By James Wells

SYDNEY: Sunbeam has announced it will enter the $210 million Australian gas barbecue market in September with two Australian-designed and Chinese-made models priced at $799 and $1,199.

The products, which have been developed with the assistance of celebrity chef Geoff Jansz and Sunbeam’s own research and development team, will be launched in September to take advantage of an increase in summer sales in the category.

A statement issued by Sunbeam chief executive officer, Jonathan Lord, said the launch of gas barbecues was a logical brand extension following the acceptance of the electric Kettle King and Kettle BBQ products.

Prior to launching, Lord undertook a consumer survey and found 88 per cent of respondents said they would consider
Sunbeam barbecues because they trust the brand.

“While we are an established force in the electric barbecue market with our Kettle King and Kettle BBQ, this sector represents just 5 per cent of total barbecue sales,” Lord said. 

“Gas barbecues represent 88 per cent of the overall market and our research showed there was a real gap in this area for well-designed barbecues in the mid-range $500-$1,200 segment,” he said.

Two products, to be known as Innovo, will be priced at $799 and $1,199 and have been developed to offer a range of features and benefits including innovations in the area of heat distribution to reduce the problem of hot and cold spots on the plate.

Sunbeam national sales manager, Paul Cross, told that retailers who have seen the product have been very positive.

“It’s exciting and it will be fulfilling a need in the market. We are not going to be number one in barbecues but we are just going to be a player,” Cross said.

“These barbecues have been designed in Australia for Australian conditions. We have compared our products with our competitors and taken a lot of feedback from the industry,” he said.

Lord has confirmed a major promotional budget has been set aside to launch the Innovo brand and increase the company’s awareness in the barbecue category.

Sunbeam will compete with other brands in the barbecue category including Rinnai, Masport and Shriro Australia’s locally-manufactured barbecue brand – Everdure.

Shriro Australia managing director, Mike Westrup, told the increased promotional spend is a positive step for the category.

“I am pleased that Sunbeam will be joining us to promote the category as I think it is an area that needs sales promotion. Traditionally the category has been dominated by house brands with some of the biggest names owned by Kmart, Bunnings and Barbecues Galore,” Westrup said.