Anaheim Manufacturing has won awards for how it packages its waste-disposal systems. No wonder. Pass by an aisle and look at the face and body of a big, bald wrestler advertising the Bone Crusher with “more power per pound,” and you’ll see why.
That’s the name of the game in the highly competitive home-appliance market, in which manufacturers fight for retail dollars on the shelves of do-it-yourself home centers across the country. It’s up to companies such as Anaheim to make sure the differences in their products are known. And there are many important differences. The biggest, says Tom P. Dugan, Anaheim’s vice president of sales, is the lifetime warranty accompanying Anaheim’s waste disposers. The second difference is in the price; Anaheim offers some of the most reliable systems on the market at reasonable prices for homeowners as well as plumbing wholesalers. The third difference is in the wide variety of disposers available.
“Customers want longer warranties; they’re also looking at price and features,” says Dugan. “We offer lifetime warranties on 1-horsepower units, but we also have 3/4-horsepower units with a 10-year warranty. We’re the only company offering a lifetime corrosion warranty. If the unit leaks, we replace it free of charge. Customers usually put price third, but we know it’s the most important. Price certainly is a driving force in most markets. Customers usually don’t want to spend over $100 for a disposer.”
Now 30 years old, Anaheim assembles its waste-disposal products in a 65,000 square-foot plant in Anaheim. The company, which has three proprietary brands — Whirlaway®, Sinkmaster® and Waste King®, as well as half a dozen private labels — was purchased by Tappan 25 years ago. In 1994, Anaheim acquired the well-known Waste King.
Depending on the market, Anaheim sells its products either directly to the end user or to a distributor or home center buyer. Its Whirlaway® waste disposers are marketed to the building, property management and manufactured-home industries. Whirlaway Pro®, a series of professional three-bolt mount units, is designed exclusively for the plumbing industry.
Sinkmaster® is sold to the retail market. The most popular Sinkmaster® product is the Bone Crusher, which offers the longest warranties in the industry and more “power per pound than any other disposer.” Featuring a fast and easy mount system, the Bone Crusher 1050 model was voted Best Buy in the March/April 2000 issue of Consumers Digest. In addition to its obvious advantage, this disposer beat all the competition with its first-in-the-industry lifetime warranty and “vortex-powered” 1-horsepower permanent magnet motor.
“People are attracted to the Bone Crusher unit because they like that it crushes bones,” says Dugan. But let the truth be known, he adds, that “there’s not a unit on the market today that won’t crush bones. The problem is they do it loudly so people think there’s something wrong with the unit.” In fact, he explains, bones are the easiest food substance for the unit to handle; it’s the fibrous material the unit has a harder time with because the fibers are harder to grip. “Any food-related product can be digested by a garbage disposer,” Dugan adds. “The stainless steel elements never dull.
“The last time Consumer Reports tested disposers, they used corn cobs, and our 3/4-horsepower Bone Crusher was rated No. 1,” adds Dugan.The third proprietary brand, Waste King®, consists of residential and commercial disposers. The commercial disposers start at 1/2 horsepower for small churches, schools and snack bars, and go up to 10 horsepower for high-volume institutions. Features include the Hush Cushion® suspension and rubberized splash guard to reduce noise and vibration; directional downfeed housing that forces food waste into a chamber for more efficient grinding; and a stainless steel undercutter blade that cuts fibrous and stringy waste into small particles. The units also come with a corrosion-proof, glass-reinforced polyester drain outlet and a stainless steel turntable, the ultimate in protection against corrosion and rust. Waste King® commercial disposers will replace any competitive disposer, and can be installed into any type of sink or sink opening. A complete line of accessories is available to fit any need. These commercial disposers have one of the lowest levels of required service in the industry, Dugan says.
Waste King Gourmet®, the residential series, is distributed to the retail appliance market as well as the plumbing and wholesale market, and offers permanent magnet motors turning at “jam-busting” speeds of up to 2,800 revolutions per minute. Gourmet® disposers also offer rust-free, stainless steel grinding components and sound insulation for quiet operation, in addition to Anaheim’s highly sophisticated, vortex-powered permanent magnet motor, an energy-efficient, high-speed motor that liquefies food waste like a blender. The motor produces more power per pound than any of the competition, and virtually eliminates jamming. Anaheim also offers lower-priced 1/3-horsepower, 1/2-horsepower and midrange 1/2-horsepower models, which are the first steps up in the chain and which come with advanced features.
Telling the Story
The three lower-end models account for 65 percent of all Anaheim disposer sales. “Homebuilders use lower-end models and when homeowners remodel, they typically upgrade to longer-lasting units,” says Dugan. This is why Anaheim feels it is important that the packaging and display in the home center tell a story of why the consumer should purchase a particular unit. Packaging, says Dugan, is an important part of attracting customers to Anaheim’s line of top-level products.
During any given year, between 5 million and 5.5 million disposers are sold annually, Dugan reports. Anaheim has about one-fourth of that market, of which 95 percent is in the United States, where the retail home center market has become a “supermarket industry,” Dugan says. “The thinking is to have a home center on every other corner. The competition is very fierce.”
To help set it apart from competitors, Anaheim offers an exceptional level of service. With 34 fully stocked distribution centers and 36 distribution locations, the company assures customers of quick, uninterrupted expert service and support. Its more than 250 factory-authorized service agencies throughout the United States guarantee that customers receive parts and product in no time; most orders are shipped within 24 hours.
More Hot Stuff
In addition to food waste disposers, Anaheim has its hands in other areas of the appliance and kitchen market. Its Quick and Hot® water dispenser gives the user instant 190-degree water, and can adjust from 140 to 190 degrees. Its features include a stainless steel tank, delivering up to six cups of hot water per hour. The unit is built to keep on working year after year; a patented displacement system increases service life by helping to prevent mineral buildup. Anaheim is also in the range-hood business through a sister division called Watertown in Watertown, Wis. “We’re always looking for quality products to market for the kitchen,” says Dugan. “We already know we make the best disposer.”