The Magazine of The Electrical Goods Industry www.gcmagazine.co.uk
INSIDE: THE WORD A look at a month of highs and lows in the world of electricals
GEORGE COLE GETS CONNECTED Another upgrade to the Wi-Fi standard and the launch of the first Wi-Fi 6 products
FROM THE BENCH Alan Bennett on servicing power supply circuits
INTEGRAL COOKING SUPPLEMENT Where the sector is goingâ€¦
Built-in and Freestanding Cooking
The Gourmet Quarter Manufacturers showcase products
BOIL. SIMMER. FRY. PRECISION AT YOUR FINGERTIPS.
Introducing the SensePro® Hob from AEG Take induction cooking to the next level with AEG’s new SensePro® Hob. With the world’s first wireless and battery-free food probe, it ensures perfectly accurate temperature control, giving you professional results, every time. Launching in May 2019 Available at selected retailers across the UK. Discover more:
INSIDE... 4 6
Editorial Comment The Word In and around the industry
George Cole Gets Connected W-Fi gets an upgrade, and the PVR problem is investigated further
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Cooking Appliances A 21st century look at what’s working today in a 2-million-years-old domestic activity
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“Twelve months ago in this column we were discussing the high street cycles that led to big cinemas closing in the 1960s, to be taken over by big departmental stores, which are now in turn closed or closing, to be taken over by cinemas, gyms, bowling alleys… What’s been happening since?
he “big beasts” of the high street how the small businesses of Wolverhampton – continue to suffer. Debenhams’ which has suffered a lot of economic blows over shareholders have voted for a Company the past months – thrive alongside their giant Voluntary Arrangement, putting the chain in mentor. the hands of a lenders’ consortium while it One of the constant themes of our carries out plans to close stores and negotiate commentary on what’s happening in bricksrent cuts, slimming down its aging and overand mortar retail is to look at the credentials large store estate. M&S is also struggling to and motivation of those who now own our high “modernise” and restructure in an environment street retail outlets. It’s a fair bet that if a vain, where overall retail presence is just too much. self-promoting “entrepreneur”, or a private Meanwhile, the British Retail Consortium equity firm, or a “retail turnaround specialist” reports shop vacancy rates rose to a four-year organisation is involved, it’s not going to end high in April while footfall suffered another well. Getting rich is what these entities care year-on-year drop, despite the rise in Easter most about, and that may well mean that footfall which benefitted the high when retail isn’t producing the riches, street particularly. Michael asset-stripping, closures and the Schirrmacher, MD UK of abandonment of staff and their digital experience platform pension rights will follow. “Sir Philip Green Bloomreach, commented There is nothing wrong has dropped out of the on the figures: “There with being rich, as long as billionaire bracket and are no two ways about the money is generated it, physical retail space is now merely a multiby doing good business is becoming less cost and not by taking it from millionaire after his £1.5 effective. Fewer people those who already have billion fortune halved are entering bricks-andinfinitely less of it. in a year...” mortar stores every month Finally, the saddest news so the pressure to maintain of the month: The Sunday profit increasingly depends Times Rich List reveals that on the virtual world. This raises Sir Philip Green has dropped out big questions for management around of the billionaire bracket and is now how they can make the most of both spheres.” merely a multi-millionaire after his £1.5 billion With the synergy between digital and fortune halved in a year. This is the first time physical retail being cited as a 21st century since 2002 that Sir Philip has fallen out of the necessity, we are hearing that Ebay has set top bracket of the UK’s super-rich, and we all up a “pop-up shop” in Wolverhampton as part feel his pain. Not to mention Lady Green, who of the Retail Revival scheme aimed at helping may never again draw the biggest dividend small businesses grow through Ebay’s powerful (£1.2 billion) in corporate history, or have the digital reach. 40 small businesses participating convenience of not paying tax on it because she in the Retail Revival scheme have been invited lives on the south coast of France. to showcase their products for a month in the We can’t just ignore the desperate plight of premises on Railway Drive. Ebay UK VP Rob people who have done as much as they have Hattrell said: “The small retailers taking part in for UK retail, so Get Connected is starting a Wolverhampton’s Retail Revival have already campaign – “Make Sir Philip a Billionaire Again.” shown that physical and online retail can survive We want everyone to dig deep to alleviate their – and thrive – together. They have achieved suffering. We’ll be starting with an appeal to the more than £2 million in sales as of March and 11,000 people who lost their jobs and faced a many have employed more staff as a direct £571 million deficit in their pension fund when result of the partnership. This pop-up store BHS collapsed. We believe they, more than aims to take that growth, and the value of this anyone, will feel what the Greens are going programme, to the next level.” We’ll be watching through.
