Lifetime Hoan Taps ‘Smores’ Maker For Home Entertaining

WESTBURY, NY— In a retail environment starving for creative new product, Lifetime Hoan is rolling out what it hopes will be the next hot new product category— smores makers. The company this month is shipping its first generation of smores makers, which will be available under the Hoffritz, Roshco and recently initiated CasaModa brand. CasaModa is a new division created by Lifetime Hoan to address casual home entertaining, not coincidentally the exact market at which its new smores makers are targeted. “The idea for smores makers came out of a brainstorming session where we were looking at ways to play off the popularity of fondue,” said Jeff Siegel, president and CEO of Lifetime Hoan. “Fondue has had a huge run and while there is still a lot of business to be done there the growth has leveled off somewhat.” The company is positioning the new units as “a kind of dessert fondue,” said Siegel, noting that like fondue it is an activity consumers can enjoy around the table. Like fondues, smores makers utilize a gel-fuel burner, serving forks and condiment trays. Each unit comes with a gel burner and a kettle within which the burner sits, several serving forks and different sized trays/bowls for holding graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows. To make a smore, consumers attach a marshmallow to the end of the fork, toast it over the burner and then place it, with chocolate, between two graham crackers. “It’s an interactive way to enjoy dessert,” said Siegel. Expected retail for the new product is $29.99. Several different versions are available to enable individual retailers a means to differentiate. The initial rollout is focused on department and specialty stores, while long-term plans envision an eventual expansion to mass distribution, either as first-generation units migrate or as new units developed specifically for mass are developed. Siegel noted for example, that it was probable that a version would be developed for distribution under the company’s Farberware brand. At press time the company was still exploring cross marketing and promotional opportunities such as cross promotion with graham cracker, marshmallow or chocolate companies. “We have extensive plans to support the product that are currently being finalized,” he said. The company also is planning a major promotional campaign to gain exposure in national consumer magazines. Product is expected to be on retail shelves in the end-of-August-beginning-of-September time frame. And while the product is expected to be a popular fourth quarter gift item, Siegel noted that some retailers believe the product has year-round potential. “Some people told us they thought we were coming out with it too late in the year because it would be a great camping and outdoor item,” said Siegel. “In fact we’re calling it an indoor/outdoor smores maker.”