Ultimate guide to small appliances for Mother’s Day 2013

By Patrick Avenell

Executive Summary:

-Colour is still big business but there is a noticeable move to more subdued and traditional hues.
-Breakfast sets are a good way to upsell consumers with an extra sale — and matching toasters and kettles look great together.
-Slow cooking is on the way out and pressure cooking is now in fashion.
-Appliances that can chop food straight into the bowl are tipped to perform well.

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After a dazzling year of bright bold colours, small appliance manufacturers are adding a new layer to their benchtop collections — the fluoros are being painted over with more traditional, subdued colours.

2013 is an exciting year for De’Longhi Australia. After great success with its De’Longhi and Kenwood brands, the group will begin distributing the Braun range of household appliances this year as part of its global acquisition from Proctor & Gamble.

With this distribution now commencing, De’Longhi has a very strong small appliances story in the local market, focusing on the mid-to-high end of the market. Marketing manager Filiz Bensan said the focus wouldn’t be on a large volume of SKUs but on targeted models in growth categories.

“We don’t want to have a broad range,” she said. “We want to have a concentrated range in the mid-to-premium end of the market.

“The De’Longhi Icona range has done exceptionally well for us and we’ve been astounded by the results we have achieved. In the $100-plus segment we have the largest share at over 30 per cent in toasters and kettles, and that is the fastest growing price segment within the breakfast category.

“We have been key drivers of that, not only with De’Longhi but also the launch of Kenwood kMix range has contributed to this.”

Bensan said De’Longhi would be building on that momentum in 2013, continuing its heretofore winning formula of good products, attractive marketing and consumer promotions.

Kenwood’s Mother’s Day range is focused more on upgrades to existing products than totally new product launches.

The new Cooking Chef (KM080, RRP $1,999) is replacing the KM070 with a number of improvements on the previous model. The three main upgrades are a new Flexi Beater for a much improved whisking performance, Thermo Resist Glass Blender and Tritan material food processor. Tritan refers to the robust plastic material used in the processor attachment. Resistant to cracking and breaking, this is lighter than other materials, making it easier to take in and out of cupboards.

Replacing the KM023 is the new Chef Major Titanium Mega Pack (KMM023, RRP $1,499). This 1,500-watt stainless steel benchtop mixer comes with K-Beater, Dough Hook and Whisk attachments, as well as a Thermo Resist Glass Blender and a food processor.

For RRP $999, there is the new Chef Major Titanium (KMM020), which replaces the KM020. This unit has similar specifications to the Mega Pack but does not include the blender or food processor.

Kenwood has completely upgraded and refreshed its Patissier food mixer range, adding four new colours (teal, brown, pink and ‘nude’). The new models include Kenwood’s redesigned Flexi Beater, 700 watts of power, an upgraded speed dial and a painted white bowl finish. These models are RRP $399.

Brand new to the Kenwood range is the Multipro Sense Food Processor (FPM810, RRP $499). This 1,000-watt unit has an In-Bowl Dual Drive motor, as opposed to an induction motor, enabling greater operational flexibility, according to Bensan. Included attachments include a knife blade; dough tool; dual whisk and julienne, slicing and grating discs. This model will sit in between Kenwood’s FP980 (RRP $699) and FP950 (RRP $429) in its processor range.

The final new addition to the Kenwood range is in its colourful kMix collection. A new version of the Australia International Design Award winning Quad Blade Chopper (CH250) will be added to this collection, so previous consumers of this range can add this acclaimed appliance to their collection.

The major news for the De’Longhi brand is the launch of the Icona Vintage Breakfast Collection, first unveiled at IFA in Berlin last year. This collection comprises a kettle (RRP $149), a 2-slice toaster (RRP $149), a 4-slice toaster (RRP $189) and a pump espresso coffee machine (RRP $299).

The Icona Vintage will be available in black, brown, chrome, green and blue and builds on the tremendous success of the original Icona range, which will also continue.

De’Longhi has a very expansive media campaign planned for this launch, including print advertising, billboards, mail outs, promotional videos, a dedicated website and public relations activities. To help ‘drive’ sales, De’Longhi will be giving away five Vespa scooters to consumers who purchase products in the range up until 14 May 2013.

Discussing De’Longhi’s new Braun distribution, Bensan the focus will start on the German brand’s stick mixers before growing throughout 2013.

“We will be starting off with the current products,” Bensan said. “Then, going into the second half of the year, those products are going to be reviewed and we are going to see how we can broaden that range.

“We know from history that Braun has always been strong in stick mixers. With a renewed focus, we feel that we can get those categories and Braun’s positions into a stronger hold than what they currently are.

