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Week-end Edition - Day 2 & Day 3 - IFA International

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30 KITCHEN

30 KITCHEN LIFESTYLE

KITCHEN LIFESTYLE FRIDGES OVENS COFFEE MACHINES INNOVATIVE SMALL APPLIANCES MOST SOUGHT- AFTER KITCHEN FEATURES What are the features people are seeking in general in home appliances? According to GfK, in a survey tabled at the IFA Global Press Conference earlier this year, consumers are seeking sustainable, convenient and aspiring features in the fields of: • water and energy efficiency (the higher investment pays off after a few years), • size (more capacity), • design (e.g. stainless steel, colours, glass, shape, frameless), • convenience functions (touch control, displays, automatic dosage, NoFrost, self-clean, flexible induction). • connectivity (smart home). Kitchen is the Heart of the Smart Home The kitchen is no longer considered as separate from the rest of the home, and kitchen design increasingly reflects that fact [ By Richard Barnes ] As small and major home appliances were introduced to IFA some years back, buyers were increasingly made aware of the growing integration of electronics into modern-day kitchens. But in the past two years in particular a new phenomenon has arrived – the smart appliance. IFA Director Jens Heithecker put it aptly earlier this week when he underlined the fact that the inclusion of connectivity and intelligence in appliances gave them the ability, but not the obligation, to work together. This is perhaps a nuance to some, but it is an important factor in the growth of the sector. Indeed, ‘smartness’ had perhaps scared some people off, as they believed it might add technological complexity to products. But that’s far from the case, and manufacturers are all currently working towards more seamless and intuitive smart experiences with their products. While design and engineering are tending towards greater efficiency in terms of energy and water usage, other developments in technologies are greatly enhancing the user experience and creating differentiation factors for manufacturers. These include new generation induction hobs, steam cooking technologies, new ideas to keep food fresher longer in the fridge, and dishwashers that use less water and wash better… the list goes on. And in the field of small appliances, food and drink preparation becomes infinitely more amusing and agreeable with new generation devices – many on display for the first time at IFA. KITCHEN APPLIANCE MARKET UP 27% According to GfK, the market for kitchen machines rose in value by 27% in 2012, a figure that explains the sudden infatuation by many electronics brands for the sector. Hand blenders were up 7%, Kettles 4%, fully automatic espresso machines rose 7% and filter pad machines were up 10%. Built-in products are growing in popularity as kitchen designs change to become more in harmony with the living room. According to GfK, despite a dip in sales in 2009, there has been constant growth since then in Europe. In 2012, 28.4m units “manufacturers are all currently working towards more seamless and intuitive smart experiences with their products” were sold, a rise of 700,000 over the previous year. In 2010, 26.3m units were sold. www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Saturday 7 th & Sunday 8 th September 2013 31

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