UPDATED: Sensational Smalls! The Ultimate Guide to Mother’s Day 2015

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Mother’s Day falls on Sunday 10 May 2015. After Christmas, it’s the second biggest sales opportunity for retailers, as the family heads out to find a perfect gift for Mum.

To prevent consumers looking elsewhere, retailers should be will be fully stocked with hot products in categories that are poised for strong seasonal growth.

  • Matching colourful small appliances remain popular and glass kettles are also on trend. Kettles that can boil to different temperatures are becoming more common.
  • Coming into winter, retailers should suggest versatile cooking appliances such as pressure cookers, soup blenders or multicookers as gift ideas. Suppliers are predicting the multifunction cooking category will continue to grow in value.
  • Bright single serve products designed for individuals make for ideal gifts at a reasonable price point and allow for eye-catching displays in-store.
  • For more gift ideas, see AR’s Mother’s Day Gift Guides for Smalls and Gadgets.

De’Longhi is continuing to borrow a concept from the fashion industry, launching an on-trend seasonal line of breakfast appliances annually. Over the last five years, the Italian brand has focused on increasing the value in breakfast sets by manufacturing a collection of complementary appliances that add a touch of glamour to the benchtop.

Through this approach De’Longhi has pumped value into what was once just a replacement market for toasters and kettles, delivering on both sell through and high ASPs above $100.

“The market is changing and we are changing it,” said category manager Helen Finlayson. “It’s now about design and capitalising on customers who are ready to update the look of their kitchen with a stylish new breakfast set.”

Launching in late March 2015 is the De’Longhi Distinta breakfast collection, which is made up of six products in four different colours: Style Copper, Future Bronze, Pure White and Elegance Black.

Distinta includes a variable temperature kettle, with five temperature settings and keep warm function; a mechanical kettle; 4-slice toaster; 2-slice toaster; manual coffee machine and milk frother.

Retailers are encouraged to display the entire range together to increase the chance of multiple sales.

UPDATED: Also with a range of colourful benchtop appliances is Smeg, which launched its first collection of small appliances last month. Designed in collaboration with Italy’s Matteo Bazzicalupo and Raffaella Mangiarotti of Deep Design Studio, the collection includes toaster, kettle, blender and signature kitchen mixer.

There are up to seven colours — silver, black, red, panna and pastel blue across the range — plus pastel green and pink for the kettles and two slice toaster.

Each of the small appliances features an enamel-coated stainless steel body and has been manufactured to the highest standards. Smeg provides a 12-month replacement warranty on all kettles and toasters, a three month replacement warranty and five year full manufacturer’s warranty on all kitchen mixers.

As well as its breakfast range De’Longhi will also be investing in benchtop cooking, launching a new larger low oil multifryer to its range in the lead up to Mother’s Day.

The MultiFry Extra Chef (RRP $449) has four automatic pre-programmed functions, a larger capacity, and a new pan setting that operates the 800-watt lower heating element independently to simulate frypan cooking. The removable mixing paddle can be used to automatically stir risottos, cous cous or stir frys, or be removed to cook pizzas, cakes, pies, or quiche.

Kenwoood’s major launch for Mother’s Day is the kCook Multi-Cooker (RRP $699), which can prepare soups, sauces, meat, fish and vegetable stews, curries and casseroles, rice dishes, steamed dishes and purees.

The accessories and attachments included in pack — chopping blade, stirring blade and steaming basket — reduce the amount of time preparing food and cleaning up afterwards by chopping, blending, stirring and cooking in one bowl. The kCook will be supported by a recipe app with 200 recipes ideas.

According to category manager Filiz Bensan, hot cooking is growing, and it’s growing across three categories.

“Within multi-cooking there are three distinct categories that are emerging and they are growing very, very fast,” Bensan said. “What we have is a kitchen machine with a cooking function for example the current Kenwood Cooking Chef, a blender with a cooking function (soup makers) and a food processor with a cooking function.”

Kenwood sees the third category, a food processor that cooks, as the one with the most potential, as consumers want versatile appliances that will save them time.

“It’s for those consumers who want something that is easy and practical to use and something that is accessible and affordable too,” Bensan said.

Braun is also launching an extremely versatile hand mixer called the MultiMix (HM3135, RRP $129), ideal for Mother’s who love to bake.

The hand mixer’s simple design is made unique by the position of the motor. Generally hand mixers have a motor in a horizontal position, Bensan explained, however, Braun positions the motor in the vertical part of the unit, which changes where the weight is in the appliance and allows for the use of multiple attachments. Included with the hand mixer is a whisk, blender shaft with beaker, and a small chopper.

