Corelle Brands


Corelle Brands, LLC was an American kitchenware products maker and distributor based in Rosemont, Illinois. In 2019, the company merged with Instant Brands.

Corelle Brands LLC
FateMerged with Instant Brands
HeadquartersRosemont, Illinois, U.S.
Key people
Ben Gadbois, president and chief executive officer
OwnerCornell Capital
Number of employees
3,000 (2013)

The company began as the Corning Consumer Products Company, a division of the glassmaker Corning Inc., and was also known as "World Kitchen" from 2000 until 2018.[1]


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 1990s 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 its 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. Corning spun-off CCPC in 1998 and sold the division to Borden. It acquired General Housewares and Ekco in 1999.[2][3]

As part of the sale to Borden, the company was required to shed the Corning name within three years.[3] The World Kitchen name was adopted in 2000. In 2002 the company filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 and underwent financial reorganization.[4]

As of 2004, it was privately held.

Kenneth Wilkes was named president and CEO in August 2017, following a change in control in April to private equity firm Cornell Capital. that was preceded by a long period of organizational changes and operational restructuring.[5][6] 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.

On February 5, 2018, the company announced it had changed its name to "Corelle Brands" in order to take advantage of one of its most recognizable trademarks.[7]

In August 2018, Corelle Brands announced it would be investing $50 million over the next four years to update its Corning plant and expand its workforce.[8]

On March 4, 2019, the company announced it had entered into a "merger" agreement with Instant Brands, maker of the Instant Pot kitchen appliance, and Corelle’s chief executive would become the chief executive of the merged company while Instant Brands founder Robert Wang would become the merged company’s “chief innovative officer.”[9] Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.[10]

On June 2, 2020, the company announced Ben Gadbois as the replacement for Kenneth Wilkes, who retired but will continue to serve on the Board of Directors. [11]

On January 28, 2021, CEO Ben Gadbois announce Corelle Brands would change its global parent company name to Instant Brands.[12]

Domestic and international marketsEdit

Corelle Brands products were 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.[13]

Corelle Brands also had outlet stores Corningware, Corelle and More throughout the United States.



Corelle Brands manufactures products under names 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.[14]

In 2018, Corelle Brands discontinued production of Revereware and Bakers Secret.


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 transparent version of Pyroceram ceramic-glass. 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.

Chicago Cutlery 3.25" Parer, Model: Fusion

Chicago CutleryEdit

In 1930 Chicago Cutlery was incorporated by Alfred Paulson. Initially it focused on knife conditioning before making its main business manufacture of kitchen cutlery. Chicago Cutlery was a subsidiary brand of Corelle Brands.[15]


Corning Ware casserole dish and other cookware pieces

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 to store food in a freezer and then taken directly to a stove, placed under a broiler or in an 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 December 2008, the company released CorningWare StoveTop. It reintroduced the original Pyroceram product, this time made in France alongside Visions, and made available for purchase through its outlet stores and retail website.

The Keraglass factory in France, which produces both CorningWare StoveTop and Visions, is one of the few still capable of producing ceramic-glass products.


In 1888, Edward Katzinger founded the Edward Katzinger Company in Chicago to manufacture baking pans.[16] In 1945, the company went public under the new name EKCO Products Company.[17] Throughout its history, the company grew both organically and with acquisitions[18] until it was the largest non-electric housewares manufacturer in the US by the mid-1960s.[19] The company was sold to the conglomerate American Home Products (AHP) in 1965.[16][18] AHP later split its housewares division into Ekco Products Inc., Ekco Housewares Co., and The Prestige Group Limited; Ekco Housewares was sold to the investment firm Gibbons, Green, Van Amerongen in 1984.[17] The company was sold again to Centronics Corp. in 1987, which then re-branded itself as Ekco Group, Inc.[20] Corning Consumer Products Co. purchased Ekco along with General Housewares Inc. in 1999.[21]

