By Chris Nicholls
SYDNEY: Electrolux has confirmed it will install more working kitchens and hold more cooking demonstrations in retail stores as part of its future kitchen appliances strategy, but said regulatory concerns could slow down any such rollouts.
Speaking to journalists at a meeting at Electrolux headquarters this morning, Electrolux Australia home products national sales director, Mike Putt, said the company would increase working kitchen display and cooking demonstration numbers, and in a more structured way than previously.
“One of our focus areas is to continue to grow in cooking, and we understand we need to work more closely with our customers to have operational kitchens, probably have cooking demonstrations, and we’ve done it in more of an ad hoc basis in the past, but certainly, we’re keen to do more of that in a more structured way as we move forward,” said Putt.
However, Electrolux Australia managing director, John Brown, said plans for such working kitchens and demonstrations could be curtailed by occupational health and safety issues and food hygiene risks.
“These things are real complicated. You’ve got occupational health and safety issues, you’ve got food you’ve served, so people are going to eat it, so you move into the whole ‘Is it appropriately prepared’ issue and so on,” said Brown.
He said while retailers were keen on such demonstrations in live kitchens, the liabilities put them off.
Putt also said any live kitchen rollouts would be based on retailers’ focus on cooking, saying Clive Peeters’ interest was one reason the chain had such kitchens already in selected stores.
“We’ll try to keep our markets open and try to maximise the opportunity with the right customers,” Putt said.