Breville has offered “to do the homework” for its retail partners in the lead up to Mother’s Day to ensure stores are stocked with great gift ideas.

“Talk to your rep about which categories are growing and which ones they’re advertising and promoting this Mother’s Day — then plan your stock cover and in-store activity accordingly,” advised Richard Babekuhl, marketing manager Breville Australia.

“History shows that as the cooler months roll in, sales of cooking appliances, microwaves, kettles, toasters and coffee machines all traditionally see seasonal lifts. However, within these categories, Breville has identified several recent mix shifts that savvy retailers can capitalise on in the lead up to Mother’s Day.”

The first popular category Breville has identified is pressure cookers, which Babekuhl said grew 20 per cent in the last 12 months, led by Breville’s Fast Slow Cooker (BPR200).

After three years in development, Breville will launch the much-anticipated next generation fast slow cooker this winter, the Fast Slow Pro (BPR700BSS, RRP $349), which is being described by Breville as “love child of the Fast Slow Cooker and the Quick Touch Microwave”. The comparison with the Quick Touch Microwave comes from the inclusion of an intuitive menu system.

“What makes it so clever?,” Babekuhl asked and answered: “Imagine being able to take your favourite slow cooker recipes, program them into this one pot wonder, and have it automatically convert all of the variables into pressure cooker mode for you, so that you can serve the same delicious meals in a fraction of the time.”

For the benchtop, Breville has combined two trends, launching a glass kettle with a splash of colour.

“Glass kettles are trending, with two Breville models now in the top 10 fastest growing kettles. Why? Glass is quiet, BPA free, and makes a stylish addition to any modern kitchen.

“But what if you’d like the benefits of glass, with a splash of colour to match your toaster? Breville will be extending its range of glass kettles this Mother’s Day with the introduction of the Crystal Clear Lite in bold Cranberry and understated Black Sesame for even more choice.”

(Kenwood also has a new glass kettle (ZJG111CL, RRP $99) launching this month. A key point of difference that category manager Filiz Bensan pointed out is the Kenwood kettle’s spout isn’t made of glass, reducing the risk of smashing the kettle when filling it up in the sink.)

Thirdly, Babekuhl said snack makers, particularly for pizzas and waffles, will be popular. As such retailers should familiarise themselves with the features of Breville’s Crispy Crust (BPZ600, RRP $169) pizza maker and the new No-Mess Waffle (BWM520, RRP $149).

Kambrook has a number of novel new products for Mother’s Day 2015 designed to give Mum the ultimate breakfast in bed.

“In 2015, Kambrook predicts it’s the little things that will be big sellers for Mother’s Day. Compact living is on the rise, leading to a greater demand for products that are feature-packed and easy to store, keeping benchtops clutter free,” said senior category manager Nancy Humphreys.

“Focusing on the little things, Kambrook’s latest releases give mum a brekkie break with three products that create waffles, pancakes and a range of ‘stackable’ snacks.”

All priced below RRP $60, Kambrook’s Mother’s Day offering includes: Belgian dual waffle press (KWM200BSS, RRP $59.95), Pancake Perfect pancake-size breakfast skillet (KEF095NEU, RRP $39.95) and Stack & Snack sandwich maker (KSM210GRY, RRP $49.95).

One of the key issues affecting the small appliance market is that consumers can be overwhelmed by the number of products on the market, said Katie Berra, cooking category manager at Sunbeam. “Now more than ever consumers look for point of sale and sales people to help them navigate their choices,” she said.

Sunbeam has identified that appliances intended for use by a single individual, such as personal blenders, will remain popular and this trend will expand into other sub categories. To this end Sunbeam, will launch the GoLunch Food Warmer (HP3000, SRP$49.95), which gently warms food to 75° Celsius and is ideal for hot lunches, such as leftovers, soups and pre-prepared food, without needing a stove or microwave.

Consumers want their kettle to boil at different temperatures to make tea and they want toasters that can “fit their trendy artisan breads”, said Andrew Skehan, Sunbeam product manager, kettles and toasters. “Noise is also becoming another key feature consumers are looking at in relation to kettles.”

The KE9650 Café Series QT Kettle (RRP $159) is available in four colours, has five variable temperatures for brewing different types of tea and an LCD Display Screen showing current temperature and time to boil.

Sunbeam, through their joint venture with global consumer brand powerhouse Jarden Consumer Solutions, now has “unprecedented access” to a stable of famous American brands. The first of these brands to be introduced to Australia is Oster, a pure play blender brand.