“There will be investment above and below the line. The brand has a very high awareness: it’s very strong in stick mixers, ironing and personal care. We don’t have to communicate a brand awareness story but we need the appropriate products to suit our consumers.”

Braun’s 2013 mixer range will start at RRP $119 for MR330 and go up to the MR730 at RRP $249.

Pedro Demartini is now in his second year as the marketing director for Tefal, and he’s looking to maintain and strengthen the momentum of this French brand in the Australian market.

“The small appliance market has experienced consistent growth in the last few years due to the increasing need from consumers for convenience, health and comfort at home,” he said. “Additionally, we see the role of technology taking a great part in the future of this market as it has already happened in other segments such as mobile phones.”

Although Smart technology has begin infiltrating televisions and major appliances, talk of Smart Smalls has so far been sparse. Demartini said Tefal would be leading this “revolution”.

“We called the smart appliance revolution — it will combine the latest technology with existing and new small appliance products, delivering to consumers solutions that not only will save them time but also help them to achieve a perfect result every time.”

Groupe SEB will launch two products for Mother’s Day that Martini promises will “change the way consumers cook delicious meals and also drive strong sales for our retail partners in this key period of the year”.

The first is the next iteration of Tefal’s successful ActiFry product, the ActiFry 2-in-1 (YV9601, RRP $399). This model adds a second cooking zone to the ActiFry, enabling users to cook meat in the built-in fry pan while simultaneously cooking chips, vegetables or risotto, for example, in the bowl underneath.

Tefal’s second new small appliance is the Cook4Me Intelligent Multi Cooker (CY7018, RRP $349). This unit comes preloaded with 80 recipes, most of which can be cooked in under 11 minutes.

Also new to the range are two new models in Tefal’s Fresh Express range. Tefal claims to be number one in the chopper segment with the original Fresh Express, which is now being relaunched as the 150-watt Fresh Express Plus (MB755, RRP $69).

New features include a wavy slicing cone, a full metal grating cone and an extended chute for chopping straight into the bowl.
Taking the benchtop chopper up a notch is the Fresh Express Max, which includes all the features of the Plus model, with the addition of a Turbo Boost speed function, a wider feeding tube, and 260 watts of power.

“All our key launches will be supported by strong promotional activity, in-store presence and on-going demonstration program,” said Martini.

Another relatively new player in the small appliances category is Richard Babekuhl, who joined Breville as its marketing communications manager from Electrolux last year. He said that he already noticed differences between the two major gift giving seasons: Christmas and Mother’s Day.

“Mother’s Day is a popular time for food preparation products, with new food programs set to screen on TV and autumn signalling a seasonal shift towards more baking and cooking at home,” he said. “Gift giving for Mother’s Day is both about aspirational as well as high quality purchases, unlike other gift giving periods where novelty products share the stage.”

Breville’s focus on “high quality” products has grown significantly over the past decade. Not content to be a ‘me-too’ brand following trends and using price as a differentiator, Breville has repeatedly introduced new small appliance concepts at the premium end. Examples of this include its new Sous Vide Supreme and the Juice Fountain Crush released before Christmas 2012.

For Mother’s Day, Breville is releasing the “Swiss Army Knife of the kitchen”, the All In One Processing Station with Control Grip (BSB530). Building on the growth in hand mixers from 2012, the All In One combines blending, mashing and chopping into a single box set. Attachments include a quad-blade chopper, an adjustable slicing disc, variable control masher and a 1.6-litre bowl.

To assist in storage, the All In One comes with a dedicated stand to hold the appliance and the accessories in a compact form factor.

“We will launch a national TV campaign around Mother’s Day featuring the new Breville All in One processing station,” confirmed Babekuhl. “We anticipate this will create consumer interest and result in driving foot traffic to the stores, based on our experience with previous TV campaigns.

“This is supported with the All in One in-store display, which has been developed to simply illustrate the value, versatility and compact storage benefits of this new release.

For more intensive processing and blending tasks, Breville has merged the technology of its Kitchen Wizz and Kinetix appliances to create the versatile Kinetix Wizz (BFP450, RRP $199). The robust base of this unit holds an 800-watt direct drive motor that can power either a 1.6 litre processing square jug for blending or a 2-litre processing bowl.

In the lead up to Mother’s Day, consumers of Breville’s Mixer range (BEM800 and BEM410) will receive the new Scraper Whisk and 3-litre mixing bowl accessory (BBA600, RRP $99) as a gift-with-purchase. Designed specifically to whisk cream and eggs into lighter and fluffier textures, the Scraper Whisk will also be sold separately for existing Breville Mixer customers.

“The gift with purchase of our new Scraper Whisk will also push Breville bench mixer sales, adding value for the consumer and introducing additional sales opportunities for retailers post Mother’s Day.”

Breville’s final Mother’s Day hero product is the Gourmet Baker breadmaker (BBM400, RRP $199). In addition to make a full range of breads and having a dedicated fruit and nut dispenser, the Gourmet Baker comes with baguette trays for making mini French Sticks, jam and compote functions and a 17-centimetre cake pan.

Sunbeam’s focus for the first half of 2013 is on promoting its new Mother’s Day range through its long-running association with popular TV franchises MasterChef and My Kitchen Rules. Both these programs have been ratings hits over the past few years and the advantage for Sunbeam is that in addition to screen advertisements during the commercial breaks, consumers also get to see the contestants use the appliances during the show.

“These shows ignite the desire for consumers to have fun in the kitchen and to be adventurous and creative, preparing delicious meals for friends and family that they can enjoy together,” said Sunbeam product marketing manager — food preparation, Lisa Buscomb. “Food processors, in particular, are an important tool in the kitchen in preparing quick meals.”

Sunbeam is launching a range of new food processors for Mother’s Day, including the Multiprocessor Compact (LC5000, RRP $149), the Food Processor (LC7900, RRP $299) and the Café Series Food Processor (LC9000, RRP $399).

To take advantage of existing and further growth in pressure cooking, Buscomb announced the release of the Aviva Pressure Cooker (PE6100, RRP $189), which also includes slow, rice, steam, brown, simmer and sauté functions.

“Pressure Cookers are a great solution for time-poor home cooks,” she said. “The Pressure Cooker category is the strongest growth category in the cooking market and has grown considerably in the past few years.”

Sunbeam is also launching into the Sous Vide category. Its first model is the Duos Sous Vide (MU4000, RRP $199), which combines vacuum sealed water bath cooking with slow cooking for additional functionality.

“This is the first Sous Vide in the market to be designed for the domestic market and it is multifunctional,” said Buscomb. As mentioned earlier, although Breville does have the Sous Vide Supreme in its range, that machine was not strictly designed for Australia, as Breville category manager — cooking, Sharon Lenzner explained:

“The brand Sous Vide Supreme is owned by Eades Appliances Technology,” she said. “This co-branding agreement has enabled this new technology to be now available nationally in consumer retail outlets. Previously Sous Vide Supreme could only be purchased online through limited channels. Breville has contributed tremendous engineering resources so that the product now complies to Australian standards.

Buscomb said Sunbeam’s Sous Vide appliances offers an extra function, slow cooking, as this is still a very arcane category.

“The Sous Vide market is quite niche at the moment, so Sunbeam has designed the Sunbeam Duos as a Sous Vide and a Slow Cooker to provide greater versatility to the home chef.

“The Sous Vide water oven has a domestic 5.5-litre capacity, is incredibly easy to use and is designed with electronic temperature control and countdown timer.”

Finally, Sunbeam has refreshed its breakfast appliance offering with the launch of the Maestro toaster and the Retro toaster and kettle.

“In kettles and toasters, consumers are looking for new features that will make their lives easier and also help them to make their perfect cup of tea or that perfect slice of toast,” continued Buscomb.

“Sunbeam’s new Maestro toasters have a dual function LCD panel that displays the selected browning setting and a countdown timer to let consumers know how long is left before the toast is ready. QuickCheck features also let the user check the progress of the toast at any time without interrupting the toasting cycle, helping consumers achieve the perfect colour and crunch.”

The Maestro toaster is available with two (TA6240, RRP $99) and four slice varieties (TA6440, RRP $129). The Retro toaster is RRP $79 for two slices and $99 for four slices (TA5200/5400). The Retro kettle is RRP $99 (KE5200).

Buscomb outlined a comprehensive marketing campaign to support retailers during the Mother’s Day period.

“Sunbeam is committed to supporting the brand and key product ranges with strong, innovative in-store execution, as well as through a range of media including TV placement, sponsorship, TV campaigns, digital content, print and in-store promotional material,” she said.

For the first time since its classic Young Talent Time advertisement in the early 1980s, Kambrook will be making a sizable media buy to promote its small appliances in the lead-up to Mother’s Day. Marketing manager Adam Tacey said Kambrook is looking to build on its strong 2012 performance with reliable products at competitive price points.

