feature: healthy cooking

“Integrated, space saving, minimalistic appliances are on the up! Consumers are wanting sleek, uniform designs for their kitchens. Recessed and flush features are rising in popularity too – it’s all about a streamlined look. “With consumers becoming more health conscious, the demand for hassle-free, easy clean appliances is rising. We recently introduced two new cooker hoods to our range - one chimney and one T-shaped. Both feature washable grease filters and LED lights making it easier to see what you’re cooking on the hob below and for hassle-free cleaning.” Nick Platt, business director, built-in appliances, Hoover Candy UK, strikes a cautious note. “Growth in the MDA market has slowed over the last year, which can be attributed to a slowing housing market and consumer uncertainty. Cooking appliances have been especially hard hit as new purchases tend to be triggered by house moves or kitchen refurbishments, which has made them more vulnerable to a slowing housing market. “However, where consumers are purchasing

large appliances, more are looking for appliances that help them achieve a healthier style of cooking. This is being driven by the wellness trend as it continues to be an important consideration on the consumer agenda. To help facilitate sales, electrical retailers should be aware of and be able to discuss features that can assist in healthy eating habits.” For Catherine Balderson, Senior Hotpoint Brand Manager, healthy eating is here to stay. “In recent years, healthy eating has been identified as a megatrend by market researchers. As a result, due to their many health benefits, appliances such as multifunctional steam ovens and microwaves have gained significant traction in Western Europe. Research suggests ovens that benefit from an integrated steam function now account for 12 per cent of the total sales of built-in ovens across Western Europe. What’s more, steam appears as though it is here to stay, with a steady and increasing following. This is seen both in the development and profusion of compact built-in oven formats, as well as steam and microwave combinations. “Furthermore, as consumers continue to become more aware of the benefits of eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, appliance manufactures have responded by introducing a variety of different features and programmes within fridges and fridge freezers, which enable food to be kept fresher for longer.” With strong consumer interest in healthy eating a given, what particular trends are the brands following? Chris George cites steam. “Cooking with steam has been a growing trend within the market. Many consumers share our belief that steam is a low-fat, healthier way of

cooking. The SteamBake technology in our AEG ovens adds extra moisture, improves flavour and texture while still ensuring that vital nutrients and vitamins are preserved. Gone are the days of separate steamers for vegetables, fish and rice – with the right technology, these ingredients can now be put on a baking tray and left in the oven to steam to perfection. “Alternatively, our ovens with Sous Vide

technology are also a great way to retain vitamins and minerals in food. Exposure to heat, water and oxygen can harm nutrients in food – however, Sous Vide seals the food and cooks it at lower temperatures. This ensures your food preserves delicious flavour, important moisture and nutritional goodness. As an added bonus, you also tend to use less salt and fat in the Sous Vide cooking process because all flavours are naturally enhanced.” Jane Rylands agrees. “Steam cooking has long been favoured chefs as it is an effective way of preserving the taste, texture and nutritional benefits of ingredients, but until a couple of years ago it was not widely used in UK households. However, that has started to

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change, and Steam is now widely available on built in ovens and range cookers. At present, it is unclear as to whether consumers prefer dedicated steam appliances or those with steam features and functions; however, what we do know is that there is a significant increase in demand, which is making steam a solid consideration for manufacturers.” For Alistair Orr, space in the kitchen is something currently on the consumer’s mind. “Consumers are wanting to save space by investing in integrated appliances, but are also keen to have larger cooking areas in their kitchens - despite smaller kitchens and more flexible living spaces, home cooking is emerging yet again as a growing trend within households. “Our gas hobs expand cooking areas by

around 20% on average. Wok burners, induction hobs, and features like the Bridge Zone (which means you can cook using a large pan across a bridges pair of heating elements) have also proven popular, signalling a rise in cooking for larger groups and as a family. Batch cooking and preparing food ahead of time means more of us are looking to invest time in controlling our

September 2019

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