|Products||Cookware, ovenware, kitchen tools, kitchen accessories|
Cuisinart (// kwee-zin-art) is an American kitchen appliance and cookware brand owned by Conair Corporation. Cuisinart was founded in 1971 by Carl Sontheimer and initially produced food processors, which were introduced at a food show in Chicago in 1973. The name "Cuisinart" became synonymous with "food processor." The brand's name is a portmanteau of "cuisine" and "art." Cuisinart was purchased by Conair Corporation in 1989.
Cuisinart was founded in 1971 by Carl Sontheimer, a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology who was inspired by his love of French food. This led to the creation of Cuisinart and its main product, the food processor. Cuisinart introduced its brand in January 1973 at a trade show in Chicago. The success of Cuisinart was limited at first, until a review in Gourmet magazine helped to lift sales.
Throughout the mid-1970s, Cuisinart sales rose due to the brand's association with celebrity chefs such as James Beard, a close friend of Carl Sontheimer. Cuisinart hired industrial designer Marc Harrison in the 1970s to design new products and improve other existing designs, many of the company's products became associated with universal design. Harrison made its products more functional for users with disabilities, designing larger fonts so that people with vision problems could see them.
By the mid-to-late 1980s, Cuisinart incurred financial troubles and suffered from falling sales. A group of investors bought Sontheimer's interest in the company in 1987 for $42 million. In August 1989, the company filed for bankruptcy. This led to Conair buying the company for $27 million.
In the late 1970s, a legal dispute between Robot-Coupe and Cuisinart began when Robot-Coupe stopped distributing Cuisinart products and released the products under their own name. Robot-Coupe hired Alvin Fineman, Cuisinart's former marketing director in 1979, who engaged in competitive advertisements that resulted in a lawsuit. Robot-Coupe was ordered to stop insinuating that Cuisinart sold products manufactured by Robot-Coupe.
Products produced under the Cuisinart brand include: