Aroma Housewares

Founder and CEO: Peter Chang

Revenue: Not Available (company is privately-held)

No. of Employees: 85 worldwide, 55 in San Diego

Headquarters: Mira Mesa

Year Founded: 1977

Company Description: Makers of small kitchen electric appliances like rice cookers and multi-cookers.

— Although keeping a relatively low public profile since launching 41 years ago, San Diego-based Aroma Housewares, mostly known for its rice cookers and multicookers, has managed to become a recognizable name in the small kitchen electric appliances industry.

According to Kevin Lin, director of marketing and corporate branding at Aroma, the key to the company’s success has been its constant and open communication with its retail partners throughout the years, which has allowed it to better understand what consumers want.

“Every retailer has different sets of consumers whose needs range from color to function to price point, so, we work together to better understand their particular customers, which helps us produce products specific for their stores,” said Lin, adding that the company has three additional offices, one in Taiwan and two in China, the latter handling all manufacturing. “We have a wide product line designed for different types of foods and to cover everybody’s budgets, which can change year-to-year due to economic shifts.”

The behind-the-scenes approach has worked for Aroma; although, the company has done minimal, if any, marketing or advertising since its inception, Aroma sells its products in big retailers like Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Kohl’s and online giants like Amazon and Wayfair and has the largest line of rice cookers and multicookers nationally, according to Lin. While the company is privately held and doesn’t disclose revenue numbers, Lin says Aroma has seen high single-digit growth numbers year-after-year and projects it will crack double-digit growth in 2019 and 2020 with the help of its upcoming expansion into the European and Asian markets. The plan is to attain that international presence by introducing the company’s newest gourmet products, the Doveware ceramic cookware line, which was released stateside two years ago.

Marketing Moves

Now, Aroma Housewares is ready to take measured steps toward responsible media coverage, says Lin, who is spearheading that plan with Aroma’s marketing department supervisor, Venus Pallotto.

“We really started to get into social media a few years back. We had some presence on there, but, when Venus and I teamed up, we transformed the way we communicated with consumers, specifically through surveys and promotions on Facebook and other social media platforms,” said Lin. “We also launched, on which we share recipes on a weekly basis for our different products. Additionally, we have a partnership with Mahatma Rice, through which we do cross-promotions.”