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Marlinda Conway Editor in Chief
Terry Heath Editorial & Publishing Director
Will Dobson Creative Director
James McIntosh Consumer Consultant
George Cole Consumer Electronics Consultant
SUNSHINE SNOOKERS APRIL RETAIL SALES THE LATEST ELECTRICAL GOODS INDUSTRY NEWS
CONSUMERS KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON AMID WESTMINSTER WRANGLING
onsumer confidence remained stable for the third consecutive month in April, regardless of the UK’s unsettling political situation and continuing Parliamentary plotting and dissent. Although still in negative territory at -13, the status quo was maintained for another month due to a rise in the General
“Consumers are holding firm and remain unshaken by the daily headlines of turmoil and intrigue, although we remain in negative territory”
Economic Situation offsetting a fall in the Personal Finances and Major Purchases Indices. Surprisingly, confidence in the economic situation over the last 12 months rose three points, and the outlook for the coming 12 increased by two points. Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director at GfK, said: “Consumers are holding firm and remain unshaken by the daily headlines of turmoil and intrigue, although we remain in negative territory. “The biggest change is a sudden drop in the motivation to save money. This is down by eight points and represents the largest monthly drop in our savings measure since after the Brexit referendum in June 2016.” Staton added that a further two-point drop in the measure on Major Purchases, which reflects consumers’ enthusiasm for the purchase of big-ticket items, suggests more challenges in the near future, at least for the retail sector.
NON-FOOD PRICES FALL BACK INTO DEFLATIONARY TERRITORY
substantial increase in discounting during April resulted shop price inflation decelerating to 0.4% from 0.9% in March, above the 12-month average inflation of 0.1%. Non-food fell back into deflationary territory as prices decreased by 0.6%, while food inflation decelerated to 2.2%, down from 2.5% in March. According to the British Retail Consortium, April saw a significant pickup in promotional activity. The number of both food and non-food discounted product lines more than doubled compared to both last year and the previous month.
“For a while now we have observed a shift in promotional behaviour whereby retailers are trading depth for breadth, with more lines on promotion but shallower price cuts,” said BRC Chief Executive Helen Dickinson. She added that the discounting is testimony to shoppers’ reluctance to spend and to the intense competition within the industry. Mike Watkins, Head of Retailer and Business Insight at Nielsen, said many households are still cautious about spending and he expects promotions to continue over the summer months to help the sales momentum.
