Kitchen innovation rewarded

Australian Hardware Journal

McPhersons Housewares is releasing into the Australian hardware market an award-winning new Salter scale.

The Salter model 71004 Solid State Electronic Kitchen Scale recently scooped the Progressive Housewares /CHA (Cookshop and Housewares Association, UK) “Excellence in Homewares” category award in London late last year. The judging panel consisted of representatives from well-known names in retailing and the media. Judging was based on factors such as design, packaging and how eye-catching it was as well as, of course, whether they thought it would actually sell.

The scale has a hygienic stainless steel platform that resists staining and flavour carry-over. Food can be weighed directly onto the platform or placed in a bowl – the scale will automatically adjust for use with most bowls or containers.

Other features include an auto zero and auto shut-off, add and weigh, large 11mm digits, a kg/lb conversion switch (0-2kg x 2g, 2kg-5kg x 5g or 0-5lb x 1/8oz, 5lb-11lb x ¼ oz).

“We are extremely pleased to have won this award. Salter is at the forefront of design in our product category, and we believe ours is increasingly a style-driven business. The award is further welcome recognition of our innovation, from the industry as a whole,” says Colin Woolven, UK sales & marketing director at Salter, who also collected the award on the night.

McPherson’s Housewares is a division of McPherson’s Limited, a public company listed on the Australian stock exchange. McPherson’s was incorporated in Victoria as a proprietary company in 1913. It subsequently converted to public status in 1944.

However the history of the company goes back to 1880 when Thomas McPherson set up business in Melbourne to supply pig iron to foundries in Victoria. His pig iron stock usually came as ballast in the sailing ships that came to transport Australia’s wool and wheat to England. His dealings with foundries soon led him into the supply of tools, engineering equipment, steam fittings and workshop machinery.

Over the years McPherson’s has worked to adapt to meet the changing needs of the markets throughout Australia and internationally. The housewares division manufactures, imports and markets kitchen knives, scissors, cutlery and other homeware products. Some of these brand names include Wiltshire Staysharp, Laser and Regent-Sheffield. This division’s product range was boosted through the 100% acquisition of Sydney-based kitchenware and household products marketer, CPS Housewares on 1 July 1999.

Other acquisitions include Crown Glassware (2000), the tableware division of Mytton Rodd (Grosvenor and Rodd brands) (1991), Strachan Silverware (1982) and the Wiltshire File Company (1980). The majority of products sold are imported from the division’s sourcing operation based in Hong Kong.