Product issuesEdit

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, Inc. spun-off the Corning Consumer Products Company. 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, the organization admitted its testing conditions were "contrary to instructions" provided by the manufacturer.[22][23] 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."[24]


  1. ^ Ek, Derrick. "World Kitchen plans layoffs at Corning plant". The Leader. Corning NY. Retrieved 2021-02-12.
  2. ^ "WKI HOLDING CO INC: 10-K Annual Report". December 31, 2000. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  3. ^ a b Wallauer, Amy. "Corning sale finalized". The Herald-Mail. Hagerstown, Md. Archived from the original on 2017-09-11. Retrieved 2021-02-12.
  4. ^ "World Kitchen's Growing Saga: Acquiring Brands--And Debt". HFN. June 10, 2002. Retrieved 2021-02-12 – via The Free Library.
  5. ^ "Cornell Capital to Acquire World Kitchen" (Press release). Kitchen World. April 3, 2017. Retrieved 2021-02-12 – via PR Newswire.
  6. ^ "World Kitchen Appoints Kenneth G. Wilkes as President and Chief Executive Officer" (Press release). World Kitchen. August 15, 2017. Retrieved 2017-09-11 – via PR Newswire.
  7. ^ "World Kitchen Changes Name to Corelle Brands". Kitchenware News. February 5, 2018. Retrieved 2021-02-12.
  8. ^ Murray, Jeff (August 23, 2018). "Corelle Brands plans $50 million upgrade to Corning plant". Star-Gazette. Elmira, NY. Retrieved 2020-01-15.
  9. ^ Pilieci, Vito (March 5, 2019). "Instant Pot maker announces merger with kitchenware giant Corelle Brands". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 2021-02-12.
  10. ^ Evans, Pete (March 4, 2019). "Owner of Pyrex, CorningWare cooks up takeover of Instant Pot maker". CBC News. Retrieved 2021-02-12.
  11. ^ "Cornell Capital-Backed Corelle Brands Appoints Ben Gadbois as President and Chief Executive Officer" (Press release). Corelle Brands. June 2, 2020. Retrieved 2020-06-08 – via PR Newswire.
  12. ^ "Corelle Brands Becomes Instant Brands with Increased Focus on Innovation and Consumer Engagement #MadeforTogether". Yahoo! Finance. February 3, 2021.
  13. ^ Chan, Savio; Michael Zakhour (September 22, 2014). China's Super Consumers: What 1 Billion Customers Want and How to Sell it to Them. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 97-98. ISBN 978-1118834749.
  14. ^ "World Kitchen Announces Completion of OXO International Sale" (Press release). World Kitchen, Inc. June 1, 2004. Archived from the original on May 16, 2011. Retrieved January 29, 2008 – via PR Newswire.
  15. ^ "[28 Key Facts] What Happened to Chicago Cutlery? (Knife Knowledge)". My Kentucky Genealogy. 2021-11-18. Retrieved 2022-04-07.
  16. ^ a b "Ekco Products Co". Encyclopedia of Chicago. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  17. ^ a b "Ekco Group, Inc. History". Funding Universe. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  18. ^ a b "Ekco Products Co". Made in Chicago Museum. 23 May 2019. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  19. ^ "EKCO: Our Story". Corelle Brands Asia. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  20. ^ Storch, Charles (October 3, 1987). "Ekco Sold; Expansion in Doubt". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  21. ^ "Corning Consumer is Paying $133 million for Ekco". New York Times. Bloomberg News. August 6, 1999. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  22. ^ "Exploding Pyrex?". Snopes. January 29, 2015.
  23. ^ "FOIA requests examine glass bakeware that shatters". Consumer Reports. December 7, 2010. Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  24. ^ Butterworth, Trevor (November 20, 2014). "STATS: Exploding the exploding Pyrex rumor". Statistical Assessment Service. Archived from the original on 2014-11-20. Retrieved 2017-09-10.

External linksEdit

  • Corelle Brands, LLC website