etail sales appeared to perform well in April, but the underlying picture when the Easter distortion was corrected (Easter fell in March last year) showed the result fell below expectations. Total sales increased by 4.1%, against a decrease of 3.1% in April 2018, but the 2-year average, which gives a more accurate assessment given the timing of Easter, showed growth of just 0.4%, a slowdown from the March equivalent of 0.9%. Like-for-like sales were even more disappointing. An increase of 3.7% against a fall of 4.2% from the preceding year translated into a 2-year average of -0.3%. British Retail Consortium Chief Executive Helen Dickinson said the sunshine over the Easter weekend persuaded many to pursue recreational rather than retail activities. Online sales of non-food products grew 4.3%, against growth of 6.7% in April 2018. The 2-year average was 5.5% per annum, in line with March’s 5.4% but below the 12-month average of 6.2%. “Online accounted for a little under 30% of all non-food sales, and we expect this proportion to continue to rise,” said Dickinson. “Nonetheless, the pace of growth has slowed over the course of the year despite the investment that many stores have made in their digital offering.” Paul Martin, Partner, UK Head of Retail at KPMG, commented on the balancing act facing retailers: “April may have eased the strain on retailers somewhat, but we can’t overlook the fact that the new tax year also presents retailers with additional costs ranging from increased minimum wages to additional pension contributions. “The task of balancing sales and a profitable margin remains crucial, especially given the widespread promotional activity currently.”
HIGH STREET BECOMES EASTER’S FOOTFALL WINNER
ot weather during the Easter break brought a significant uplift in retail footfall, particularly for the high street. Although not all visits may have translated into sales (see retail sales article on this page), according to footfall analyst Springboard, overall shopper numbers rose 6.5% on Good Friday, 1.2% on the Saturday and 8.4% by 12pm on Easter Monday – a strong contrast to Easter 2018, when respective declines of 2.4%, 3.0% and 9.8% were recorded. On Friday and Saturday, all of the rise was due to an increase in high street activity, where numbers rose by 19.1% on Good Friday and 8.8% on Easter Saturday, against a respective decline of 9.6% and 6.9% last year. But the good weather didn’t bring good news for all retail destinations. Footfall in shopping centres fell 11% on Good Friday and 11.8% on Easter Saturday.
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LOEWE IN SECOND SELFADMINISTRATION PROCESS Loewe Technologies GmbH is using a form of self-administration available under the German legal system due to its current restructuring process being hindered by the impact of continuing weakness in the television market. “Loewe’s business
he company said its relevant market segment in the upper price range declined by 20% in the current quarter, and it has therefore decided to accelerate the further restructuring of the business as part of its strategy for the future. This is the second self-administration for the German manufacturer. In 2013 it was placed into the insolvency process to protect it from creditors and give the business three months to find new investors. Commenting on this recent move, Loewe CEO Ralf Vogt said: “Loewe’s business operations will continue without restrictions during the reorganisation. We can execute all customer orders on schedule and will also settle our supplier liabilities arising during the process.” The wages and salaries of the more than
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Vogt commented that the 500 employees are continue without business’s strategy is beginning secured during the restrictions during the to show that it has turned a corner. restructuring phase, reorganisation...” “But we have to acknowledge that the company said. we needed to implement at a faster The news follows an pace than we had assumed at the announcement in March beginning of the year. this year that the Loewe “Nothing changes in the cornerstones of our production facility in Kronach, future concept but due to the market weakness Germany was to become an independent entity in the premium segment we now require the following a tie-up with Japanese Toyoichi Tsusho protection that self-administration affords to Co. Ltd., “a reliable and financially strong partner complete our restructure plan.” to further boost Loewe’s competitiveness and Loewe’s plan includes a growing focus on internationalisation,” the company said. Future international partnerships such as its wellplans of the business’s management, and established alliances with the Chinese company strategic reorganisation of the Loewe Group, Hisense and Korean display supplier LG Display, were regarded by Toyoichi to provide “a strong and extensive co-operation with Toyoichi. platform for success.”
AMAZON ANNOUNCES NEW EAST MIDLANDS FULFILMENT CENTRE Amazon has announced plans to open a new fulfilment centre in Kegworth, East Midlands, and will begin recruitment for more than 500 new permanent jobs.
he retailer said the move will further increase its product selection and support more third-party sellers under its Fulfilment by Amazon programme. Kegworth will be the fifth Amazon fulfilment centre in the Midlands and will be joined by facilities in Coalville, Daventry, Rugeley and Rugby, which will open later this year. Stefano Perego, Amazon’s Vice President of UK Customer Fulfilment, said; “We are delighted to expand our operations in the East Midlands. With capacity to expand our workforce to over 1,000 permanent positions in the future, this new team will play a crucial role in delivering a first-rate level of service for our customers.”
