Great Advice On How To Clean Ceramic Coated Cookware

With the growing interest in sol-gel “ceramic” coated cookware, with each new project, there are more new questions. A recent one about the best ways to clean a ceramic coated pan, led to a colleague doing some special testing, which in turn led to a new update for the PKN site.

Check out the new page: http://www.productknowledge.com/SolGel-best-way-to-clean.html

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PKN On The Go – Now Made Easier!

Now, when you go to the PKN website on any mobile device there is a new mobile splash page with an enhanced new search feature. Type in any term, and it will find all related terms found on the website. This clean new look makes finding what you need – especially if you are on the selling floor, or somewhere where you need a quick answer, faster and easier.

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NEW TOPIC on PKN: Common Use and Care

Whether you are developing or buying products with nonstick coatings, or an end consumer, knowing what the right use and care is of your coated product can help it last a lot longer. Check out the new section on PKN that covers the common suggested use and care of coated cookware and bakeware as well as new ceramic coated cookware.

Click here to explore this new section of PKN: Common Use and Care Instructions

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NEW TOPIC on PKN: Reinforced vs. Unreinforced Coatings

There is always more to learn. So we have added a new topic to the website explaining the differences between reinforced and unreinforced coatings.

One of the key advancements in nonstick coatings over the last several decades, has been that the top coatings are now reinforced. But what does that really mean? What type of reinforcements are used? How do they make the coating better?

Click here to explore this new section of PKN: http://www.productknowledge.com/reinforced-vs-unreinforced-coatings-1.html

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PFOA Update 2013

With 2015 around the corner, my team and I at Whitford, worked on an update about PFOA, PTFE and the 2010/2015 Stewardship Program from the EPA. Whether you are working with nonstick coatings, or an end-user, this is important, and interesting information. Feel free to ask questions. Remember knowledge (especially the right knowledge) is powerful!

Click this link to download the PDF: PFOA Update 2013

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Pantone Fashion + Home Adds New Colors

Pantone Fashion + Home added 175 new colors! New cherry reds and cabernets, solar power yellows, pure chocolate browns, and climbing ivy greens are part of the expansion. For orange, due to the growing prominence of this color, an expanded range of some spicy and deeper oranges are included. Also, with a renewed emphasis on blues, several new shades have been added, including new versions of classic navy shades.

Click here to go to Pantone.com and learn more about the new 175 colros for Fashion + Home

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The Product Knowledge Group on LinkedIn

A lot of new happenings with PKN. I just love working on this site. Product Knowledge has been so important in every step of my career, and being able to have this venue to share information is just great. Check out our new Group on LinkedIn. If you join, you will get updates on all the happenings with the site and more. This is just the start.

Click her to check out the Product Knowledge Network Group on LinkedIn

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American Express “Pause and Purchase” Consumer Spending Reports

I recently read several interesting reports from research commissioned by American Express®. The reports discuss a significant trend in consumer spending: “Pause and Purchase”. The study was conducted in seven countries and the end result was the confirmation that consumers are now more cautious with their spending. The reports are detailed and provide such great insight into the new consumer spending mindset.

Learn about:

    Rurbanism
    Give-a-nomics
    COBs (Co-created Own Brands)
    Commsumption
    CiCo (Check In To Check Out)

It also discusses technology and social media and the incoming profile of consumers replacing the baby boomers.

Information, the use of and having the right information, is more important than ever – from developing to selling products.

Contact me for copies of the reports for the US, Canada and the UK.

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It’s Not Easy Being Green

Actually, nowadays, it’s actually really easy to be green — for “environmental” marketing purposes that is. Just make sure your product includes some component that includes words like, “recycled”, “natural resources”, or some other tree-hugger term — and then you can say it’s “green”.

I am amazed that no one has stepped up to regulate the use of the term “green”, the same way they did for “organic”. And while others may argue that some laws that regulate “organic” are a bit extreme, I think some regulation for the term “green” is necessary. With consumers purchasing habits in a state of flux — baby boomers giving way to the Gen Xers — which is bringing about a shift towards “thoughtful spending” — what is said on the packaging and in the ads better be backed up by performance. Not to mention, that in a struggling economy, consumers don’t want to pay more for something if they do not fully understand what they are paying more for.

Also, new consumer spending habits include more skepticism and needing proof before purchase. If you fail them or worse, fool them, you will lose them – which no one can afford.

Will “green-washing” hurt us? Are there too many products using the term “green”? Are we headed to a point that the customer doesn’t care or believe green claims? Is green important to your product mix?

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Ceramic Coatings: Weigh In

If you know me, then you know I was going to go right for the good stuff to get this blog started. For all these posts, I am writing as an industry person — not based on my role at Whitford. While some of you may think that is difficult to impossible, you can take the girl out of product development but, well you know the rest.

Every time a new product or new technology comes out, I immediately go into product development mode. Going through the “checklist” of questions I always ask when I work on a project. Everything from stem to stern. For these new ceramic coatings some of my initial questions were: What is the real release-life of these products? What kind of warranties will they/should they carry? How will dishwasher and broiler exposure impact them? And so on.

As we have all experienced, with a customer, it is often the answers to the “unknowns” — questions we haven’t encountered on other products before — that can be just what sets off the demise of a product. And there seem to be a lot of unknowns with ceramic coatings right now. It is what makes this new category so interesting to watch evolve.

I have been testing a white ceramic pan in my kitchen for a few weeks now. The performance is good. I know some people may not believe I am saying this, but I like it – I don’t love it like my 18-year old Tools of the Trade double griddle or my 8-year old Cuisinart 14”fry pan — but it has worked fine so far – so no complaints. (FYI – just for reference purposes, my double griddle is coated in Excalibur® – a pan I worked on in my Macy days and my Cuisinart pan used QuanTanium® – a gift from a friend.)

Now, a big part of why I like it is probably in part because of the pan’s construction (it’s a Bialetti pan – really well designed), plus it was sent to me for my input on how it works, so there was no investment on my part – and these two factors definitely have an impact.

After using it twice a week for several weeks now, I do notice a decline in the release life. But the release is still acceptable — for now. But that really draws my attention to that topic – what is the real release life of these new coatings? Now knowing what I know about coatings, and knowing why it is happening, helps me personally understand what is going on with the coating – but how will the consumer react? What is their expectation and how will they respond if the expectation is not met?

Lastly, my other concern is that I still can’t get past seeing certain foodstuffs cooking on the white nonstick, like sautéed mushrooms – it isn’t pretty.

Are we really ready to cook on white? Are consumers ready for this? Does anyone know of any studies done on this topic?

Other than that, I think it will be extremely interesting to see what happens next and be a part of the market process for this product.

I would love to know what others think of ceramic coatings – from all around the world — personally and professionally. Feel free to weigh in.

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