Emma Martin-Fisher is the product marketing manager for Oster, and is keen for retailers to know that Oster is the number one blending brand in the US, based on unit sales, and has over 90 years of heritage.

Health conscious consumers have driven growth in blending, which performed strongly in 2014, on top of strong growth in 2013.

“If we look at the trends in the blending category, we’re seeing growth around 60 per cent MAT in volume and value, with the high growth sub-categories being personal blenders and premium $800-plus blenders. This growth is being driven by consumers health aspirations,” Martin-Fisher said.

There are three types of new Oster blender, starting with the hero product: the Versa (RRP $999) which has blades that reach speeds of up to 400 kilometres per hour. There are the mid-range Beehives (RRP from $229), which take their name from the unique beehive designed base and there is the FitBlend (RRP $79.95) personal blender.

The full Oster launch campaign will kick off in April 2015 and will include premium infomercial/long format TVC on national free-to-air and subscription TV. Below the line marketing will include in-store POS and retail staff training and demonstrations.

Groupe SEB is expecting a strong launch period for its new wonder machine, the Tefal Cuisine Companion, in the lead up to Mother’s Day.

Looking to challenge the dominant player in this super high end-category, the much-loved Thermomix, Tefal’s new Cuisine Companion will be sold through a pro forma agency model, similar to how Miele sells major appliances, and will initially be rolled out in only a limited number of stores.

The Cuisine Companion is the only product affected by this new retail strategy and it’s business as usual for the rest of Groupe SEB’s products, which includes the new Tefal ActiFry Express XL (RRP $449).

The newest addition to Tefal’s successful ActiFry range of low oil cookers, the Express XL has a new modern and sleek design and cooks up to 30 per cent faster than other models in the Tefal ActiFry Range. Aerodynamic air flow and electronic temperature control (reaching up to 180° Celsius) to reduce temperature variations and allow for faster cooking. Adding to the speed of the appliance, there is no preheating time.

Having acquired the distribution of Morphy Richards late last year, Glen Dimplex is working to clear the current stock it has inherited and start to expand the range with new products and categories, said Stacey Pogorecki, product and marketing coordinator, who joined the Glen Dimplex team from GAF Control late last year.

For Mother’s Day, the Morphy Richards offering includes a Red Accents Traditional Pyramid Kettle (102004, RRP $119) and Red Accents 4 Slice Toaster (242020, RRP $119).

“Colour is still big in small kitchen appliances, and there are coloured appliances in nearly every store you visit,” Pogorecki said. “We feel the standard colours — black, white and stainless steel — are going to make a strong comeback, showcasing the design and style of the kettle, rather than just a pop of colour.”

At this time of year, Pogorecki advises retailers capitalise on consumers’ willingness to pay more for appearance.

“With high-end kettles and toasters especially, there is always an opportunity to upsell or cross-sell. When the look of the appliance is more important than the cost, generally, the customer wants these products as a showpiece on their benchtop. Try to group matching kettles and toasters together, to take full advantage of the cross-selling opportunity.”

Another colourful contender for Mother’s Day is the SodaStream Play (RRP $99), which is designed by Yves Béhar and is available in six vibrant colours: yellow, grey, blue, black, red and white.

“Two current issues that consumers face in the small appliance category are space and choice. Within this category, we are continuing to see a healthy rate of innovation, particularly around the ‘quick meal and on-the-go’ segment with products such as the Nutribullet,” said Myles Anceschi, regional managing director at SodaStream Australia.

“Secondly, consumers are constantly faced with choices driven by utility, space and the suitability of an appliance for their kitchen palette. Future trends will be driven by these challenges, with a greater requirement for fresh, innovative colours to match individual preference and also more desire for ‘multi’ functioning machines (and potential for premium spending) to utilise space more efficiently in the kitchen.”

Anceschi recommends emphasising the ability to customise drinks with different flavours, the environmentally-friendly aspect of reusing bottles, and the convenience of being able to do it at home.

Chris Nedelkos is the product manager for home appliances at Spectrum Brands, which distributes Russell Hobbs and George Foreman. He said retailers should maximise sales in the benchtop cooking category as the temperature drops. Heading into winter Russell Hobbs’ offering includes the Express Chef Pressure Cooker (RHPC1000, RRP $129) and Searing Slow Cooker (RHSC650, RRP $99.95).

