American Icon: Celebrating KitchenAid’s Storied Past, Rich Present & Promising Future

In 1919, KitchenAid got its first U.S. patent for the Model H-5 stand mixer, an 80-quart electronic mixer for professional bread bakers. American home cooks quickly caught on to the brand’s ingeniously efficient appliances, and by the early ’20s, droves of people, in chef hats and everyday garb alike, were singing the praises of the company’s food-prep wonders that could beat, cream, blend, slice, grind, and strain.

Today, KitchenAid stands as the gold standard for chefs, with its machines dominating both the large appliance and countertop markets. And despite its success, KitchenAid continues to innovate, with recent launches including an induction cooktop and a first-of-its-kind wall oven. And the future is promising — this company isn’t resting on its laurels.

We had a chat with Leif Norland, principal designer at Kitchen Aid’s Small Appliance Studio, to find out more about where the brand’s been, where it’s going… and just what makes that stand mixer so iconic. (Intrigued? Check out our KitchenAid sale, for that mixer and more.)

Describe the brand in a few words.
Iconic design, premium performance, powerful and long-lasting.

The stand mixer: it’s the company’s claim to fame. What made it gain such worldwide recognition?
The roots of the brand’s design aesthetic can be traced to Egmont Arens, who redesigned the stand mixer in the Streamline Moderne style in 1936. The KitchenAid stand mixer has gained global recognition through its world-class engineering, innovative design, powerful performance and expansive product offerings. Our stand mixer is available worldwide in a tilt head or bowl lift design, in multiple capacities — and let’s not forget the power hub, which offers the ability to power over 12 optional attachments. And if that isn’t enough, KitchenAid recently re-entered the commercial market and offers a 7-quart Bowl Lift Stand Mixer with NSF® Certification for Professionals.

What has been the company’s biggest innovation in the last few years?
My favorite launches in the past few years are the 13-Cup Food Processor with Exact Slice™ System, featuring an external adjustable slicing lever, and the 5-Speed Hand Blender with removable interchangeable bell blade assemblies.  The Food Processor has an external adjustable lever, enabling the consumer to slice from thick to thin with a simple slide of the lever. The Hand Blender allows you to switch bell blades from mixing to mincing to blending with a simple twist on and off.

What do you see as the company’s direction in the future?
KitchenAid’s future direction is to be present in every kitchen around the globe. Its intent is to make life easier in the kitchen, but also to inspire, evoke and help kitchen enthusiasts create masterpieces.

KitchenAid has been known for establishing a uniquely American design aesthetic. What makes American kitchen appliance design different?
There are two components that credit KitchenAid for its unique design aesthetic. The first is form: The design of the stand mixer is based on the American Streamline Moderne movement [of the late 1920s and 1930s). It is less formal and more humanistic. And second, but just as important: color. KitchenAid offers more colors than your typical ice cream flavor list; this is a unique core competency of our brand.

Talk about design vs. function — how does each play a part in your designs?
As an industrial designer, I have to manage both. The design of our products inspires our consumers to display them proudly and function puts them to use daily. Our broad team of engineers, designers, home economists, professional chefs and specialists all work together to make sure KitchenAid products deliver both, uncompromised.

What is your favorite KitchenAid item that you own?
The Empire Red Artisan stand mixer that was given to my wife and I shortly after we were married, long before I joined the brand.

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31 Responses to American Icon: Celebrating KitchenAid’s Storied Past, Rich Present & Promising Future

  1. Anonymous says:

    If I could afford to, I would own a KitchenAid ArtisanSeries 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer in Tangerine.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Really want this !

  3. Anonymous says:

    my mom first kitchaid mixer lasted 50 years making everything from cookies to tomato juice. she gave it to my sister its still working great .I have owned one for many years./in fact I won 2 and gave them to my sons

    sincerely.
    Sandra Mangum

  4. Anonymous says:

    My first KA is 32 years old and still working well. I could never live without it and all my attachments!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I would love to have this

  6. Anonymous says:

    I love my kitchen aid mixer and other kitchen aid appliances….

  7. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely LOVE my Kitchen Aid Pro 600 stand mixer! Couldn’t imagine my kitchen w/o it!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I would love to win this and give it to My Mom!

