feature: refrigeration So what are consumers opting to buy when

they go out looking for a new appliance? Charmaine Warner, Brand Manager at Whirlpool, has this to say. “In the UK, the most popular cooling appliance is the combi fridge freezer, which still boasts the leading market share as it ticks all the necessary boxes for the consumer. However, as children are ceasing to fledge, as they struggle to afford homes of their own, and socialising and entertaining at home continues to grow in popularity, the demand for larger capacity cooling appliances has too. For the home entertainer, appliances must conjure luxury and add the ‘wow factor’ to the kitchen; a prominent side-by-side or a tall, matching, single door fridge and freezer pair certainly attracts focus and attention.” Helen Haider, Head of Marketing at Fisher

& Paykel, picks up on the idea of design to create a statement in the kitchen. “People want a combination of intelligent technology and simple mechanics. Design should enhance a person’s life both aesthetically and functionally, but not be over-complicated and create technological challenges. In the past we would design just to a mass audience, but over time we have seen that the design of appliances needs to add real value. At Fisher & Paykel we design for real people, and for how they live. We ensure that all the design innovations go into our products, but the interface stays simple and intuitive.” Nick Fletcher, Marketing Manager at Hisense

UK, agrees that design is nowadays a strong factor in purchasing decisions. “With space increasingly coming at a premium, customers are keen to make the most of their kitchens. They do this by looking for products that not only offer clever, compact storage options but

also bring style to their living space. Recessed and flush features are rising in popularity with consumers looking for the streamlined look in their kitchens. It’s this trend that prompted us to design the new PureFlat range of products, which boast recessed features and a streamlined look. “The new PureFlat range from Hisense comes

in premium stainless-steel look or a black steel finish and combines sleek design with functionality, in-keeping with consumers desire to have stylish and modern looking appliances with high functionality. Flexible storage gives the user an increased amount of control over how they use their fridge, making the appliance adaptable and versatile.” Lee Collett, Channel Controller at KitchenAid,

agrees. “In 2020 and beyond, a hot product trend within the freestanding refrigeration category will continue to be design. The Empire Red KitchenAid Iconic Fridge (KCFME 60150R (UK)) rises above the trends, asserting itself as a timeless icon and reaffirming the importance of distinctive design. The freestanding single door fridge, complete with a freezer compartment, smartly combines innovation and tradition, thanks to its silhouette, exquisite materials and cutting edge technology. “Consumers are increasingly looking for appliances that allow them to make a statement in the kitchen. The bold personality of the Iconic Fridge is embodied by the polished metal exterior. What’s more, thanks to its sleek lines, it perfectly complements any kitchen style; whether classic, industrial or modern, and is ideal for consumers that wish to make a statement by adding colour to the neutral tones that are so in vogue in many modern kitchens today.” Of course, it’s not just design that is influencing consumers’ buying decisions – other factors come into play too. Steve Macdonald,

February/March 2020

business director, freestanding division, Hoover Candy UK, points out that connectivity is beginning to have an impact. “Connected models and those with voice assist are gaining momentum and we are seeing it filter through from laundry into cooling devices. One technology changing the market is Artificial Intelligence (AI) which is revolutionising the kitchen and transforming how we use products day-to-day. “For example, the Hoover AXI Fridge Freezer is

WiFi-enabled and features an Inventory Coach. A unique feature to the fridge, this allows users to keep track of contents and will notify when groceries are approaching their best-by date. Controlled through the Hoover Wizard App, users can update the Inventory Coach as shopping is | 19

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