“Kambrook has performed well in the cooking and food preparation categories over the past 12 months and we expect sales in the build-up to Mother’s Day to be strong,” he said. “Food preparation appliances are becoming more highly featured as consumers demand multifunction.

“We are building on the features of each product but the price remains affordable, making Kambrook a popular brand of choice.”

Kambrook’s product releases for Mother’s Day are built around the concept of “One Pot Wonders”. There will be three new small appliances released with this tagline for Mother’s Day — the Turbo Convection Oven (KOT900, RRP $99), the Soup Simple Soup Maker (KBL600, RRP $99) and the Pressure Express Digital Pressure Cooker (KPR800, RRP $119) — joining the existing Super Sear Cooker (KSC700, RRP $99) in the range.

Of these new releases, Tacey predicts the Pressure Express will have the biggest impact.

“This year we expect to see an increase in the pressure cooker market. Unlike slow cooking, pressure cooking is a solution for the time-poor home cook,” he said. “As more consumers become aware of the benefits of pressure cooking, sales should continue to rise.

“With safety a key concern for customers looking to purchase a pressure cooker, Kambrook’s latest offering in this category offers three separate safety mechanisms.”

Kambrook has also beefed up its food preparation range for Mother’s Day. The new PowerMix Stand Mixer (KSM400, RRP $129) has small and large stainless steel bowls, 12 speed settings and a 600-watt motor. In the hand mixing category, Kambrook has the new X Blade Food Prep System (KSB100, RRP $69), which includes a chopping bowl and a blending jug, a mashing attachment and stainless steel blades.

“All of our new releases boast plenty of features while still promising an affordable price from a known and trusted small appliance name,” Tacey said. “We hope to cater for all tastes and budgets with our most comprehensive Mother’s Day range to date, without forgetting our brand promise of durability, safety and performance.”

Electrolux Small Appliances is approaching its first Mother’s Day since expanding into more categories in addition to its very successful floorcare ranges. Launched towards the end of 2012, Electrolux’s small appliance range is tightly focused on categories experiencing growth in the Australian market.

Its first benchtop appliances are two Turbopro stick mixers: a red model with mini-chopper and double whisk attachments for RRP $139 and a black unit with only double whisks for RRP $119.

“The new Turbopro stick mixer has been created with our consumers’ insights in mind and is true to the classic Scandinavian design heritage of Electrolux,” said Electrolux Small Appliances Australia MD John Mahar.

“The Turbopro stick mixer has excellent performance and powerful features such as a heavy duty stainless steel mixing bar, open foot and triple blades. It has variable speed controls to adjust the processing for different ingredients and a turbo function, for when a little extra power is needed.”

Philips has partnered with Jamie Oliver to create a new range of small appliances so it is no surprise that the Dutch company’s new mantra is ‘Fresh and Healthy’.

“Mothers always want to take care of their family well, and increasingly this includes preparing fresh and healthy food,” said Philips Consumer Lifestyle marketing manager for kitchen appliances Mikyu Chan. “But the busy period of getting home from work, picking up the kids, talking with the family and preparing a meal can be a stressful experience, increasing the temptation to resort to pre-made or fast food options.”

In addition to promoting appliances that prepare healthier meals, Philips is also targeting a growth area in the small appliance category, Chan said.

“Kitchen appliance companies such as Philips are trying to help mums and families out by giving them innovative tools to help create healthy and tasty homemade meals without the hassle.

“This trend towards healthy cooking in the home is driving the market, and this will continue to be the case this year.”

The first co-creation between Philips and Jamie Oliver is the HomeCooker (HR1050, RRP $529). Chan said this appliance was a “first of its kind” as it does both the preparation and the cooking.

“The HomeCooker chops, stirs, steams and sautés and can be left cooking unattended, giving back quality time. The HomeCooker has its own cutting tower for chopping directly into its stainless steel pot. Vegetables, cheese and meat can be sliced, shredded or cut Julienne without having to pick up a knife.”

The HomeCooker joins Philips’ existing Airfryer (HD9225, RRP $329) and Design Award winning QuickClean Juicer (HR1873, RRP $249). More products in this range are expected to be unveiled during 2013.

“Philips Kitchen Appliances is trying to help Australian families enjoy healthy, tasty, and hassle-free food in the home, and as even more innovative products are launched, there is a great opportunity for retailers to help grow the category and enjoy greater preference from consumers.”

Morphy Richards national marketing manager Fiona Gotas believes small appliances are becoming more like major kitchen appliances: central objects in the kitchen that can act as status symbols, conversation starters and décor items.

