Amazon's kitchen sector grows due to pressure cookers, toaster ovens | Cast iron skillets shouldn't be used to cook tomato sauce | Which appliances exemplify one-pot cooking trend?
August 18, 2017
Housewares SmartBrief
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Industry Update
Amazon's kitchen sector grows due to pressure cookers, toaster ovens
Amazon's kitchen and home categories are growing at around 25% annually, with pressure cookers and toaster ovens being the top-selling kitchen subcategories the first half of 2017, according to a One Click Retail report. The smart kitchen trend also had an impact on rising sales, as consumers bought hot items such as the Instant Pot and Keurig's Single Serve Programmable K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker.
HFN (8/16) 
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Cast iron skillets shouldn't be used to cook tomato sauce
Home cooks should avoid cooking tomato-based sauces and other foods with acid in cast iron skillets because the foods could acquire a metallic taste from the cookware, writes Julie R. Thomson. For users intent on using their favorite pan, they should make sure the skillet is well-seasoned, which should stand up to most acidic foods.
HuffPost (8/16) 
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Trends & Innovations
Which appliances exemplify one-pot cooking trend?
One-pot meals can be huge time-savers for busy cooks who don't have time to prep food, follow complicated recipes and clean up the kitchen, writes Connie Chen. A rice cooker, Crock-Pot and Instant Pot can all be used to create simple meals.
Insider (8/17) 
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Retail News
Optimize for the product search that's typical on Amazon
Optimize for the product search that's typical on Amazon
(David McNew/Getty Images)
When consumers turn to Amazon for a search, they're typically looking for products rather than general information. Lisa Lacy explores how brands can optimize for this type of search, which differs in some but not all respects from optimizing for Google.
The Drum (Scotland) (8/16) 
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CE retailers see slight sales drop in July
Consumer electronics and appliance retailers saw a decrease of less than 1% in year-over-year earnings last month, although higher unit sales were reported, per a US Census Bureau Advance Monthly Retail Trade Survey. "We have yet to see the full effect of back-to-school spending, but pickup in spending was evident both online and in general merchandise, which includes bricks-and-mortar department stores," said Jack Kleinhenz, the National Retail Federation's chief economist.
TWICE (8/15) 
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Sears Canada's top exec to lead buyout effort
Brandon Stranzl, executive chairman of Sears Canada, has handed his day-to-day duties to COO Becky Penrice so he can concentrate on putting together a bid to purchase the retailer and keep it in business, according to a company memo. The company won court approval in July to take bids to buy some or all of the company's assets.
Reuters (8/16),  CBC News (Canada) (8/16) 
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Finance & Policy
US trade representatives criticize NAFTA
US trade representatives criticize NAFTA
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (Hoang Dinh Nam/AFP/Getty Images)
US trade representatives criticized the North American Free Trade Agreement just ahead of negotiations with Canada and Mexico to reform the agreement, saying that it has not benefitted Americans. The Trump administration has said that a $55.6 billion trade deficit with Mexico, along with a smaller trade deficit with Canada, are evidence that the current agreement hasn't worked in the favor of the US.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (8/16) 
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IHA News
Housewares executives to sit in the "hot seat" at CHESS 2017
The popular "Housewares Hot Seat" panel moderated by Peter Giannetti of HomeWorld Business returns to the Chief Housewares Executive SuperSession (CHESS) with a new roster of senior executives who will reveal how they are re-aligning channel strategies to maximize growth opportunities today while securing a more stable customer base for the future. Panelists include Bruce Kaminstein, Casabella Holdings; Kris Malkoski, World Kitchen; and Neal Asbury, The Legacy Companies. CHESS is IHA’s two-day strategic and networking event for industry leaders and will be held Oct. 3 and 4 in Rosemont, Ill. Learn more.
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Carrier merger to affect supply chain
The steamship industry was riddled with carrier consolidation during 2015 and 2016. A total of eight carriers were either acquired or merged with other carriers. Shippers were hoping that 2017 would bring some stability to their supply chains. The stability lasted only six months. On July 9, COSCO Shipping Holdings announced that they were making a bid to acquire Orient Overseas International Limited, the parent company of OOCL. How does the International Housewares Shippers Association think the merger will affect the supply chain? Learn more in its recent blog posting.
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