NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Food52, the premier cooking and home brand, announced today that it has acquired heritage housewares brand Dansk from Lenox Corporation. Often credited with reinventing the American tabletop and bringing Scandinavian design to the United States, Dansk was founded in 1954 by Ted and Martha Nierenberg and became wildly popular in the 1960s and 70s. Since the Nierenbergs sold the company in the 1980s, it has been owned by Brown-Forman Corporation and Lenox Corporation, among others. Following today’s acquisition, Food52 plans to revitalize and relaunch Dansk, while preserving its beloved and internationally known identity.
“It’s a dream to be acquiring this legendary brand,” said Food52 Founder and CEO Amanda Hesser. “Like many design lovers, I’ve collected Dansk for decades, and it will be an honor -- not to mention great fun! -- for us to re-imagine this line. We hope to carry on Dansk's tradition of highlighting the work of exceptional designers and creating products that are passed down from generation to generation.”
"We at Lenox are thrilled to be handing off this iconic brand to such a caring partner," said Lenox CEO Bob Burbank. "This transition will allow us at Lenox to focus our efforts on our core business and portfolio of brands, in order to better serve our wholesale customers and consumers. We look forward to seeing where Food52 takes the Dansk brand."
Design has always been at the heart of Dansk. At its founding, Ted and Martha Nierenberg hired Danish sculptor and designer Jens Quistgaard, who developed their elegantly streamlined Kobenstyle enameled steel cookware — which remains a best-seller to this day — and would go on to design many more design icons for the company. Dansk collaborated with other celebrated designers, including Arne Jacobsen and Niels Refsgaard. The company hired Irving Penn to photograph its wares, while Andy Warhol designed a marketing booklet. Now in its 67th year, Dansk is a heritage brand — its products sought after in vintage stores and passed down through generations. The timing couldn’t be better for an expansive rebirth.
Food52 plans to make Dansk a mainstay of modern living known around the world. In addition to the designs already available in its Shop, Food52 will re-imagine the line: revitalizing the core heritage products, relaunching gems from the extensive archives, and developing new Dansk designs, including the classics made with updated materials and limited-edition collections by top international designers.
“Dansk’s iconic designs are an exciting addition to our portfolio of owned brands and serve as a perfect complement to our community-sourced brand Five Two as well as others that are currently in incubation,” said Food52 Vice President of Commerce Warwick Blunt. “We’re thrilled to be able to continue offering Dansk’s well-known assortment while bringing our Food52 community along in the process of archival exploration and relaunching classic designs.”
Over the next few months, Food52 will assume all Dansk sales channels and relationships, and will explore the brand’s history and archival designs as it works toward the relaunch, debuting the first remastered releases. Leading the Dansk revival is the branding strategist Christine Muhlke, who is immersing herself in almost 70 years of archives to help resurrect the brand’s legendary designs. The founder of Bureau X food consultancy and the xtine newsletter, Christine has more than two decades of experience and connections in the food, fashion, culture, and design worlds thanks to her work as executive editor of bon appétit and food editor of The New York Times Magazine.
This week, Food52 will launch an Instagram campaign on @danskhomedesign inviting its community into the design process, asking followers to share images of their own Dansk pieces and input on which designs to revive and collaborators to work with. As with every part of the Food52 world, community will have a vital role.
Food52 is a leading innovator in the food, cooking, and home space, with a monthly reach of more than 25 million people. From the beginning, the brand challenged the models of traditional media companies and retailers, combining content, commerce, and community around the belief that the kitchen is the heart of the home and food is the center of a well-lived life. Food52 connects a global community of experts and amateurs, supporting them with inspirational, useful content — recipes, videos, podcasts, cookbooks, and more — and outfitting them with products that make them happy. Amongst a highly curated Shop representing hundreds of makers, Five Two is Food52’s own line of award-winning products for kitchen, home, and life, developed exclusively with the Food52 community, a strategy that led to Fast Company naming Food52 one of the world’s most innovative companies in 2020. food52.com