HOOVER CANDY OPENS WARRINGTON OFFICE AND SHOWROOM
oover Candy has opened a 12,000 sq ft office with 2,500 sq ft showroom in Warrington, Cheshire, a location chosen for its convenient transport links and proximity to the company’s spares and service centre in Bolton. The facility is sited at Bridgewater Place on Birchwood Park, a large commercial complex housing in excess of 160 companies. “302 Bridgewater Place has been designed to provide maximum efficiencies for the business,” the company said. The 2,500 sq ft showroom features Hoover’s ‘Kitchen of the Future’ installation with smart appliances and a virtual reality experience. It also incorporates
appliances from Hoover Candy’s built-in, freestanding and floorcare divisions. The focal point of the space is a live kitchen with Hoover cooking, cooling and dishwashing appliances. The facility officially opened in April with Yannick Fierling and Semmy Levit, CEO and CCO of Haier Europe, Hoover Candy Group’s parent company, in attendance. “The new office is easily accessible by road, rail and air for staff, customers, suppliers and international employees and is a real step-change in the quality of accommodation and environment people are used to,” said David Meyerowitz, CEO of Hoover Candy Group UK.
LINN OPENS FLAGSHIP CONCESSION IN HARRODS Glasgow-based hi-fi manufacturer Linn has opened a flagship concession in the newly redeveloped Technology Department of Harrods in Knightsbridge. he prominently placed zone is located on the 5th floor and offers a selection of Linn’s highperformance music systems at prices ranging from £2,500 upwards. Conversant staff are on hand to guide customers through the product range, providing demonstrations in a dedicated listening room and advising on the ideal solution for each individual.
A team of skilled installers will finish the job by ensuring the systems are set up in the customer’s home to guarantee the best look and sound quality. Linn said the concession is expected to increase brand awareness by exposing it to a new audience who may not be aware of the possibilities for high-quality music systems for the home.
Keeping Life Colourful
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MIDWICH CONTINUES ACQUISITION TRAIL
XT E N R RW IFA
M UT T
AV distributor Midwich has acquired the entire issued share capital of AV Partner AS, a Norwegian value-added distributor of audio-visual products based in Oslo.
he business has a market-leading position in the Norwegian projection market, and more recently has built a growing displays business through exclusive distribution of Vestel. It has also moved into bigger premises with dedicated warehousing and demonstration facilities. AV Partner AS was founded in 2010 by Tore Moe, with Arne Norum joining as Chairman in 2014. Both will continue to lead the business as part of the Group alongside Managing Director Olav Frank Dallas. The acquisition marks Midwich’s entry into Norway and the wider Nordic region, increasing its coverage of the European AV market.
NORTH WEST ELECTRICALS FIRM RECEIVES £21M EXPANSION FUNDING
igan-based electricals distributor Matchstick Men Group has received a funding package worth £21.5 million, an investment it anticipates will help boost Group turnover by 30% and create up to 100 new jobs across its three divisions: G2S, Product Care, and Design and Trade. Matchstick Men Group was established in 2009 and has a turnover in excess of £50 million. The Group will use the funding to double the size of its palletised storage and distribution facility for the G2S division, which provides one-stop-shop product sourcing and supply solutions for retailers, and to drive investment into its Product Care division, which provides home delivery and installation services. This includes plans to expand its existing fleet of delivery vans and recruit up to 60 new home delivery technicians across its North West and Midlands distribution centres. The investment will allow the
Group to scale up its delivery and installation offering to retailers, as well as facilitating expansion into the housing rental sector. Lewis Moore, Finance Director at the Group (pictured left), said: “We’ve seen a strong demand not only from the major retailers but also from our wider customer base for our products and more recently for the wraparound services that complement those products. “With this in mind we are investing in infrastructure and people to enhance these services. Underpinning this is the strategic investment we’ll be making into growing the capabilities of Product Care, strengthening our end-to-end customer offering.” Moore added that the Group is now ideally placed to achieve its growth ambitions both in the UK and Europe. Matchstick Men Group employs 132 people at its Wigan HQ, 26 at its distribution site in Daventry and 10 at its office in China.
