Over 40 Years of Culinary Excellence

Cuisinart Milestones

April 2017


Over 40 Years of Culinary Excellence


1971 Enamored by a demonstration of a restaurant food preparation machine in France, Carl Sontheimer and his wife, Shirley, are convinced they can adapt this technology to a useful home appliance for Americans. Sontheimer, a retired MIT-trained physicist and accomplished cook, makes a daring decision to jump into the highly competitive housewares business with his own company called Cuisinart. The company would initially import an exclusive line of top-quality stainless steel cookware.

1972 Sontheimer begins tinkering with the prototype of the food preparation machine, taking it apart and making refinements. He lengthens the feed tube, improves the cutting blade and discs, and adds safety features to meet American standards.

1973 With great expectations, the Sontheimers unveil the “Food Processor” at the National Housewares Exposition in Chicago.

1974 Determined to make the product a kitchen staple, Sontheimer starts improving the discs and blades. He mixes eggs into puff shell dough in 15 seconds instead of 15 minutes, chops a pound of meat in less than 60 seconds, and creates flavored spreads, pastries and dough faster and with fewer cleanups than ever before.

1975 Sontheimer takes his new techniques and machine to such food authorities as James Beard, Julia Child, Craig Claiborne, Jacques Pépin and Helen McCully. Their accolades and stories praising the machine in Gourmet, The New York Times, and other major publications, help establish Cuisinart as a worthwhile investment for serious home cooks.

1977 Cuisinart’s food processor business explodes, as sales soar from a few food processors a month to hundreds a month. At the same time, the overall food processor market dramatically expands to include more than a dozen brands of food processors, representing over 30 models. Prices range from $30 to almost $400.

1978 To keep its leading edge, a new version of the Cuisinart® food processor debuts. Meaningful improvements include a work bowl with 46 percent more capacity than before, a considerably stronger and more efficient motor, and an even larger feed tube.

1984 Cuisinart continues to raise culinary awareness by publishing several highly successful cookbooks. One book, American Southwest, by Anne Greer, receives the R.T. French company’s “Tastemaker Award” for the best cookbook on American cuisine.

1985 Cuisinart keeps its commitment to culinary education alive with the introduction of a cooking videotape series for consumers.

1986 The Mini-Mate chopper/grinder strengthens the Cuisinart line with high-performance features like a reversible, patented blade.

1988 The Sontheimers, having made Cuisinart the premier housewares brand, decide to sell the company they founded to a group of investors.

1989 Investors sell Cuisinart to Conair Corporation in Stamford, Connecticut, a leading nationwide manufacturer of consumer appliances, personal care products and consumer electronics.

1990 Committed to maintaining its tradition of leadership, Cuisinart introduces The Food Preparation Center, with innovative features like a large feed tube that holds whole tomatoes.

1991 Drawing from the success of its full-size food prep machines, Cuisinart unveils a pint size replica called The Mini-Prep®. The product, which quickly chops foods in small amounts, is an instant hit.

1992 Building on its quick start at energizing the Cuisinart brand, the company lays the foundation for products that go beyond the original cookware and food processor introductions with its first hand-held and countertop blenders.

1994 Cuisinart enters the coffeemaker business.

1995 The introduction of hand mixers and toasters gives breadth to an assortment considered among the best in the high-end appliance arena.

1998 In March, Carl Sontheimer, Cuisinart’s renowned founder, passes away at the age of 83. In May, Conair acquires the Waring Products Division of Dynamics Corporation of America. The Waring brand is well-known for commercial and high-end consumer blenders and drink mixers. Waring becomes a sister company to Cuisinart.

1999 Cuisinart enters the toaster oven broiler category and introduces another innovation with the SmartPower Duet®, offering consumers the benefits of Cuisinart’s SmartPower™ 7-Speed Electronic Blender and a 3-cup Food Processor in a single appliance.

2000 Cuisinart once again revolutionizes the way America cooks with the PowerPrep Plus®, the first major redesign of the company’s food processor. The new machine features a Metal Dough Blade, Supreme™ Wide Mouth Feed Tube and sleek European styling.

2001 Cuisinart expands its cookware and coffeemaker collections with the introduction of MultiClad Stainless Cookware and the Premier Series Coffeemakers. Both lines feature newly improved technology, while still retaining Cuisinart’s high-performance features.

2002 Cuisinart teams up with Lifetime Hoan to produce a high-end cutlery line.

2003 Cuisinart continues to diversify with the company’s first citrus juicer and a select group of specialty appliances, such as the Pizzelle Press and the Cordless Electric Jug Kettle.

2004 Cuisinart launches its new countertop cooking appliances that include the Cuisinart Griddler™, Grill & Griddle, two Rice Cookers and the Slow Cooker. The products take Cuisinart beyond food prep to countertop cooking.

2005 Cuisinart garners top honors from the Communicator Awards for its first cookbook – Simple & Enticing Recipes, a collection of Cuisinart Executive Chef Fabrizio Bottero’s favorite recipes. Cuisinart also enters several first-time categories for the company, including wine cellars, a single-serve coffeemaker, bread maker and popcorn maker.

The company signs a licensing agreement with Acme International to produce a line of kitchen tools and gadgets that run the gamut, from ladles and spatulas to corkscrews and zesters.

2006 Cuisinart expands its bridal registry program with more events throughout the U.S., increased consumer print advertising, and new online resources. In addition, the company launches a new website, www.cuisinart.com/baby.

2007 The company broadens its kitchen electrics line with new products in the brick oven, pizza oven, and espresso maker business. Cuisinart also continues its commitment to culinary education by sponsoring the premier public television series featuring award-winning chef Hubert Keller, of San Francisco’s famed Fleur de Lys restaurant.

