This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Bear, and today’s mixers are still the result of solid Danish quality with a design based on user requirements. Attention was behind the baby bear.
In 1915, the young, Copenhagen-born mechanic Palle Hoff Wodschow came up with the idea to build a mixer where the mixer tools rotated in the bowl like planets around a star. He could not have known then that, 100 years later, this would still be the very best technology for mixing dough and forcemeat or whipping cream.
For 100 years, Danish company Wodschow & Co. has focused entirely on the development and production of professional mixers. Today, Bear mixers can be found in more than 70 countries, and company director Jan Zimmermann is in no doubt that there are two factors that significantly contribute to the company’s success: Good insight into user requirements as a basis for good design and solid, Danish craftsmanship.
Danish design and quality
“We have a slogan that goes ‘Strong as a Bear’, and we live up to that,’ says the Director. “Our products last for years. The design is part of that strength, and here it’s all about user-friendliness, hygiene and ergonomics. The latest mixers in the Bear range, Kodiak, were developed in close collaboration between users and designers, and the result pushes the boundaries of traditional thinking. We focus in particular on the trends and changes that we see evolving among our users, and user-driven innovation is a keyword in our product development.”
Wodschow & Co. is sticking to tradition in other areas. At its factory in Brøndby, assembly line work and mass production are out of the question. Several processes and assembly work provide a steady stream of manual production work for the 65 employees, but advanced technology has also made it possible to create production in Denmark that is both flexible and financially beneficial.
When the bear got a younger brother
In 2003 Wodschow & Co started producing Teddy, Bjørn’s little brother, a 5-litre mixer for professionals and – as it turned out, for home use as well.
Henrik Jeppesen, CEO at Attention was the designer behind the mini-version of the big bear.
He tells about the project: “We focused on the users (red.) -that is why we were aware that we had to design a machine that could operate regardless of where it was located – that is, from both sides. And we needed to produce a design that was stylish and sturdy so that it looks good in an open kitchen and not least: It had to be quiet, but it still have the right, credible sound as we know it from expensive cars when the engine needs to spin. You will experience the same thing when you increase the speed on a Teddy.
The range of professional Bear mixers includes models from five to 200 litres and editions specially developed for pizza production, use on ships and drilling platforms, and places where ergonomics is in focus.
Read more about the history of the product here