What are people looking for this Christmas? What are the appliances that will make their lives easier, happier, healthier and more fulfilling? We spoke with pretty much everyone to find out!
- The blender category is expected to be a lucrative one this summer, as consumers are increasingly conscious about their health and wellbeing. Within the category two segments are growing concurrently: compact personal blenders and premium high performance blenders.
- The health trend has also fuelled a number of new additions to the market that focus on preparing meals using fresh ingredients, for example air fryers and pasta makers.
- Capitalise on Australia’s thriving coffee culture with a broad selection of coffee machines — automatic, manual or capsule — to suit all preferences and budgets.
(Take a look at the various products available for Christmas in the showcase at the bottom of this page.)
As the healthy living trend rolls on, appliances that help consumers create healthier meals from fresh ingredients will make strong sales pitches. With brands offering multiple air fryers, pasta makers, personal blenders (usually with ‘go’ in the title) and coffee machines, retailers will have plenty of product choice to tempt shoppers looking to lift those gloomy consumer confidence levels.
Breville is “leaving no stone unturned this Christmas” with premium products, value-adding promotions and staff training to help retailers capitalise on the busy sales period.
“This is a bumper year for Breville and its retail partners,” said Richard Babekuhl, Breville marketing manager – Australia. “With 15 categories offering added value – from barista training classes to bonus items – Breville has tried to leave no stone unturned this Christmas to provide consumers with incredible value and retailers with the best sales opportunities to trade up to premium models.”
Babekuhl said over the coming months Breville’s national team of territory managers and consultants will be visiting all major stores to ensure retail staff are confident demonstrating the automatic manual espresso machine, the Oracle (BES980, RRP $2,499) and high velocity super blender, The Boss (BBL910, RRP $995).
Breville has confirmed it is investing in a multi-million dollar advertising program promoting these two products, which will run from October to Christmas on free-to-air and subscription networks nationally.
“With such a heavy investment on these two premium items, our retail partners who can really wow shoppers with their product knowledge will be sure to capitalise this Christmas,” he said.
As well as its premium blender, Breville also identified that the sub-$150 blender market needed attention. Enter the Kinetix Twist (BBL405, RRP $129). A versatile blender, it includes a citrus cone to allow juicing directly into the blender jug and has seven task controls including smoothie, pulse/ice-crush and auto clean.
Breville has several new additions and upgrades to its range, which recognise that as baby boomers downsize and professionals opt for apartments, benchtop and cupboard space is prime real estate. As a result, Babekuhl said they predict an increase in demand for premium appliances that offer the versatility of several appliances in one.
Another important consumer concern Babekuhl identified was the pursuit of the perfect café quality coffee at home, with a price that stays the same.
“Our love of coffee isn’t slowing down, but the cost of a cappuccino is going up according to the Gilkatho Cappuccino price index. The latest study found that the average cost of a cappuccino in Melbourne has risen to $3.43 from $3.15 five years ago; an increase of 8.9 per cent.
“These trends present an opportunity for compact machines that make great tasting coffee at home more affordable.”
The new Duo Temp Pro (BES810, RRP $399) is a manual espresso machine that continues Breville’s philosophy of integrating commercial technology in a domestic machine. Breville is also launching a mid-range grinder, the Dose Control Pro (BCG600, RRP $199).
Christmas is a period when retailers can expect a sales boosts from consumers throwing economic caution to the wind, and the good news is that is trend is gradually underway, according to Helen Finlayson, category marketing manager, De’Longhi.
“We are seeing a slow resurgence in consumer confidence and this generally leads to gravitation towards established brands,” Finlayson said.
Finlayson urged retailers to, “Continue to support established brands and in particular those who are category captains. We are always here to support sell through and we believe the product introductions De’Longhi is offering this year will do well over the Christmas period.”
Available from October is the De’Longhi Classic Multifry Fryer (FH1163, RRP $349), a low oil fryer with a patented surround heating system that allows the user to create over 250 recipes including cakes, sauces and risottos.
“It’s versatile, easy to use, easy to clean and can produce healthy meals in reduced cooking times,” Finlayson said.
Coffee machines are another strong focus for De’Longhi, building on momentum gained at this year’s Good Food and Wine Show.
“One of the most valuable parts of the De’Longhi experience at the show was the quality time we were able to spend with visitors to get to the heart of their coffee needs. We were able to discuss the merits of fully automatic, manual and capsule machines and answer any queries visitors had about owning their own coffee maker or buying one as a gift,” Finlayson said.