In its first major launch since the redesign of its food processor, Cuisinart enters the stand mixer business with a 7-quart and a 5.5- quart model. The products deliver more power, capacity and precision than any other stand mixer on the market.

2008 Cuisinart enters the green market with the industry’s first eco-friendly GreenGourmet® Nonstick Cookware, which was developed using manufacturing techniques that reduce harmful carbon emissions by consuming less energy.

The company also launches an online recipe widget that consumers can download directly onto any Mac or Windows-based computer desktop for easy and ready access to Cuisinart’s recipe database and video recipes. This widget and the various applications it accesses can then be emailed to friends and shared.

2009 Cuisinart brings food processing to a whole new level with the Elite Collection™ of food processors, which features multiple nested work bowls, an exclusive BladeLock™ System and SealTight™ technology. Cuisinart also enters a new product category with the Vertical Rotisserie, while expanding other categories with the introduction of the Rice Plus® Multi-Cooker and the CleanWater® Countertop Filtration System, which also has a dedicated website, www.cuisinartcleanwater.com.

As part of its ongoing new media marketing campaign, Cuisinart establishes a presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

2010 Cuisinart expands its signature Griddler® line with the new Griddler® Grill Centro and introduces its first Single Serve Brewing System (in partnership with Keurig). Additionally, the company wins a bevy of awards, including a Gold Summit International Award for an Eco-Friendly Press Kit, a Platinum AVA Award for its “My Pantry” online application and a Bronze Magellan Award for its Compact Portable Blending/Chopping System advertising campaign.

2011 Cuisinart introduces the innovative Blend and Cook Soup Maker, which is not only adept at traditional blending tasks, but can perfectly sauté, simmer and boil ingredients as well. The company also debuts an app for iPhone, iPad and Android called Cuisinart KitchenSync, which wins a Silver LACP Spotlight Award and a Gold MarCom Award. In other areas, Johnson & Wales University unveils the LEED certified 82,000 sq. ft. Cuisinart Center for Culinary Excellence facility in Providence, Rhode Island, and Cuisinart publishes the second edition of its test kitchen cookbook, Simple & Enticing Recipes.

2012 Cuisinart garners numerous awards, including a Platinum MarCom Award and Silver LACP Spotlight Award for its IPad app and a coveted Housewares Design Award in the Countertop Food Prep Appliances category for its Blend and Cook Soup Maker.

2013 Cuisinart enters the tabletop market with an extensive range of flatware, glassware and porcelain and stoneware dinnerware. The distinctive product collections offer consumers a wide range of design options to suit their personal tastes.

Other new product launches include sparkling beverage makers, a baby product line, and a wide range of countertop cooking appliances

2014 The company introduces new additions to some of its most popular product categories, including the 8-Cup Food Processor, Electronic Ice Cream Maker and Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven. The latter features a category-first Speed Convection setting that, on average, allows consumers to cook foods 20% faster than when using standard bake or roast functions in a traditional convection oven.

Additionally, Cuisinart expands both its cookware and tools and gadget offerings with a variety of new products. In cookware this includes CastLite™ Non-Stick Cast-Iron Cookware and Chef’s Classic™ Enamel on Steel Stockpots. Cuisinart also wins the Gold LACP Spotlight Award for its Digital & mobile Bridal Marketing Hub and the Gold Hermes Award for Cuisinart for illy Dedicated Microsite.

2015 Cuisinart® partners® with illy on the Buona Tazza™ Super Automatic Single-Serve Espresso, Caffé Latte, Cappuccino, and Coffee Machines, which elevate the category to a new level. The premier unit in the series features two heaters: one for coffee/espresso and another for milk, eliminating wait times and the need to reposition cups. A microsite is also developed to educate consumers on the benefits of using the new machines. In addition, Cuisinart also wins the coveted Good Design Award for its Combo Steam + Convection Oven.

2016 The company introduces a variety of items to its product collection, including the PurePrecision 8-Cup Pour-Over Coffee Brewer, The Fruit Scoop™ Dessert Maker, and the CookFresh™ Digital Glass Steamer. Cuisinart also wins the highly respected Good Design Award for the second year in a row, this time for the Cuisinart for illy Buona Tazza™ Super Automatic Single-Serve Espresso, Caffé Latte, Cappuccino, and Coffee Machine.

2017 Cuisinart® introduces a variety of items to some of its most popular product categories, including the Air Fryer Toaster Oven, Automatic Cold Brew Coffeemaker, PrepExpress™ Slicer, Shredder and Spiralizer, Hurricane™ COMPACT Juicing Blender, Precision Master™ 5.5 Quart Stand Mixer, Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor, 14-Cup Food Processor and the Compact Automatic Bread Maker. The company also wins the coveted Chicago Athenaeum Good Design Award for the Automatic Cold Brew Coffeemaker as well as the PrepExpress™ Slicer, Shredder and Spiralizer.

2018 The company expands its product offering further with the introduction of the Espresso Defined, Burr Grind & Brew 12-Cup Coffeemaker, Smart Stick, Two-Speed Hand Blender and the Griddler FIVE®. Cuisinart® also receives recognition for its Recipe RoadTrip Contest by receiving an AVA Gold award in the digital marketing and social campaign category. Additionally, Cuisinart’s Marketing Department won awards including Cynopsis Media’s Top Women in Digital as well as Consumer Goods Technology’s Visionary Award.



For more information on Cuisinart, please contact Magrino Public Relations at cuisinart@magrinopr.com

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