WKI Holding has whipped up a kitchen kingpin. The holding company's World Kitchen subsidiary produces many household names in cookware and tableware. Its brand portfolio includes Baker's Secret, Chicago Cutlery, Corelle, CorningWare, EKCO, Magnalite, Olfa, Pyrex, Revere, and Visions. Products are distributed worldwide and sold through mass merchants, department stores, and specialty retailers, as well as through World Kitchen's own factory outlets and e-commerce sites. The company operates manufacturing and distribution centers in the US, Canada, and the Asia/Pacific region. Originally part of manufacturing giant Corning, it adopted the WKI Holding name in 2000.
World Kitchen has seen growing demand for its cooking products in recent years. As a side effect of the economic downturn worldwide, consumers have been opting to prepare more of their meals at home. World Kitchen's cutlery products (including graters, peelers, and zesters) have been in especially high demand, and there is growing interest in its kitchenware made from sustainably sourced woods and other renewable materials.
Reassured by these conditions, World Kitchen is looking to expand its storage product portfolio. In late 2010 the company agreed to acquire Snapware, a California-based maker of kitchenware and home storage products under the Snapware, Snap 'N Stack, Smart Store, and GlassLock brands. Its products are sold by mass merchandisers and supermarkets. Snapware has experienced double-digit sales and profit growth for the past few years, and it boasts expertise in plastic molding and a short product development cycle. (Snapware would also be the first of World Kitchen's subsidiaries to make primarily plastic products.) To take the business forward, World Kitchen plans to invest heavily to promote and to expand distribution of Snapware's brands in the US and abroad. – less