Dec/Jan 2020

Q: What other kitchen appliances should retailers keen an eye on? CE: Another huge appliance trend and cultural trend in the UK is certainly coffee. We’re actually launching a new coffee machine with a new interface and up to 50 different drink combinations, and customisable user profiles as well

In the small appliance sector we’ve also extended our espresso coffee machine frothing devices and next year we’re also launching a bean grinder. People love the fact that they can choose their own beans and they want that nostalgic sound and feel. JD: It’s a hugely growing trend. The coffee market is one that’s really important to us as we’re Italian. We’ve also recently made an acquisition – La Pavoni is based in Milan – they were the first company to ever invent an espresso coffee machine. This will only strengthen our coffee proposition and we’ve got lots of exciting things to come.

Q: What about design trends? LJ: In small domestic appliances we’re seeing various metallic, matte and brushed colour finishes and we’ve recently launched our new breakfast set in rose gold and gold. But another key colour trend at the moment is grey. CE: We recently launched our Victoria range cooker in grey, which has been hugely successful. We’re not frightened to be bold with our colours. Whilst there’s a muted kitchen cabinet scheme, there has to be something that accents that muted colour and bring a statement piece to the kitchen. JD: Generally speaking, a consumer buying into the Smeg brand does so to make a statement of who they are. One of the big trends we’ve seen is in coordination as well. From a design and a style point of view, more people are willing to invest more and buy once rather than buy again. We’ve got so many of those different aesthetics that all join up – it’s a really big thing for us.

Q: How can retailers keep up and offer consumers the most on-trend home appliances?

CE: When manufacturers launch all these new technologies,

I think customers also need the

confidence that they can use the products and they’ve got the support of the manufacturer once they’ve got it, should they require it.

For example, in our London facility we hold events on a monthly basis called ‘Experience Smeg’ where customers can simply purchase products or take part in a free cookery demo. For next year we’re looking at evolving this even

further, so rather than just demonstration there’ll be cookery classes based in London and at Abingdon in Oxford, so they’ll really get a handheld experience in getting the best out of their appliances. That’s something Borshch Electric has done in its Erdington branch – a huge new live cooking area fit for demonstrations and training sessions. JD: Like with induction hob technology, for example, there’s still a huge gap where people still don’t truly understand it in some instances. Most of our induction models, or some of them at least, have 13 amp induction to plug in so it’s a very easy way for the retailer to demonstrate the product in-store without needing a new electricity supply. LJ: It’s not necessarily a new technology, but it’s certainly more widespread, and we’re seeing probably the biggest growth in our range cookers is now with the induction hot plates as opposed to gas. Consumers’ lifestyles are getting busier and busier and they are often very time-poor, yet they are also demanding really good quality food at the same time and that can be quite a challenge. Well, the trend is now ‘scratch cooking’ – people want to cook from scratch because they’re more aware of where food is coming from these days, so it’s trying to tap into the trends of people wanting to cook from scratch, but making it quick and easy when they do so. CE: And creating less food waste is important, because food waste is a big topic, so if food is going to last much longer because it’s been chilled quickly or been frozen well, then that’s really going to impact.


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