KitchenAid manufactures and markets a full line of premium-price home appliances, including microwave and conventional ovens, cooktops, refrigerators, dishwashers, in-sink garbage disposal units, and automatic clothes washers and dryers. The company also continues to manufacture the product on which its name was built, the popular KitchenAid electric stand mixer. Acquired in 1986 by the Whirlpool Corporation, the largest appliance maker in the world, KitchenAid has increased its market share through the expansion of its product line.
The name KitchenAid was first introduced as a brand name for an electric stand mixer developed by the Hobart Manufacturing Company in 1919. In the early 1900s Hobart had begun producing the first electrically driven machines for grinding food items, including coffee beans, peanuts, and hamburger. In 1915 the company's subsidiary, Troy Metal Products, introduced the first model of an electric mixer. Designed to mix large quantities quickly, the appliance featured "planetary action," in which an individually rotating beater traveled in one direction around the inside of a mixing bowl. Allegedly, when Hobart executives brought the first mixers home for testing, one executive's wife remarked, "I don't care what you call it, but I know it's the best kitchen aid I ever had." KitchenAid was subsequently adopted as the mixer's trademark.