  9. Anonymous says:

    My ex-mother in-law is 76 years old and has done a lot of baking all of her life. She has recently developed a lot of health problems and has difficulty baking now with her wrists and hands. I lost my job and have lost my home and car. My ex-mother-in-law was generous and gave me her van so I would not be without transportation. I would love to win this Kitchen Aid so I could give it to my mother in law.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I am a future baker/pastry chef and would absolutely LOVE to have this beauty in my kitchen, this way I can master my skills and begin my own business at home :) …I like the red and the deep blue color mixers

  11. Anonymous says:

    I will get one some day,maybe on a black Friday sale,when the price comes down!

  12. Anonymous says:

    I have my grandmother’s old kitchen aid, it might even be her mother’s. It’s all rusty now and getting harder to keep clean to use. I would love to win a new one since I can’t afford to buy one. I love the red and cranberry colored ones. Thanks for making such an awesome product

  13. Anonymous says:

    I love my kitchen aide mixer I was given a new one for christmas last year. The only thing I really dislike is that when I mix all my batter.I go to pour it out and at the bottom there’s all this powder that never gets mixed. That really makes me unhappy. The shape of the bowl is off or the accessories are too short but something is not right. Please help. A despwrate housewife who likes to cook with kitchen aide

  14. Anonymous says:

    I love the kitchen aid mixer, when I am able to afford, another 1 no matter what color I will get it, I do a lot of bread making & baking and I know this stand mixer does a lot.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I have my aunts first one! Would love to upgrade!!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    I bought my wife a lift up 6qt 24 years ago and it still runs like day one….however I just purchased an 8 qt NSF model for her because she needed more capacity for making bread…,love the quality! Awesome product ,

  17. Anonymous says:

    I do not own a Kitchenaid product. I do not have the money for one. Someday I will buy one…Maybe blue or maroon. I would love one. After getting to play with one that a friend had I know I will get one with all the attachments!!!!

  18. Anonymous says:

    I would love one in Yellow !!!! Some day I hope I will own one !!! I watch all the time on QVC and just dream about buying one.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Single mom, involved in my church and community… Would love to get ahold of one of these- 2nd hand, gently used!!!!!! Love your products!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Love my Kitchen aide mixer! I don’t need to win one because I love the one I have! Good luck to everyone who has entered. God Bless.

  21. Anonymous says:

    If I could get one-I could go back to making cakes & frostings-I HEAR THEY ARE THE BEST :)

  22. Anonymous says:

    Christine Erinann Stotts (above)

  23. Anonymous says:

    I use my 30 year old ivory colored Kitchen Aid stand mixer at least once ~EveRyDaY~ for mixing cakes, cookies, bread, and even mixing meatloaf! Use the grinder attachment, too! Just tried the pasta attachment and it is truly a breeze making homemade pasta in no time! I highly recommend getting an extra bowl~ it comes in handy more times than you know!! Would ~LoVe~ a new one, but this one just won’t die!! I may just need a pretty hot pink one (with blingy crystals) , just to look at! Kitchen Aid is truly a well made product!

  24. Anonymous says:

    I love to cook and bake and this would make things so much easier for me… I really would love to have one…. Red would look nice in m kitchen with my chef décor!!!

  25. Anonymous says:

    I want one so bad, but no one has got it for me yet! I live on a fixed income and really cant afford to get one. Im sad.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Linda Tomancik (above)

  27. Anonymous says:

    I would like to know when a vintage soft pink decaled mixer (not solid color) will come out. I don’t think my taste will change, as I’ve been in love w/ the vintage soft pink since I was a teenager – many, many years ago. We are about to remodel our kitchen, and of course, vintage soft pink will be my focus. KitchenAid – what can you do about my wants?

    Deniece

  28. Anonymous says:

    love to upgrade to a bigger one just cant afford better one .

  29. Anonymous says:

    My oldest son Joshua bought my fist kitchen aid for me on Mother’s Day 10 years ago. I love it. I had been used several times a week for numerous of things. I love it but for the last several months it only wants to work on one spend. It’s time for a new one. I would love to get another one.

  30. Anonymous says:

    would love it !!!!!

  31. Anonymous says:

    I will never be able to afford this as I am disabled

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