De’longhi has a range of machines for each kind of coffee drinker including the newly launched compact Dedica Manual Coffee Machine (EC680B/R/W, RRP $349), the Eletta Fully Automatic Coffee Machine (ECAM45760B, RRP $1,699) and in capsules, the Nescafe Dolce Gusto Jovia (EDG250B/R/W, RRP $149).
The food preparation market will be a lucrative one for retailers this summer, as it continues to grow in value. “There is certainly a high level of consumer engagement across the food preparation categories,” said Filiz Bensan, category manager for Kenwood.
Bensan, quoting GfK MAT figures from June 2014, said the food prep market was worth $193 million, up from $169 million. The growth has been fuelled by bench blenders, which have increased from $33 to $55 million. Kitchen machines also fared well, reaching $44 million.
“Food Processors have seen slight declines as there has been heavy discounting in the category. However, we expect this category to pick up going into the second half of this year.
“Consumer interest is high and in-home cooking continues to be very popular. This will sustain the category growth over the next few months. There really is no reason for Food Preparation to regress as cooking is something we all do and enjoy more so than ever. It certainly has moved out of the “chore” category to be a “creative outlet” for everyone,” Bensan said.
The hero for Kenwood this Christmas will be the Chef Sense Kitchen Machines, the next generation of Kenwood Chef Kitchen machine. Re-designed and re-engineered for an even, more enjoyable user experience, it comes in two versions, The Chef Sense XL (KVL6020T, RRP $899) and The Chef Sense (KVC5020T, RRP $699).
Kenwood Chef Sense is a baker’s delight; it comes with five dedicated bowls and tools, including creamer beater, dough hook, K-beater, whisk and folding tool.
“Our research has shown that for Kitchen Machine ownership, 7 out of 10 consumers enjoy baking. Over 80 per cent of the time consumers will be preparing cakes, breads or pastries. After baking, consumers do like the added functionality of the attachments, which reinforces to popularity of the Chef range where in pack attachments are offered,” Bensan said.
Retailers will do well by connecting the Chef Sense with the emotional attachment that surrounds baking.
“Baking is great, but to be able to share that experience with family or friends can create long lasting memories. This is something that resonates with a lot of Kenwood Chef users as they can relate the product to an enjoyable moment.”
The Chef Sense XL model has a blender and food processor attachments included and Kenwood will also bonus Ice Cream Bowl attachment valued at $129 from 1 November to the end of December 2014.
Bensan recommends retailers make the most of these ample attachments, displaying them or affixing them to the machines to give consumers a better understanding of the product’s functions.
Electrolux is continuing a push into the premium small appliance market with a new range, The Electrolux Masterpiece Collection. Launching in October 2014, it includes a Blender (EBR9804S, RRP $399), Food Processor (EFP9804S, RRP $599) and Immersion Blender (ESTM9804S, RRP $199).
“The future of small appliances lies in a stronger focus on benefits for consumers,” said Michelle Rossier, marketing manager, Electrolux. “Cooking enthusiasts and aspiring chefs are looking for quality products with professional heritage to give them an edge in the kitchen with stylish, thoughtfully designed products that are easy and convenient to use.”
Rossier said Electrolux is committed to retaining value in the segment with the launch of the Masterpiece Collection that is “aspirational and built to last”.
Exclusive to the range is the 15 degree PowerTilt technology, which is “the optimal combination of titanium coated blades, a precisely tilted jug/bowl and a powerful surge motor.”
“It took years of research to find the perfect angle that intensifies blending by speeding the rate that ingredients combine,” Rossier said.
Launching in November 2014 is Electrolux’s latest capsule coffee machine, the Lavazza A Modo Mio Fantasia (ELM7000W, RRP $399). Available in black and latte, it will be compatible with eight blends of Lavazza coffee capsules.
In Australia and around the world, contemporary living environments are changing, said John Ciaglia, Nespresso commercial manager.
“Items such as coffee machines that were once reserved for the kitchen have become design objects and symbols of an individual’s personality and lifestyle.
“This trend has influenced the shift towards appliances being available in more playful or modern colours so that they can adapt to any living space. Our machines bring together full functionality, modern design and the highest quality coffee,” Ciaglia said.
Nespresso offers a wide range of capsule coffee machines, in a variety of colours and price points including the Lattissima+, distributed by De’Longhi (RRP $579), and the Maestria Black, distributed by Breville (BEC800B, RRP $749).
Nespresso’s cashback offer on the entire range will be back for Christmas, supported by a media campaign across TV, print, outdoor and digital advertising as well as trade POS materials.
