Vitamix

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Vita-Mix Corporation
TypePrivate
IndustrySmall appliances
Founded1921; 102 years ago (1921)
FounderWilliam Barnard
HeadquartersOlmsted Township, Ohio, United States
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Jodi Berg, President & CEO (president since 2009, CEO since 2011)
ProductsBlending equipment
Number of employees
726
Websitewww.vitamix.com

Vita-Mix Corporation,[1] doing business as Vitamix, is an American privately owned company operated by the Barnard family since 1921. Vitamix manufactures blenders for consumers and for the restaurant and hospitality industry. Vitamix has been based in Olmsted Township, Ohio, since 1948. It employs more than 700 people, most at its Northeast Ohio headquarters and manufacturing facilities. Vitamix products are sold in 130+ countries around the world.

Although soap operas came earlier, Vitamix was the first company to produce (1949) and broadcast (1950) an infomercial for a specific manufactured product.[2]

History[edit]

Vitamix is privately owned and operated by the Barnard family. The company was founded in 1921[3] when William Grover Barnard began traveling the country selling modern kitchen products. It was by helping a friend through his illness that Barnard began to recognize the importance and impact that whole-food nutrition had on one's health and well-being. At that point, Barnard changed the name of the company to The Natural Food Institute.[4]

In 1937 Barnard saw a blender at a trade show[3] and introduced his own variations, creating a more durable and reliable series of blending machines. The name "Vita-Mix" emphasized "vita," meaning "life."[5]

In 1949, William's son, Bill Barnard, convinced his father to take his blender demonstrations to television. Television provided an opportunity for the company to reach thousands of individuals at a time with the company's message about whole-food nutrition and the power of blending fresh ingredients. The company’s TV marketing effort began with the purchase of time to demonstrate the product on WEWS-TV, a Cleveland, Ohio Television station. [6] [7]

The live demo went well, and Barnard hired Cinécraft Productions, a Cleveland sponsored film studio, to produce a series of filmed Vita-Mix demonstrations for WEWS and other television stations. Those early TV demonstrations are said to be the first TV infomercials. [8][9]

Bill Barnard inherited the business and in 1964 officially changed the name to Vita-Mix Corporation. The company's Vitamix 3600, the first blender that could make hot soup, blend ice cream, grind grain, and knead bread dough, was released in 1969.[citation needed]

In 1985, John Barnard and his brother created the Mix'n Machine, a high-performance commercial blender.[citation needed]

In February 2006, Blendtec sued Vitamix Corporation for infringing its patents on Blendtec's "Wild Side" jar design, which Vitamix had allegedly copied as its own MP and XP containers. The court concluded Vitamix had infringed Blendtec's patents, and awarded Blendtec total damages of approximately $24 million, the largest patent-related penalty in the history of Utah.[10]

In 2009, Dr. Jodi Berg became President of Vitamix, making her the fourth generation of the Barnard family to hold the title.[11] She became CEO in 2011.[12] The distinguishing characteristic of Vitamix models is the two motors featuring 2 hp and 2.2 hp. The 2 hp motors were produced over many years since the introduction of the Vitamix 5000 model and the 2.2 hp motor was released in 2012.[13]

21st century[edit]

The Vitamix product line, described as having a $400 starting price,[4] has been covered by The New York Times.[14][15][16]

Product recalls[edit]

Over 100,000 containers sold in 2017 and 2018 were recalled.[17] One magazine headlined "Vitamix recall: Your $500 blender might hurt you."[18]

Community Involvement[edit]

In 2019, Vitamix entered into a $200,000 partnership with Olmsted Falls City Schools, an Ohio "Triple A" public school district located in Olmsted Falls, Ohio, where the company is headquartered. The sponsorship deal includes naming rights to the district's high school football field, student curriculum enhancements, and food services support.[19]

Early Vita-Mix TV Infomercials[edit]

  • [1] Healthy Living Is Fun (1950) 5-minute, black and white filmed infomercial. Sponsor: Natural Foods Institute. Features "Papa" Barnard, the founder of the Natural Foods Institute (later known as Vita-Mix)
  • [2] Health: Yours for the Asking (1950) 15-minute, black and white filmed infomercial. Sponsor: Natural Foods Institute. Features "Papa" Barnard, the founder of the Natural Foods Institute (later known as Vita-Mix)
  • [3] Eat Your Way to Health (1950) 15-minute, black and white filmed infomercial. Sponsor: Natural Foods Institute. Features "Papa" Barnard, the founder of the Natural Foods Institute (later known as Vita-Mix)
  • [4] Wheel 'O Life (1950) 1-minute, black and white filmed commercial for Wheel 'O Life, a wheel chart listing various foods and their nutritional value and calories

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Privacy Policy". Vitamix. Retrieved 2021-06-16.
  2. ^ After several live broadcasts from several cities during 1949, the company founder's recorded in 1949 what became the infomercial initially broadcast in 1950: "A Conversation with Fourth-Generation Vitamix CEO Jodi Berg" (PDF). Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH). BBH: This information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable
  3. ^ a b Barnard saw a blender at a trade show in 1937 and .. "Discover". GLpublishing.
  4. ^ a b "The Crazy-Powerful Blender from a Wellness Early Adopter". Bed Bath and Beyond.
  5. ^ "Vita-Mix: A History of the Company and Analysis of the Blenders Appeal". Slate. October 2013.
  6. ^ Home Miracles of the 1950s is thought to be the first filmed TV infomercial [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rm5IzzGPzQA
  7. ^ Vita-Mix Corporation, Case Western Reserve University, Encyclopedia of Cleveland History https://case.edu/ech/articles/v/vita-mix-corporation
  8. ^ "Bloomberg Business".
  9. ^ "But Wait! There's More," article in Academia.edu Letters. https://www.academia.edu/77820207/_But_wait_There_s_more_Papa_Bernard_and_the_first_TV_infomercial
  10. ^ Vitamix Infringement Case Summary Archived February 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Vitamix Blender Keeps Olmsted". blog.cleveland.com. January 2008.
  12. ^ "Vitamix President and CEO Jodi Berg urges women to dream bigger". cleveland.com. September 2014. Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  13. ^ "Which is the Best Vitamix Blender to Buy? - All Models Comparison Guide 2020". Kitchen Gear Pro. 2016-09-08. Retrieved 2020-09-24.
  14. ^ "The Best Blender". The New York Times. April 1, 2020.
  15. ^ "Blend-off: Vitamix vs. Blendtec". The New York Times. June 25, 2018.
  16. ^ "What's the Best Blender for Smoothies". The New York Times. June 21, 2018.
  17. ^ "Vitamix Blender Containers Recalled". August 10, 2018.
  18. ^ "Vitamix recall: Your $500 blender might hurt you". Fast Company. August 14, 2018.
  19. ^ Benson, John (2019-02-11). "Olmsted Falls City Schools announces $200,000 partnership with Vitamix". cleveland.com. Retrieved 2019-03-16.

External links[edit]