By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY: Groupe SEB Australia celebrated its 10 year anniversary on Friday 4 April with the company growing 362 per cent from the initial 13 employees throughout  Australia and New Zealand.

The company incorporated in 1998 and its first head office was based in Gladesville, NSW with 13 employees, including Chris de Veyrac as the managing director.

Wivina Chaneliere is the current managing director and the company now employs over 60 staff across Australia and New Zealand. Groupe SEB Australia also offers a portfolio of high profile brands across a number of key cookware and electrical categories — Tefal, Jamie Oliver Professional Series by Tefal, All-Clad, Krups and Moulinex.

“Since taking responsibility in 2005 it has been quite a journey,” said Wivina Chaneliere.

“We have launched a number of great brands; have expanded into the New Zealand market, and recorded double digit growth over the past 10 years.

“A lot of we have achieved is a reflection of our fantastic and loyal staff and the strong support of our retail partners. I am very proud of the great achievements of the Australian and New Zealand teams, who have and continue to show a lot of passion and talent. I am happy to be apart of this journey and hope it will continue for many years to come.”

Groupe SEB’s history in the Australian market has been marked by a number of key milestones. In 1998 the company launched its range of steam generators and the company advised that it retains the number one market position.

In 2004, Groupe SEB launched the Aquaspeed range of Irons. The Aquaspeed steam iron was designed with a stable, lightweight and completely open heel. Within the open heel is a large filling inlet through which the water reservoir can be filled quickly and conveniently.

In 2002, Groupe SEB acquired the Moulinex and Krups brands. In 2005 the Odacio range was launched and according to reports was regarded as one of the most advanced food processors on the market by incorporating a touch pad feature on the controls to enable pre-programming functions. Then in 2006, the OptiPro hand blender was launched.

In 2006 the new Krups range of fully automatic coffee machines was successfully launched and according to Groupe SEB, was very well accepted by the market. In the same year the Krups Compact Espresseria Pro XP7240 was awarded the Home Beautiful ‘Luxury’ award for small kitchen appliances for its compact design, innovation and ease of use.

Tefal is recognised as the brand that created the non-stick cookware category and according to Groupe SEB is the world leader in non-stick cookware.

In a company statement, Groups SEB said, “Tefal, an industry benchmark, sets the standard in non-stick coating technology and offers consumers a wide variety of cookware and renowned for its unique Thermospot heat indicator launched in 2001. Only Tefal non-stick cookware has Thermo-Spot, a unique patterned red spot in the centre of the frying pan that changes to solid red when the pan is perfectly pre-heated and ready to cook. By monitoring pre-heating using Thermo-Spot, cooking can start without the empty pan overheating for successful cooking every time.”

In 2004, Tefal and one of the world’s most high-profile celebrity chefs, Jamie Oliver, joined forces to create the Jamie Oliver Professional Series of professional cookware products for the home kitchen.

“The first set of pots and pans I ever owned were Tefal and they’re still knocking about somewhere,” said Oliver. “That’s how good they are! It’s a real pleasure to work with a company that is passionate about developing good quality cooking equipment. Tefal make cooking easier for cooks all over the world, whether they are working in a restaurant like Fifteen or at home cooking up dinner.”

In 2006, Jamie Oliver visited Australia for the first time in five years for the world premiere of his new live show Jamie Oliver ‘Live’. Tefal was the major sponsor of the sell-out Jamie Oliver Live Shows in Sydney and Melbourne. Jamie’s Australian visit also saw the most popular chef open Fifteen restaurant in Melbourne and film the cooking show documentary ‘Jamie’s Kitchen Australia’.

Meanwhile, in 2005 Group SEB strengthened its cookware offer with the launch of All-Clad, a premium-range cookware range from the USA. The All-Clad Stainless series of cookware bonds a thick core of three separate layers of aluminum between a highly polished 18/10 stainless steel cooking surface and a magnetic stainless steel exterior. The aluminum core retains heat and evenly distributes it along the bottom and up the sidewalls of the cookware, all the way up to the lip of the utensil. The range is distributed through specialist retailers only.

In 2008 Groupe SEB Australia became the new the Gold Sponsor of the French Film Festival for the next three years. The festival is one of the largest and most popular film festivals in Australia and has a very strong following. It continues a strong 15 year tradition in screening popular French Films.

“This year the event proved to be highly successful with a record number of attendances across all states. We feel that this sponsorship will reinforce the quality and innovation of the Tefal brand well into the future,” said Chaneliere.

“I am very proud of the great achievements of Australian and New Zealand teams who have and continue to show a lot of passion and talent,” Chaneliere added.