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Is there hope?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

HELP!! any hope for new product?

 

My relative who works at a cookware manufacturing site has recently produced several carbon steel frying pans + woks that has a special extra layer which allows faster heat conduction (faster than aluminum fry pan) browns very quickly. Compared to the regular carbon steel, it is corrosion resistant. You can use metal utensils on it, it can take the roughness.  (the extra layer is not teflon)

 

[FDA approved, NSF pending, no PTFE/PFOA]

 

I am helping her ask: Is there any hope or interest in this product in the commercial restaurant industry?

 

I did some research for her and it seemed stainless steel and aluminum was used most...Do any restaurants in the states use carbon steel?

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!

 

 

-Connie

 

 


Edited by concon - 1/5/12 at 7:20pm
post #2 of 7

Dunno.

 

Traditionally N.American restaurants have chosen aluminum cookware solely on price.  There is a lot of cheap carbon steel frying pans out there too, and the only bad thing about them is that they warp.

 

Can't speak for woks.  Asian cooks have ther preferences,and so far I only know of carbon steel woks in commercial (80,000 btus and up) applications.

 

The Europeans use s/s a lot.  Yes,the sandwich bottoms take longer to heat up, yes,they are much more expenisve.  However, gas ranges are not as common in Europe as they are in N.America. The majority of the european commercial kitchens have elecric ranges.  An electric range requires a dead flat pot/pan. This is one of the virtues of s/s cookware, they don't warp.  Alumimum and cheap carbon steel will. 

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank you foodpump for your input!! I guess it would be hard to compete with the prices they are looking for....and also I get the impression aluminium survives better in the restaurant dishwashing machines than carbon steel.

post #4 of 7

I passionately HATE aluminumum cookware.  Other than being cheap and a good heat conductor it has many disadvantages:

 

-It oxidiizes.  Instead of rust, you have a sticky black film of aluminum oxide all over everything: Countertops, shelves, clothing.  You can't whisk a white sauce in a pot/pan with a metal tool(like a whisk) or your sauce will turn grey.  Acids like tomatoes, wine, fruit, etc will cause oxidization , but everyone does it anyway.  Most d/washer detergents really attack aluminum as well.

 

It warps, badly.  Show me a N.American kitchen, and I will show you a stackl of semi-woks--aluminum pans that resemble bowls.

 

Mnfcts hate welding aluminum cookware.  As a result, the handles are riveted on.  Aluminum is soft, the rivets are even softer.  This means that the rivets loosen after about 6 mths.  The handles go all loosey-goosey, and liquid dribbles out of the holes.

 

The mentality of N.American restaurants is to go cheap on cookware. Aluminum or cheap carbon pans are cheap.  They usually last about two years, then they go out and buy new ones.  I've worked in Europena kitchens were the cookware is over 20 years old, and looks and performs as well as the day it was bought.  Quality s/s ware is about 10 times more expensive than cheap aluminum.  Which is cheaper in the long run? 

 

The product you menttion sounds O.K. it is the marketing that needs a lot of work.  Price will be your major obstacle.  If you go the quality route, you have to show it can compete with s/s sandwich bottom cookware.  Bear in mind the Asians have cornered this market, and many, including myself have bought s/s cookware at Ikea that lasts a loooooong time.

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #5 of 7

I product such as you describe would more likely find a niche in the foodie, serious home cook arena than in the professional marketplace.

 

That said, marketing will be your big concern. Keep in mind that you're talking about a product most home cooks are unfamiliar with (i.e., carbon steel), or, for those who are, see no reason to coat it in the first place.

 

So, your job is two-fold. First, provide a climate of acceptance for the product. Second, promote its sale---keeping in mind that, in terms of marketing bucks, you're going up against the likes of All-Clad and Calphalon, etc.

 

There are ways of accomplishing these things. I did exactly that, for instance, when Jason Empire introduced "self-focusing binoculars". But you'll need to involve your marketing/PR people in at a much earlier stage than you might think.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much foodpump and KYHeirloomer for your advice and input.

I personally prefer to invest in some good ss pots and pans with some copper inside it...just seems to make more sense.

For the product I was introducing, the highlight is that it does not have any sort of coating but a layer. It certainly gives the carbon steel the added durability and we have tested it for a really long time (still has not warped)

To be honest, I think the biggest selling point is it heats so quickly you can start cooking and finish cooking in less than half the time it would take someone to cook in Alum....but I get the impression most people who cook at home rather enjoy the current pace they cook at. (Unless they have 10 mouthes to feed, etc etc)

 

I think if we were to sell the product, the price range would be between ALU pans and SS pans

In terms of marketing, Greenpan really showed how it's suppose to be done, eh?

 

Anyways, thanks again and I hope you guys are having a good new year so far!

 

 

 

 

post #7 of 7

Greenpan really showed how it's suppose to be done, eh?

 

Have they? I see an inordinate amount of dollars being spent. But I don't know anybody who owns one.

 

The way its done is to spend a minimum of bucks for a maximum of impact. And I don't think they're accomplishing that.

 

For instance, how many product placement pieces have they provided, in lieu of expensive ads? Obviously I dunno. But a product review here at Cheftalk could, potentially, influence almost 38,000 professionals and serious home cooks. So, if they're showing us how it's supposed to be done, how come no sample?

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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