By James Wells in Berlin
BERLIN: Miele co-owner Dr Reinhard Zinkann has described the IFA exhibition which now displays whitegoods and consumer electronics as one of the world’s most important trade events and has also said a strong European trade fair is essential.
At a press conference held on the eve of the IFA trade show in Berlin, Dr Zinkann spoke about the unification of the two important product streams which have been previously represented at other events including Domotechnica which has suffered declining interest and the now defunct HomeTech concept which was previously backed by IFA’s exhibition company Messe Berlin.
“Europe is the world’s largest market for electrical domestic appliances, which is why we need a strong trade show in Germany. IFA is one of the most important trade shows anywhere in the world, which makes it the ideal platform for all the world’s leading brands,” Dr Zinkann said referring to the new HomeAppliances @IFA section of the event as well as speaking as chairman on behalf of the local electrical domestic appliance division.
“Currently, levels of economic performance in the home appliances sector are very varied. There are downturns in important markets such as Italy, Spain and the UK, but by contrast growth in France and Eastern Europe, for example,” Dr Zinkann said.
“In Germany, growth during the first six months of the year was close to three per cent, and despite general consumer reticence we expect an overall annual increase of four per cent. The rising demand for brand-name appliances and for quality will sustain this growth. Political and social discussions about CO2 emissions and climate protection are influencing consumer trends. There is a wide gulf between the willingness to purchase environmentally friendly products and concrete action in this respect. Demand is failing to keep pace with supply, and a combination of efforts and measures by the industry, the trade, politicians, consumer organizations and the media is needed to overcome this discrepancy,” he said.
The new domestic appliances released at the show are expected to feature a trend towards healthier nutrition using methods intended to retain more nutrient properties is reflected by the keep-fresh systems of modern refrigerators, and by steamers, either stand-alone or built into ovens.