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Benjamin Moore announces 2014 Color of the Year

BY HBSDEALER Staff

‘Breath of Fresh Air,’ an ethereal shade of blue described as "new neutral," has been named Benjamin Moore’s 2014 Color of the Year.

Registered as color number 806, ‘Breath of Fresh Air’ was chosen for its harmonious, versatile qualities, according to creative director Ellen O’Neill.

"We chose ‘Breath of Fresh Air’ because we were seeing it across several different environments—it’s our new neutral," said O’Neill at the opening of the company’s New York City showroom during Fall Market 2013. "We know that color is the ultimate form of personal expression, so we curated this collection to help consumers create beautiful spaces with confidence."

The Color of the Year and Color Trends 2014 palette includes 24 hues inspired by pastel trends throughout the home furnishing, fashion and pop culture industries.

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Jenn-Air shows off its new steam oven

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Jenn-Air opened up shop at the Tasting Table test kitchen in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood to show off its versatile new Steam Oven. Industry professionals filed in to the after-hours event on Tues. to sample the foodie fare prepared using various combinations of steam and convection.

Tasting Table chefs whipped up roasted chicken, tender cuts of meat, fish and crisped artichokes using the oven, as well as salads, puddings, pâtés and cheese board selections.

"The combination of convect, steam and bake allows you to adjust your steam, time and temperature levels, so it’s almost like a home version of a combi oven, which are very expensive and often for restaurants," said Tasting Table executive chef Brendan McHale. "It’s very precise cooking for a specific purpose. The way it’s set up with the user interface is also pretty simple: it’s time, temperature, steam; and each one has its level. Smart technology!"

The just-launched, built-in 24" steam and convection model gives consumers more options in the kitchen. A steam-only mode provides a healthy alternative to oil-heavy roasting techniques, while a steam plus convection setting crisps and retains moisture simultaneously. The oven features a 1,200-watt convection heating element for even circulation and speedier cooking, available in a convection bake mode as well.

Jenn-Air spokeswoman Kim Roman (of Digitas) said that a built-in coffee machine is forthcoming for this model, which marks the company’s first entry into the steam oven market.

Users can also choose from multiple preset foods settings that automatically adjust the oven to suit various food categories.

Other features include a no preheat option, steam cleaning, recently-used setting recall, and a feature that alerts users to empty the water cartridge after each use.

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USG announces image makeover

BY HBSDEALER Staff

As part of a brand image makeover, Chicago-based USG Corp. introduced a new logo with the tagline: "It’s Your World. Build It.”

Also part of the branding moves, USG and its Canadian subsidiary, CGC, are “activating” the new brand through four-year sponsorships of both the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams and the Canadian Olympic Team. USG and CGC are now the official building materials sponsors of Team USA and the Canadian Olympic Team. L&W Supply Corp., the company’s distribution subsidiary, becomes the official building materials provider of Team USA. 

"Over the past five years, we made several strategic moves to make USG a stronger, more agile company," said chairman, president and CEO James S. Metcalf. "We are focused on things that matter to our customers: product innovations, expansion into key international markets, and making it easier to do business with us.” 

USG’s U.S. sponsorship includes the donation of innovative building materials, such as sheetrock Brand UltraLight Panels Firecode 30 for the new High-Performance Center at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center, set to open in early 2014. 

In its most recent quarter, USG posted net sales of $916 million, up 15% from the same quarter in the previous year. Also in the most recent quarter, the company earned $25 million in net income, compared with a $57 million net loss in the prior-year quarter.

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