Who We Are
For over 80 years Kaz has been developing and marketing high-quality branded consumer health care devices and home comfort appliances. Today, Kaz is a $500 million company selling market-leading products in over 65 countries under world-class brand names such as Vicks, Braun, and Honeywell. Kaz's innovative products span a broad range of categories, including Humidifiers, Vaporizers, Thermometers, Blood Pressure Monitors, Air Purifiers, Fans, Air Circulators, Portable Heaters, Heating Pads, and Insect Control products. In 2011, Kaz became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Helen of Troy Company (NASDAQ ticker: HELE), and continues to be run from its global headquarters in Southborough, Massachusetts, and its regional headquarters around the world.
Kaz began is 1926 in upstate New York, with founder Max Katzman's invention of the world's first electric vaporizer. When an open-flame alcohol-burning croup kettle prescribed by his physician for treatment of his infant son exploded, it was clear to him that a safer appliance was needed. He founded Kaz to produce and market his revolutionary electric vaporizer, which incorporated carbon electrodes, automatic shutoff, and a safety lock which made it impossible to open the vaporizer without first disconnecting the electricity. At the 1927 convention of the American Medical Association, Mr. Katzman's vapor inhalation therapy invention was credited with saving over a thousand lives a year. Today, Vapor Therapy is prescribed by virtually 100% of America's physicians, particularly for croup and upper respiratory illness in infants and children. Kaz is the world's largest vaporizer/humidifier manufacturer and continues to be the most trusted name in the industry.
In the decades since, Kaz's internal research and development programs and a series of successful acquistions have created a distinguished lineup of innovative products with many patented designs. In humidification, this range includes warm and cool mist products, ultrasonics, and DynaFilter Air Cleaning Cartridges to remove dust, pollen, odors and tobacco smoke from room air, exclusive FillChannel© designs which permit filling the units without removing the cover, and patented Germ Free humidifiers which are the only ones capable of removing 99.999% of germs. The Kaz Personal Steam Inhaler is also highly recommended by physicians.
In 1995, Kaz licensed the Vicks brand from the Procter & Gamble company and has since developed a broad lineup of Vicks vaporizers and humidifiers, as well as a new range of Vicks thermometers with innovative designs and features that have become market leaders in the US and Canada. Exclusive new Vicks humidifier designs include Vicks scent pads, allowing consumers to enjoy the soothing Vicks vapors many know from childhood, while new Vicks Thermometers include an exclusive Fever Insight feature that visually alerts parents to fevers.
In the 1990's, Kaz grew its health care lineup to include hot and cold therapy products, marketed primarily in the United States, under the SoftHeat brand name, where they are the market leader.
In 1997, Kaz began to expand beyond healthcare with its acquisition of the Stinger line of insect control products, which remain the market-leading brand of bug zappers in the United States and Canada.
In 2002, Kaz acquired the Honeywell Home Environment business, which includes market-leading Honeywell air purifiers, as well as, a strong range of portable Honeywell fans, humidifiers, dehumidifiers and heaters that are sold throughout the world. This acquisition also added Asia-based manufacturing capabilities that have fueled the company's ability to enter new markets competitively.
In 2006, Kaz further expanded and globalized its health care lineup by acquiring the global Braun thermometer and blood pressure monitor business from Procter & Gamble. This included the world-renowned, patented Braun Thermoscan infrared ear thermometer, which is today market leader in over 25 countries in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Braun Thermoscan thermometers are also #1 among physicians and medical professionals, sold globally through WelchAllyn, one of world's most distinguished professional medical device companies. With over 250,000,000 Braun probe covers sold each year, consumers and professionals can be assured of an accurate, hygienic reading in just 1 second with the very best technology available.As always, Kaz seeks innovative technology partners to leverage the global presence of Vicks, Braun, and Honeywell, providing a platform for future business growth through new product and commercial innovations that meet the needs of the world's consumers.
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