“This is an ideal time to think about the product range on shelf and whether it is the right selection for their customers,” Nedelkos said. “Customers are always out to find new ways of making life easier in the kitchen, and these benchtop cooking appliances certainly do that.”

To help with sell through Nedelkos recommends floor staff familiarise themselves with what these products can do and the range of meals they can prepare.

“Marry together an understanding of the features of each products and of the customer’s needs and this will lead the consumer and sales staff to the right product. The Russell Hobbs packaging and point-of-sale assists greatly in the department.”

“Having the right product mix on the shelf is certainly one of the most important things for retailers to remember. It enables the sales team to work with the customer to help them select the right product for their needs. If the range is limited, consumers will source the products elsewhere.”

George Foreman will be adding to the Mix & Go family this Mother’s Day after the initial success of the personal blender.

“As the market leader in personal blending, the Mix & Go has been sold to over 300,000 households Australia-wide,” Nedelkos said.

George Foreman will launch a new accessory, Mix & Go Health Mill (GFBLHM1, RRP$14.95), a compact and powerful grinder that fits directly onto the George Foreman Mix & Go personal blender. It can be used to make pesto, grind spices, crush nuts and mix salad dressings.

Electrolux is banking on the extensive consumer researching that goes into its product design and development will set it apart in the competitive small appliance category.

Electrolux Masterpiece Collection launched in October 2014 consists of a blender (EBR9804S, RRP $399), a food processor (EFP9804S, RRP $599) and an immersion blender (ESTM9804S, RRP $199).

“For the time being, we are keeping to a limited product offering, ensuring that all products we launch are bringing something new to the market, which in turn will help retailers retain value in the small domestic appliances market,” said Michelle Rossier marketing manager, Electrolux small appliances.

“The future of small appliances lies in a stronger focus on benefits for consumers. The cooking enthusiasts and aspiring chefs are looking for quality products that assist them in becoming a master chef while entertaining guests. They are looking for reliable appliances to achieve professional results at home while still being easy to use.”

Aquaport national sales and marketing manager Mathew Kiley believes adventurous cooks are looking for restaurant quality appliances.

“We have seen a trend that seems to be growing year by year towards appliances that bring professional cooking methods into the home kitchen,” he said. “These products simplify creating gourmet restaurant-style meals, making replication of restaurant quality food easily achievable in a domestic setting and it takes away any pre-conceived notion that professional cooking methods, such as sous vide, is difficult to achieve at home without a large, expensive machine.”

The ProAppliances family includes the Sous Vide Pro, Juice Pro, Blend Pro Air Fryer Pro and Pasta Pro ranges.

Also in Aquaport’s wheelhouse is the Cli-Mate Air Washer, which is asthma friendly and adds a fresh fragrance to the room via included aroma oils. Avaialble in purple, navy, blue, red, ice, green and lime.

The kitchen machines category is growing in volume and increasing in value, said Jonathan Peart, Bosch national sales manager.

“Consumers are looking for premium kitchen machines that offer quality, performance and convenience. With an increasing trend towards apartment style living, space is at a premium. Kitchen machines offer consumers the added benefit of significantly reducing clutter in already small living spaces without the compromise of performance,” Peart said.

Bosch’s latest kitchen machine is the MUM5Pro (MUM57860AU, RRP $699), which now has three new accessories: the professional flexi stirring whisk, professional beating whisk and three reversible supercut discs.

“With a large range and multiple functions, shopping for kitchen machines can leave consumers overwhelmed and confused with choice,” Peart said.

Peart recommends using clean, concise and eye-catching in-store displays and promoting the product’s accessories to help consumers with their choice.

Panasonic has also been busily expanding its small appliance range, last year launching a range of juicers and stick mixers to join its breadmaker and rice cooker.

“In the kitchen, consumers want feature-packed products that offer convenience and efficiency, as well as cater to the needs of their family,” said Belinda Toner, product marketing manager, home appliances and whitegoods.

“The prominence of popular cooking shows has meant a rise in amateur chefs. We’re seeing growth in compact, smaller kitchen appliances, particularly those with a number of intelligent functions to suit any lifestyle.

“Kitchens are increasingly becoming a focal point with the increase in eating in, and the popularity of cooking programs only further fuelling the trend.”

The message from Sharp is also about convenience. “Products which are practical and make life easier will continue to be popular in the kitchen, particularly as consumers become more adventurous and are looking to produce professional, restaurant-style meals for their families, which are also packed full of nutritional goodness,” a spokesperson said.

Sharp’s latest range of microwave ovens and Steamwave products have been designed to match current cooking habits and kitchen design trends.

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