|Headquarters||Rosemont, Illinois, U.S.|
|Kenneth Wilkes, President and Chief Executive Officer|
Number of employees
The company began as an unincorporated consumer products division of Corning, Inc. in 1915 with the invention of heat-resistant glass bakeware sold under the Pyrex brand. It was incorporated as the Corning Consumer Products Company (CCPC) in the early 1990’s as part of a larger reorganization and Corning contributed or licensed to the company substantially all of its assets used in the existing consumer division. In November 1994, Corning and the CCPC sold their European, Russian, Middle Eastern and African consumer products businesses to Newell. A major competitor at the time, they would serve as the exclusive distributor for a number of the company’s products in those regions. CCPC was spun off from Corning in 1998 and purchased by Borden. It acquired General Housewares and Ekco in 1999.
As part of the sale to Borden, the company was required to shed the Corning name within three years. The World Kitchen name was adopted in 2000. In 2002 the company filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 and underwent financial reorganization.
As of 2004[update], it has been privately held.
Kenneth Wilkes was named President and CEO in August 2017, following a change in control in April that was preceded by a long period of organizational changes and operational restructuring. The company's website states it employs approximately 3,000 people, and has major manufacturing and distribution operations in the United States, Canada, and Asia-Pacific regions.
Domestic and international markets
World Kitchen products are typically sold in supermarkets in the USA, and by some high-end retailers catering to upper class consumers in parts of Asia, Europe, and South America. In China, its goods enjoy limited distribution and products are sold through TV Home Shopping channels and in shopping malls.
World Kitchen manufacturers products under brands such as:
On June 1, 2004, WKI Holding Company, Inc., which operates principally through its subsidiary World Kitchen, Inc., announced that it had completed the sale of OXO International to Helen of Troy Limited for over $273 million in cash.
Visions is a transparent cookware line created by Corning France in the late 1970s. In 1983, it was introduced in the US and became the number one selling cookware set for a number of years. Visions is made of Calexium, a ceramic-glass similar to Pyroceram. However, its lids have typically been made out of Pyrex (both Borosilicate and Soda-lime glass) in the US and Asia. Originally introduced in an amber color, a cranberry tinted version was available from 1992 until 2004. A white variation was available in Europe as "White Visions" and in the US in limited supply under the name "Pyromax". Visions was temporarily unavailable in the United States from 2004 until 2006 but has otherwise been produced non-stop for nearly 40 years.
Originally introduced in 1958, Corning Ware was made in the US from a ceramic-glass material called Pyroceram which was able to withstand temperatures as high as 850 °C. Due to its high thermal shock resistance, Corning Ware could be used store food in the freezer and the taken directly to the stove, under a broiler or in the oven (both conventional and microwave). Lids have typically been made out of Pyrex (both Borosilicate and Soda-lime glass) though some versions were also created out of Pyroceram. It was discontinued in 2003, replaced by a stoneware line of bakeware made in China under the same name. In 2009, CorningWare StoveTop was released, reintroducing the original Pyroceram product, this time made in France alongside Visions, through their outlet stores and through the web.
The Keraglass factory in France, which produces both CorningWare StoveTop and Visions, is one of the few still capable of producing Vitroceramic, or ceramic-glass, products.
Pyrex-branded glass products have been the subject of urban legends and safety concerns. Beginning in the 1980s, production of clear Pyrex glass bakeware was switched from a more thermally resistant borosilicate glass to mechanically stronger soda-lime glass. The concern stems from the fact that soda-lime glass is more susceptible to breaking when exposed to sudden temperature differences. This change received greater attention after the Corning Consumer Products Company was spun off by Corning, Inc. The consumer affairs magazine Consumer Reports investigated the issue, in January 2011, confirming that borosilicate glass bakeware was less susceptible to thermal shock breakage than tempered soda-lime bakeware. However, they admitted their testing conditions were "contrary to instructions" provided by the manufacturer. STATS analyzed the data available and found that the most common way that users were injured by glassware was via mechanical breakage, being hit or dropped, and that "the change to soda lime represents a greater net safety benefit."
- "WKI HOLDING CO INC - 10-K Annual Report - 12/31/2000". getfilings.com. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
- "Corning sale finalized". schurz-herald-mail. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
- "WORLD KITCHEN'S GROWING SAGA: ACQUIRING BRANDS--AND DEBT. - Free Online Library". www.thefreelibrary.com. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
- Kitchen, World. "Cornell Capital to Acquire World Kitchen". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
- LLC, World Kitchen,. "World Kitchen Appoints Kenneth G. Wilkes as President and Chief Executive Officer". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
- Chan, Savio and Michael Zakhour. China's Super Consumers: What 1 Billion Customers Want and How to Sell it to Them. John Wiley & Sons, 2014. Online: p. 98. ISBN 1118834747, 9781118834749. -- print: ISBN 978-1-118-83474-9 p. 98. ("Listen to the Great One", start p. 97, in Chapter 12: The China Market + The China Global Demographic = China's Super Consumers)
- "World Kitchen Announces Completion of OXO International Sale" (Press release). PR Newswire. 2004-06-01.
- "Exploding Pyrex?". Snopes. 29 January 2015.
- "FOIA requests examine glass bakeware that shatters". Retrieved 2017-09-10.
- "STATS: Exploding the exploding Pyrex rumor". 2014-11-20. Retrieved 2017-09-10.