Kambrook’s goal this Christmas is to capitalise on its most popular products and enter new categories.
“Consumers are becoming increasingly mindful about their discretionary spending, yet Christmas is a time of year that will always provide a boost in sales,” said Adam Tacey, Kambrook business manager.
“According to research, Australians spent an average of $374 on gifts leading up to Christmas last year, with $65 being the average gift price. Naturally, it is important to be able to offer consumers a variety of accessible gift ideas to encourage purchases during this critical shopping period.”
One of Kambrook’s most popular new releases in the last 12 months, Blitz2Go personal blender (KBL63, RRP $49.95), will be joined by new silver and white designs to appeal to an even broader demographic.
Also cashing in on the healthy lifestyle trend, Kambrook is entering the air frying market with the Air Chef (KAF200, RRP $169) which has the ability to roast, fry, grill or bake.
“Users will welcome this versatile unit to any health-conscious household with other useful features to enable baking cakes and mini baguettes, grilling fish and roasting favourite winter vegetables, all in the one appliance,” Tacey said.
“We know the concept of air frying has built momentum in recent years and the Kambrook offering is the affordable choice in what is still a relatively new category.”
Philips Saeco also offer an air fryer, the Philips Airfryer XL (HD9240, RRP $449), as part of a product range focused on health and wellbeing.
“There is a strong emphasis on healthier food consumption, so there is naturally a demand for quality appliances that make cooking from scratch with fresh ingredients even easier, while minimising the need for additives, fats and oils,” said Erik van Houten, senior marketing manager, Philips Consumer Lifestyle Australia.
“In a health-conscious society, products that support this growing wellbeing trend are highly appealing for consumers,” van Houten said.
One new product which ticks these boxes is the Philips Pasta & Noodle Maker (HR2357/06, RRP $399) which will be available in October 2014. Flour, eggs and water are added to the machine which then mixes and kneads the dough, extruding homemade pasta or noodles in 15 minutes.
Also planned for release in October are the hot and cold Philips Cooking Blender (HR2092/75, RRP $299) and the Philips ‘All in One’ Cooker (HD2137/72, RRP $219), which is both a slow cooker and a pressure cooker.
“There have never been more choices when it comes to kitchen appliances. In our conversations with retailers, we often talk about how important it is to ensure your sales teams know their products heading into the busy Christmas shopping period so they can advise the best solution to suit the customers’ gift requirements,” van Houten said.
ProAppliances will also be distributing an air fryer and pasta maker this Christmas, the Aquaport AirFryerPro (PRO-AF1, $299) and PastaPro (PRO-PM RRP $329), which mixes, kneads and extrudes dough to make fresh pasta or noodles. The AirFryerPro has a 10-litre capacity, 10 bonus accessories and six cooking modes including a rotisserie function.
Mat Kiley, national sales manager ProAppliances, said there is a growing trend with customers who are concerned with their health and wellbeing.
“We have experienced huge growth in sales of lifestyle improvement products. Customers are increasingly becoming time poor, so products that save time and assist to keep them healthy are becoming more popular.”
Also in the ProAppliance family of healthy-living appliances is the JuicePro Whole Fruit Cold Press Juicer (PRO-WFJP-R RRP $449) and the BlendPro Whole Food Blender (PRO-BP-C, RRP $599). As an optional extra, a 1-litre Dry Mix Bowl (PRO-BP-DMB, RRP $179) attachment is available for grinding, milling and kneading.
According to Lisa Buscomb, product marketing manager, food preparation, Sunbeam, there are two growth areas in the blender category: compact personal blenders and premium high performing blenders.
“In food preparation, blenders are the current growth category, as consumers are enjoying the convenience, multifunction and health aspects that a blender can offer,” she said.
At the lower end of the price range is the Sunbeam Blender On The Go (PB2000, $59.95), which is ideal for preparing protein shakes, breakfast smoothies or snacks quickly, blending ingredients directly in the portable drink bottle.
When more muscle is required, the Sunbeam Café Series Blender (PB9800, RRP $299) is designed for making soups, drinks, cocktails or sauces, green smoothies and nut butters.
Katie Berra, product marketing manager, cooking, Sunbeam said consumers are looking for good value, multifunction appliances.
“In cooking, multifunction appliances are the big growth area with consumers constantly searching for value for money kitchen solutions. They also provide a low risk option to experiment with cooking functions that consumers are unfamiliar with, for example, Duos Sous Vide and Slow Cooker, Aviva Pressure Cooker with slow cook, rice and steam options.”