“A continuing trend with consumers in 2013 will see the kitchen become the hub of the home,” Gotas said. “
“Spending more time in the kitchen means the styling of the kitchen becomes a significant factor.

“Vibrant colours have been a growing trend the last two years and will continue in 2013, however, consumers will start to see soft and classic colour tones becoming more available.”

Morphy Richards’ hero products for Mother’s Day are the Food Slicer & Salad Maker (48401, RRP $99), Elipta White Jug Kettle (43946, RRP $129) and the Elipta 2 Slice Toaster (44872, RRP $119).

Gotas said Morphy Richards would be expanding its social media presence to communicate directly with consumers.

“Morphy Richards will continue to grow its strength in the social media world,” she said. “The success of the 2012 campaign ‘Colour Your Mornings’ has allowed us to grow our fan base and engage with our customers within our brand and product offerings.”

After the rush of bright and bold colours in 2012, Bosch is in line with the thoughts of rival brands in predicting a move towards more subdued tones in 2013. Rather than eye-catching reflective colours for its new kitchen machines, Peart has opted for two pastels: “miracle blue” and “passion yellow”.

“Colours are also making a huge impact in the market as consumers are increasingly looking to customise their home appliances to suit their personal tastes,” he said. “This Mother’s Day, Bosch is introducing a range of pastel colours to its kitchen appliance family.

“Consumers will now have the flexibility to choose colours that complement the look and feel of their kitchens. Bosch will also continue to promote its range of classic white, silver and grey appliances.”

Bosch’s new 900-watt kitchen machines (MUM54520AU for blue, MUM54620AU for yellow; both RRP $699) will be available in April 2013. Both models have identical features, including 3.9-litre stainless steel bowl, dough hook, beating and stirring whisks, dishwasher safe accessories and seven speed settings.

“This category continues to experience considerable growth in both volume and value,” Peart said. “Consumers are choosing to upgrade their appliances to better quality products, which include features that make food preparation faster and easier.

“Retailers should continue to take advantage of this trend by providing eye-catching in-store display areas, engaging and knowledgeable staff, and up-selling to big brands with good margin.”

Bosch also has a new 800-watt food processor (MCM4200AU, RRP $249) and a new Hand Blender (MSM7800AU, RRP $229).

While Panasonic has also been a force in small appliances in its native Japan, 2013 will see the company expand further into this market in Australia, according to product marketing manager — whitegoods and small appliances, Prue Sheehan.

“The small appliance market continues to be a strong focus for Panasonic in 2013 as consumers upgrade their appliances to make the most of exciting advances in technology and convenient features to complement fast-paced and health-conscious lifestyles,” Sheehan said.

Panasonic has added the new DF Series of rice cookers to complement its DE Series and will be continuing to promote its Bread Maker, which was relaunched in Australia in 2010.

“The DF Series Rice Cookers feature Fuzzy Logic technology, which cleverly controls cooking temperatures based on the amount of rice and water for perfectly cooked rice each time,” explained Sheehan.

The premium 1.8-litre DF Series rice cooker (SR-DF181WST) is RRP $109.

The latest Bread Maker from Panasonic (SD-2501, RRP $249) has a Diamond-Fluoro coated bread pan and kneading blade for increased durability and easier maintenance and includes jam and compote modes for added functionality.

Spectrum Brands distributes both the Russell Hobbs and George Foreman ranges of small appliances. Russell Hobbs home appliances product manager Monika Kamienowska said the British brand would be at the forefront of consumers’ minds this Mother’s Day.

“Our research has shown that consumers still consider affordability, practicality and ease of use as the dominate factor in their purchase decision of kettles and toasters, however, at the point of purchase, colour and design play a key role,” she said.

“Hence, Russell Hobbs continuously thrives to deliver products that not only make life easier and more enjoyable but act as a statement piece of their own on the bench top.”

This Mother’s Day, Russell Hobbs will be promoting its Perfect, Metallics, Heritage and Silhouette series of breakfast appliances. Across these colourful collections consumers can choose toasters and kettles in red, black, silver, purple and white.

Russell Hobbs will also be promoting its Juiceman (RHJM8000AU, RRP $99) and Juiceman Pro (RHJM8000AU, RRP $199) juicers and its Kitchen Metallics Blender in red and black (RHBL3000B/R, RRP $119).

The George Foreman brand is also focusing on juicers for Mother’s Day. The compact Health Juicer (GFJE2200AU, RRP $59) has a 300-millilitre juicing jug and non-slip rubber feet while the Citrus Juicer (GFCJ631AU, RRP $24) has a 1-litre capacity and a large cone for extracting from large size fruit.

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