By Claire Reilly

Last week, Electrolux exclusively announced to Current that it would be expanding its small appliance offering, beginning with a new capsule coffee machine produced in partnership with Lavazza, known as Lavazza A Modo Mio by Electrolux.

Following the announcement, Current spoke with the managing director of Electrolux Small Appliances, John Mahar, about the company’s move into small domestic appliances, and the thinking behind the new capule machine.

“The capsule coffee machine or espresso machine market is large, and it’s fast-growing,” said Mahar. "Certainly some of the latest stats I’ve seen suggest it’s the largest now both in volume and value in the total coffee market.

“And it’s been said that it’s certainly still very much in its infancy, so I think the growth potential is quite enormous for retail and the suppliers in that business.”

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While the capsule market is certainly booming, there is one name that looms large over the whole category – Nespresso. Mahar conceded there were other brands in the marketplace that were holding a dominant position, but that the market was far from flooded, and that Electrolux would be a strong competitor.

“That doesn’t concern us at this stage,” he said. “We have what we have and we know where we’re going with it, and we’re full steam ahead. We certainly believe we’re going to take share, and our retailer partners want us to as well.

“I think at the end of the day what we’re bringing to the category is two key things: number one, we’re bringing the passion and expertise of espresso from one of the world’s biggest roasters and biggest coffee brands, which is Lavazza. And on our side of the equation, we’re bringing not just our design and technology expertise, but also our consumer insights processed into it as well.

“The combination is a partnership, and already we’ve seen the birth of the new coffee machines that we are now delivering to the trade. So I think we’re certainly bringing a reason to be in the business, and something that is certainly appealing not just to the trade partners, but also to the consumers as well.”

At the end of the day, Mahar believes that the elegance and simplicity of Electrolux’s new machine will win favour with retailers and consumers alike.

“It’s the cafe experience that you have at home with the push of a button,” he said. “Our machine has a really nice, compact design with a small footprint. It is intuitively easy to use and is a good design that fits into today’s contemporary homes and kitchens.

“And again, with our design and technology expertise coupled with Lavazza’s expertise in espresso, we’ve got what I think is a very compelling offer to consumers.”