Ideal for gift giving, Sunbeam also has a range of novelty appliances for kids and adults ranging in price from $29.95 to $44.95. The Snack Heroes range includes a Popcorn Maker, Ice Cream Maker, Chocolate Fountain, Brownie Maker and Waffle Stick Maker.
Sunbeam has two series of toasters and kettles to adorn bench tops this Christmas. Available in stainless steel, red or black is the Long Slot Toasters and Short Pot Kettle range, and at a slightly higher price is the Simply Stylish Series.
“In kettles and toasters, aesthetics are driving growth as Australian consumers are using them to add character to their surrounds,” said Sarah Francis, product marketing manager, Sunbeam.
“They are the two appliances which are nearly always left out on the bnch top because they get used so much and therefore consumers want matching sets that look great,” Francis said.
Colour, multifunction and bundled appliances are becoming increasingly popular, says Stacey Pogorecki, product and marketing co-ordinator, at GAF Control, distributor of the Tiffany and Heller brands.
“With the trend in reality cooking shows, and a very ‘house proud’ society, people are becoming more proud to show off their kitchens and appliances to friends and family.
“Take advantage of this trend by ensuring you have a range of products on offer that combine colour with functionality, great performance, trusted brands, style and value for money all in one,” she said.
Distributed by Spectrum Brands, Russell Hobbs is helping consumers ‘accessorise’ their kitchens with aesthetically pleasing benchtop appliances.
“No longer are kitchen appliances seen as just another kitchen tool. They are now seen as a fashion statement in the home,” said Jean Foo, product manager – food prep and cooking.
“With the popularity of open plan living, many consumers are focusing on design and aesthetics in their purchase decision, seeking products that will act as a feature piece in their kitchens as well as their home.”
Foo said that food preparation is a key category to focus on over Christmas, with Russell Hobbs items enjoying a 50 per cent spike at Christmas.
The intuitive Russell Hobbs Colour Control Food Preparation Collection includes a blender (20230AU, RRP $99.95), Multi Processor (20240AU RRP $149) and 3-in-1 Stick Mixer (20220AU, RRP $99.95).
Foo said this range was designed for ease of use, taking the guess work out of speed and function selection.
“The optimal number of speeds has been created to correspond to a specific food type. The products display this in a clever and unique way with a ‘light ring’ that illuminates and changes colour according to the speed selected.”
Complementing this range is the new Russell Hobbs Colour Control Breakfast Collection, which includes a toaster (920170AU, RRP $79.95) and kettle (20160AU, RRP $119). A light strip on the toaster changes colour as the toast is cooked, from just starting (blue), half way there (purple), almost done (red) and toast ready (green).
Similarly, the Colour Control Kettle features a colour light ring that indicates the water temperature as the water is both boiling and cooling down.
For George Foreman, this Christmas is all about product design that makes eating and staying healthy fuss-free.
“Good nutrition and maintaining a healthy lifestyle continues to be a key concern for consumers today,” said Monika Kamienowska product manager, home appliances, Spectrum Brands.
“However, living in an age where we can have most things at the touch of a button means consumers are looking for intuitive and ‘smart’ appliances that make meal preparation and cleaning up fast and easy.”
The George Foreman Mix & Go (GFBL300, RRP $39.95) is a personal blender that allows you to mix ingredients directly into the drink bottle. “The popularity of liquid diets continues to grow, with protein shakes, smoothies and soups all making a come-back in the kitchen. Not only are these easy to prepare but consumers can enjoy them on the go, making it simple to keep to their diet regime.”
George Foreman has taken this further, with the launch of the next generation of the Mix & Go family, the Mix & Go Pro (21820AU, RRP $79.95). With a 1.5-litre glass jug, it can be used to make large batches of liquid, or it can be swapped for a 600 millilitre drink bottle for a single serve.
Belinda Toner, product marketing manager, home appliances & whitegoods, at Panasonic, said consumers are looking for feature-packed products that offer convenience and efficiency, as well as cater to the needs of their family.
“The prominence of popular cooking shows like Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules means a rise in amateur chefs. We’re seeing a growth in compact and smaller kitchen appliances, particularly those with a number of intelligent functions to suit any lifestyle.”
Panasonic’s multipurpose machines include the Panasonic Rice Cooker (SR-DE 183 WST, RRP $159) — which not only makes different styles of rice but can also make soup, stew, broth, cakes and porridge — and the Panasonic Bread Maker (SD-2501, RRP $249) which makes spelt bread and gluten free loaves, as well as a range of jams and compotes.