History and Founding of Cuisinart
– Founded in 1971 by Carl Sontheimer, a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology
– Inspired by Sontheimer’s love of French food
– Introduced Cuisinart brand in January 1973 at a trade show in Chicago
– Initially had limited success until a review in Gourmet magazine boosted sales
– Sales rose in the mid-1970s due to association with celebrity chefs and hiring of industrial designer Marc Harrison

Product Development and Innovation
– Main product is the food processor
– Industrial designer Marc Harrison hired in the 1970s to improve designs
– Harrison focused on universal design, making products more functional for users with disabilities
– Designed larger fonts for better visibility for people with vision problems
– Continuous innovation and development of new products

Financial Troubles and Acquisition
– By the mid-to-late 1980s, Cuisinart faced financial troubles and falling sales
– Group of investors bought Sontheimer’s interest in the company in 1987 for $42 million
– In August 1989, Cuisinart filed for bankruptcy
– Conair purchased the company for $27 million
– Acquisition by Conair helped revive the brand and stabilize its financial situation

Legal Dispute with Robot-Coupe
– Legal dispute with Robot-Coupe began in the late 1970s
– Robot-Coupe stopped distributing Cuisinart products and released their own under the same name
– Cuisinart’s former marketing director, Alvin Fineman, was hired by Robot-Coupe and engaged in competitive advertisements
– Lawsuit resulted in Robot-Coupe being ordered to stop implying that Cuisinart sold their products
– Legal dispute had an impact on Cuisinart’s sales and reputation

Impact and Recognition
– Cuisinart became widely recognized as a leading brand in kitchen appliances
– Known for its high-quality and innovative products
– The association with celebrity chefs and endorsements helped establish credibility and popularity
– Cuisinart’s universal design approach received recognition in the field of industrial design
– Continues to be a trusted and respected brand in the culinary industry.Sources: