Oneida Limited

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Oneida Limited
Type Privately held company
Industry Tableware, Food Prep, Foodservice, Consumer
Founded Oneida, New York (1880 (1880))
Founders John Humphrey Noyes
Headquarters Sherrill, New York, U.S.
Area served Worldwide
Key people John Sheppard, CEO
Products Tableware
Subsidiaries Oneida Canada Limited
Oneida U.K. Limited
Oneida S.A. de C.V.
Kenwood Silver Company, Inc.
Buffalo China, Inc.
Sakura, Inc.
Viners of Sheffield Limited
Delco International Ltd.
ABCO International
Oneida Australia PTY Ltd.
THC Systems, Inc.
Rego China
Website www.oneida.com & foodservice.oneida.com

Oneida Limited is one of the world’s largest designers and sellers of stainless steel and silverplated cutlery and tableware for the consumer and foodservice industries. It is also the largest supplier of dinnerware to the foodservice industry in North America.[1] The company operates in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Latin America, Europe and Asia marketing and distributing tabletop products, which include flatware, dinnerware, crystal stemware, glassware and kitchen tools and gadgets.[2] The company originated in the mid-nineteenth century in Sherrill, New York.

History[edit]

Origins[edit]

The company originated in a utopian community, the Oneida Community, established in the mid-nineteenth century.[3] Oneida Limited's founder, John Humphrey Noyes, was the founder of the religious movement known as Perfectionism. Oneida was one of the earliest joint-stock companies in the United States in the late 1880s. Its religious philosophy helped inform the early development of the company, in which members of the Oneida Community received shares in the company. Its progressive nature also allowed for a woman, Harriet Joselyn, to sit on the board of directors — a departure from the norm for the time.[4]

Oneida Community started production of silver-plated flatware and hollow-ware in 1899 using the "Community Plate" mark. Oneida Community purchased the Wm A. Rogers and 1881 Rogers companies in 1929 and started producing a somewhat lower-quality line of products using those companies’ marks. In 1935, Oneida Community changed its name to Oneida Ltd.[5]

Post-war growth[edit]

Oneida Limited successfully adapted to the difficult economic conditions of the First World War and Second World War. Throughout both of these world economic upheavals, Oneida adapted its manufacturing capabilities. During the First World War, it produced ammunition clips, lead-plated gas shells, combat knives, and surgical instruments; during World War II, the company added army trucks, aircraft survival kits, and even jet engine parts to its manufacturing repertoire.[6]

Oneida made many goods for the war.

The company then managed an innovative transition to the manufacture of stainless steel flatware in 1961, which eventually dwarfed its production of silver-plated flatware.[7] In 1971, Oneida purchased the Camden wire Co., Inc., a major manufacturer of industrial wire products.

By the 1980s, Oneida made at least half of all flatware purchased in the United States.[8] In 1983, the company acquired Rena-Ware, a Bellevue-based kitchenware manufacturer with a majority international operations. Oneida sold Rena-ware three years later.[9] In 1984, it acquired D.J. Tableware, a flatware and china manufacturer that targeted the foodservice industry.

Modern era[edit]

At the end of the 1990s, the company encountered tough economic times, however it still tried to hold on to its mantle as the last remaining US-based manufacturer of flatware, knives, forks, and spoons. The events surrounding 9/11 negatively impacted the hospitality and consumer tableware markets, and in November 2003, Oneida sold its 100 year old Buffalo China plant and four overseas factories in Mexico, China, and Italy.[10] In February 2004, it sold off more assets to BC Acquisition Co. LLC for $5.5 million.[11] Eventually, the manufacturing facilities in Sherrill, New York were sold to Sherrill Manufacturing on March 22, 2005.[12]

In 1996, Oneida Limited acquired THC Systems, Inc., including its team of professionals, which operated under the name Rego China.[13]

Oneida Limited transitioned from its manufacturing history and focused on design and marketing of its products that are globally sourced. Sales, marketing, advertising, procurement, customer service, legal and operational support is also still based in Oneida, New York. The company was taken private in 2006. Oneida no longer operates manufacturing in the United States.[14]

Oneida announced at the beginning of 2009 they were transitioning away from company-owned outlet stores due to poor financial results but retaining the original outlet store in Sherrill, New York.[15][16] In September 2010, Oneida launched a new website, Oneida.com, powered by Magento, an open source ecommerce web application.

Acquisition[edit]

Partly as a consequence of the economic blowback from 9/11, Oneida Limited's sales fell more than $157 million between January 2003 and October 2005.[17] In 2006, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. After stabilizing financially and reducing its debt load, the company became a target for acquisition.[18] In November 2011, Oneida Limited was acquired by Monomoy Capital Partners, a mid-sized New York City equity fund.[19][20]

Operations[edit]

Manufacturing[edit]

Oneida has had a variety of manufacturing facilities and capabilities throughout its existence. In addition to tableware, the company started out by manufacturing silk, traps, and chains. It gradually ceased these enterprises as they became less profitable for the company. In 1916, Oneida opened its first international factory in Niagara Falls, Ontario.[21]

Oneida was a major WW2 manufacturer.

During World War II, Oneida purchased a factory in Canastota, New York to manufacture army trucks, aircraft survival kits, and jet engine parts.[22]

Throughout the 1960s and 70s, Oneida's workforce grew from 2,000 to 3,000 workers, and it transitioned into manufacturing stainless steel flatware. Starting in 1977, and continuing throughout the 80s and 90s, Oneida acquired orthogonal manufacturing companies making such things as wire, flatware, and china. To compete with international manufacturing, Oneida implemented high-volume manufacturing lines in its factories. It also opened new factories throughout the world: a dinnerware factory in Juarez, Mexico; flatware factory in Toluca, Mexico; holloware factory in Shanghai, China; holloware factory in Vercelli, Italy.[23] In 2004, it closed those factories.

Since its acquisition by Monomoy Capital Partners, Oneida has manufactured its products across North America, South America, Asia, and Europe by means of 50 manufacturing contracts.[24]

Advertising[edit]

Oneida has placed an emphasis on advertising since its earliest days. Starting in 1899, Coles Phillips illustrated dozens of ads for the company, which was then known as Oneida Community.[25] Maxfield Parrish, John Whitcomb, and many other illustrators added an element of human insight to other prominent advertisements that prominently the brand and lastly the product itself. It was a highly successful branding campaign.[26]

Oneida also focused on print advertisements in home, fashion, bridal, and epicurean publications. It was also one of the first to employ celebrity spokespeople such as Bob Hope.[27] Oneida inaugurated the practice by employing Irene Castle to promote its wares.

During the 1960s, Deutsch Inc. worked on Oneida's advertising.[28] More recently, Oneida's advertising campaigns have won several Clio Awards.[29]

Brands[edit]

Oneida Limited serves various customer segments by selling different brands of banquetware, flatware, glassware, and tableware. Its foodservice industry brands are Schonwald, Sant'Andrea, Oneida, and Buffalo. Its consumer products include the Oneida, Westminster and Stanley Rogers brands.[30]

Schonwald[edit]

Oneida Limited is the exclusive American marketer and distributor of Schonwald foodservice dinnerware.[31] The line is known for its trendsetting designs, advanced technology, and high quality. Schonwald is the company's 5-star luxury brand of foodservice dinnerware.[32]

Sant'Andrea[edit]

Oneida Limited established the European-based Sant'Andrea brand in 1990. The line focuses on premium stainless steel or traditional silverplate flatware.[33] Oneida, through its Italian subsidiary, Sant'Andrea, S.r.l., acquired Table Top Engineering & Design, S.r.l. in 1998. TTE&D had been the primary manufacturer of its Sant'Andrea line of fine foodservice dinnerware.[34]

Oneida[edit]

Oneida Limited's main line has been available since the company's very beginning. The Oneida line is broken up into three sub-lines: Oneida Flatware, Oneida Holloware, and Oneida Dinnerware.[35] The Oneida line of flatware and dinnerware is used by fine dining establishments, family restaurants, and hotels.

Buffalo[edit]

Oneida Limited purchased Buffalo China, Inc., at the time one of the country's largest makers of commercial chinaware, in 1983.[36] After the company's 2004 series of factory closings and sales, it still retained the Buffalo China trademark and logos; it also retained the Buffalo China warehouse in Buffalo, New York.[37] The Buffalo Collection is Oneida's casual line of dinnerware. It focuses on durability, practicality, and detail.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Monomoy Capital Partners Acquires Oneida Ltd".
  2. ^ Oneida Products
  3. ^ A History of Oneida Silverware, China & Crystal
  4. ^ The Oneida Story
  5. ^ "The First Hundred Years, 1848-1948: 1848, Oneida Community; 1880, Oneida Community Limited; 1935, Oneida, LTD."
  6. ^ The Oneida Story
  7. ^ A History of Oneida Silverware, China & Crystal
  8. ^ "The Oneida Story"
  9. ^ "Unigard will expand Bellevue office park"
  10. ^ "Oneida Ltd. To Close Five Plants"
  11. ^ "Oneida Ltd. Finds Buyer For Buffalo China's Assets"
  12. ^ "Sherrill Manufacturing resumes flatware production with boost from Internet retailer"
  13. ^ "Oneida Ltd. Acquires China Importing Firm"
  14. ^ The Oneida Story
  15. ^ "Oneida Ltd. closing outlet stores"
  16. ^ Store
  17. ^ "Oneida's Backer Sees a Future in Flatware"
  18. ^ "Oneida's Backer Sees a Future in Flatware"
  19. ^ "Oneida Ltd. president sees bright future under new buyer"
  20. ^ Monomoy Capital Partners website
  21. ^ "The Oneida Story"
  22. ^ "The Oneida Story"
  23. ^ "Oneida Completes Sale of Buffalo China Factory; Plant to Operate as Niagara Ceramics Corporation"
  24. ^ "Oneida Limited buyout a 'home run'"
  25. ^ Coles Phillips Illustrations for Oneida Community
  26. ^ "Maxfield Parrish has Upstate New York connections"
  27. ^ New York Times: "Oneida's Backer Sees a Future in Flatware"
  28. ^ by Richard Kirshenbaum
  29. ^ "Chris Collins: beyond trends"
  30. ^ The Oneida Story
  31. ^ "Oneida/Schonwald Renew Alliance"
  32. ^ "Schonwald Brand Portfolio"
  33. ^ "Sant'Andrea Brand Portfolio"
  34. ^ "Oneida Subsidiary Acquires TTE&D Company in Italy"
  35. ^ Brand Portfolio
  36. ^ "The Oneida Story"
  37. ^ "Oneida Completes Sale of Buffalo China Factory; Plant to Operate as Niagara Ceramics Corporation"

External links[edit]