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feature: refrigeration Cool customers


With consumers increasingly opting for healthy food choices, and becoming increasingly discerning about the environmental credentials of major appliances such as fridges and freezers, domestic refrigeration is now high on the agenda for many. Once a replacement market, these days consumers are actively seeking out energy-efficient models capable of working harder for less, and able to store fresh food for longer while not being a burden on the environment. In our second feature this month, we ask the major brands how the market is currently performing and where it’s headed, at the same time picking up some pointers for retailers keen to maximise their sales in this busy sector.


S


o how is the market performing generally? For Sara Bazeley, Brand


Manager at Indesit, there is growth, particularly in the built-in cooling sector. “Overall, the refrigeration market is growing in value terms, driven by increasing consumer demand for appliances that incorporate the latest technological innovations. The UK’s most popular cooling appliance continues to be the combi fridge freezer1 and as combination appliances tick all the necessary boxes for the consumer, we expect combi fridge freezers to continue to drive sales in the cooling appliance market. “The refrigeration market is also currently witnessing a strong and increasing demand for built-in cooling appliances. The rise in compact living spaces, and open-plan kitchens, contributes to the strong demand for built-in appliances, as consumers want to utilise their space in the most functional and coordinated way possible.” Neil Pooley, Category Manager for Kitchens


at Miele GB, makes the point that consumers’ desire for fresh food is driving growth. “Primarily consumers are looking for features that will help keep their food fresher for longer helping to avoid waste and save money. The foundations for food freshness lie within temperature accuracy and a stable temperature condition for


18 | www.innovativeelectricalretailing.co.uk


food to thrive in. Miele does this in three ways – through dynamic climate control achieved with the use of a fan to circulate the cool air, separate fridge and freezer air circuits for better control and one degree temperature accuracy. Miele’s PerfectFresh Pro technology means that ingredients can be stored for extended periods of time due to optimised humidity controls on the drawers with secure lids to keep moisture locked in. Miele’s VarioRoom storage concept gives consumers total flexibility in organising the positioning of shelves and drawers in its


freezers, ensuring even the largest items can be accommodated. Other features such as FlexiLight LED lighting in the shelves, deep fully opening drawers and dishwasher safe shelves are also in demand. And of course, No Frost is standard with Miele.” Laura Jones, head of products at Smeg UK, picks up on the idea that consumers care more now about wasting food. “Consumers are more eco-conscious than ever before and are therefore increasingly concerned with food waste and the impact their appliances have on the environment. They are also increasingly time-poor, not wanting to make several trips to the supermarket, but instead do one big shop in the knowledge that all food can be kept fresh until the next shop.” As far as environmental considerations


are concerned, Catherine Balderson, Senior Hotpoint Brand Manager, points out that “Consumers demand cooling appliances that are efficient, reduce energy consumption and keep food fresh for longer to reduce food spoilage and wastage. Refrigeration appliances have therefore evolved to cater to these demands. Modern cooling appliances feature impressive energy ratings, customisable interiors and innovative technology that can maintain an optimum temperature and humidity level to prolong the life of the fridge and freezer’s contents.”


February/March 2020


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