steady rate and represent nearly 50
percent of all nonstick cookware sales. "In the past few years with the advent of high end non profit, department stores have made
profits," said H. David Dalquist, president of Nordic Ware. "However, the bucks are in the mid to medium Selection

Under $100 to get a set and between $10 and $20 to get a skillet. The expansion is in the $60 to $100 sets" NONSTICK ON NON
TRADITIONAL SUBSTRATES possibly the most significant change in the nonstick cookware market came with the debut of Farberware's
Millennium Never Stick stainless steel cookware. Until this time, vendors saythe technology had not been available to create a
long lasting nonstick on a material that lasts a life. Although a lot of other companies had attempted nonstick on stainless steel
Farberware combined Whitford's Excalibur coating with its stainless steel and leveraged its brand name and advertising muscle to
push the item at retail. "When we introduced Millennium, folks had resigned themselves to the simple fact that non invasive is
disposable. They admitted it," said Kevin O'Malley, group vice president of Farberware. "That's why Millennium was difficult [for
customers ] to comprehend. The same was true when [LeCook's Ware's] Circulon and T Fal [Resistal] were introduced." Nonstick on
stainless steel is a"new factor" in the cookware industry.

"It has become part of this nonstick industry; it is a part of that
dialog," one cookware seller said. Some companies say nonstick on stainless steel appeals to consumers who formerly did not
purchase nonstick cookware since they favored cooking with stainless steel. Many say customers recognize the perceived quality and
value of stainless steel cookware. "People are willing to pay $200 to get a stainless steel nonstick," said Ajita Rajendra,
company manager for cookware at Corning Vitro Corp."The total market will rise as we see more name manufacturers coming in. If
other title brands enter the current market, it will grow much quicker. "Also, the activity in that arena will spur nonstick
coating suppliers to continue to experiment with greater, more lasting nonsticks," he added. Stainless steel offers"excellent
release, it remains attractive, it is more durable [than aluminum], and customers are eager to measure for it," said Arthur Krull,
vice president of sales for Nanam Corp."There ought to be a significant explosion of non stainless steel in the upcoming few
decades." "There seems to be a strong consumer preference for stainless steel," explained Dalquist.

"In the past, those consumers
had to settle for aluminum. Now they have an alternative." Although Millennium is earmarked for department and specialty stores,
several businesses, for example Meyer, Nordic and SAS Marketing, have begun offering nonstick on stainless steel into the mass
market. "Nonstick stainless will see fairly slow increase in the mass market," O'Malley predicted. "It takes private selling in
department stores because of the greater price. It is going to have quite a while from the mass market. I see several mass
retailers trying it and it settling into a couple of mass retailers" Presently, industry members estimated nonstick on stainless
steel reflects about $10 million wholesale. But many says it retains a great deal of potential. With the continuing progress of
technology and its latest entry to the mass marketplace, some businesses anticipate it can reach $70 million. "I think there's
opportunity in stainless steel, but it will take some time," Schoenfeld said. "There's a lot of difficulty in producing nonstick
on stainless. The customer anticipates stainless steel cookware to continue." Some sellers are worried this section will entice
importers who will flood the market with low end stainless steel nonstick merchandise. "You are going to get some real aggressive
price points out there. There will be a shakeout," one seller said. Many years ago, Meyer introduced its Circulon hard anodized
cookware with SilverStone. But over the past year, nonstick cookware has moved into a new direction and fresh substrate

Anodized aluminum, a industry traditionally reserved for gourmet and professional cooks. Late last year, Commercial Aluminum
Cookware introduced its Professional Nonstick from Calphalon. Nanam also supplies a line of hard anodized with a nonstick
interior. "We're taking a proven product class for the gourmet cook and improving it," said Krull. "There is a large percentage of
the customer base that buys nonstick," explained Paul Angelo Lo Giudice, culinary events manager for Company Aluminum. "In the
last several years, there has been growth in the top end nonstick sector." LOOKING TOWARD THE NEXT LEVEL While many companies are
paying attention to the cookware's nonstick coating, two of the industry's largest domestic suppliers


Mirro and Regal

Say nonstick is just one product characteristic of several. They notice manufacturers should consider improving all parts of the
product not only the nonstick coating. "The coat is a given," said William Wright, vice president of merchandising for Mirro.
"Nonstick is a portion of the program. "We don't call it nonstick, we call it cookware," he explained. "Nonstick is an integral
part of cookware. We all know we need to have a handle; we all understand it really needs nonstick; we all know it has to have an
outside finish; we all know it has to have a label." As a result, Mirro Is Continually Taking a Look at the next level

Things like controlled cooking, enhanced exterior finishes, better handles, better performance. "How do we make this cookware
better? How do we make the consumer say,'I wish to purchase versus I want to buy?"' Wright said. "We're taking a look at improving
each of the pieces not only the nonstick," he explained. Regal Ware agreed. "Nonstick is a given," said Fraser. "Nonstick is a
tiny bit like quality. Consumers anticipate quality. It is no problem unless the quality isn't there. They have learned to get
used to it. With new technology, they anticipate nonstick to be better." The current addition of guarantees to nonstick cookware
is also just one selling variable. Henry Read, senior vice president of marketing and sales for T Fal Corp., stated:"It's a
marketing tool. But to the knowledgable merchant, the warranty doesn't mean anything. The normal man does not recall how long the
warranty is." THE FUTURE OF NONSTICK Looking forward, industry members continue to see nonstick growing. "I think there'll
continue to be growth in nonstick since the coatings are superior," said Rushing. "There's a sizable replacement marketplace, and
customers replace cookware with better and new products. "It will reach some equilibrium because some consumers don't want
nonstick," he explained. Some vendors say the"non invasive revolution" will help create product lines designed to support nonstick
vendors. Others assume direct response companies, such as tv, will enter the market and push the nonstick business over retailers.
Other companies report there'll be growth in branded merchandise, as customers trade up to heavier weight products with more