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SHOW OF STRENGTH FROM CHINESE CE BRANDS AT IFA PRESS FORUM
A series of “power briefings” at the IFA Global Press Conference in April provided a brief look at some of the key innovations that will be officially presented at IFA 2019, which takes place in Berlin from 6th to 11th September.
ens Heithecker, Executive Vice President Messe Berlin Group and IFA Executive Director, opened the Industry Power Briefings with this statement: “This is the ‘coast of light’. This weekend we want to capture some of the bright lights of the industry.” Some of the highlights that may be of interest to UK consumer electronics retailers were presented by the three Chinese companies TCL, Haier and Hisense, all of which are strengthening their presence in European markets – Haier and Hisense through acquisition.
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This is what the three businesses had to say:
TCL TCL outlined its ambitions to become a major player in Europe across the categories of TV, audio and air-conditioning over the next three years. Marek Maciejewski, Product Development Director, TCL Europe, said that the business is aiming for a top three position in Europe by 2020 and the top three positions for audio and air-conditioning by 2022. He added that the company is moving into more countries, starting with the Netherlands in May, followed by Portugal, the Republic of Ireland, Switzerland, Austria and countries in the Balkan region. New TCL TVs will feature mini-LED in 1,000 zones – that’s 20,000 LEDs – while its superslim TV is less than 1cm thick. In July, TCL Europe will launch its first collection of headphones, four ranges in total, as well as a standalone soundbar. Frederic Langin, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, TCL Europe, noted that the European business grew 43% in 2018, and he singled out its growth in Germany (50%) and market share in France (10%).
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The IFA 2019 Global Press Conference is the first official press event attended by Haier Europe CEO Yannick Fierling after the recent acquisition of the Candy Hoover Group.
During his presentation, Fierling highlighted Haier’s intent to serve a wide range of consumer targets thanks to its multi-brand strategy. Currently ranked fifth in Western Europe in terms of combined revenues, Haier aims to become one of the top three Groups in 2022. Haier has already been the world’s No. 1 in home appliances for ten consecutive years, building its success on a strategic commitment to innovation, branding, R&D and intelligent manufacturing.
HISENSE GORENJE (DACH) Julian Lietzau, Marketing Director, Hisense Gorenje (DACH), announced that the company’s sponsorship of the Euro 2020 championship will feature both the Hisense and Gorenje brands, running across the company’s TVs, refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, smart phones, tablets, air conditioning and SDA product categories. The sponsorship also includes brand logos on the score boards at all matches and Hisense will be the exclusive supplier of display technology in stadia throughout the tournament. Lietzau also used the Conference to present the new Hisense U9 ULED Premium TV series, which will be launched at IFA in September. “This is a quantum leap towards what’s next,” he said. “With 33,177,600 pixels, the 75U9E is one of the highest resolution TVs made today.”
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EXCLUSIVELY 2019 TO FEATURE MORE THAN 275 BRANDS
xclusively Housewares & Exclusively Electrical 2019, which takes place on 11th and 12th June at the Business Design Centre in London, has attracted 32 new exhibitors this year, bringing the show total to 149 exhibitors and more than 275 brands. Among the new brands at Exclusively Electrical are Cleva, Ritterwerk, SodaStream, Connect/Samsung, Smartwares and Scott Brothers/Honeywell. Lindsey Hoyle, Sales Director, Exclusively Shows, said: “This year we have some very exciting introductions to the show from both the UK and Europe. Buyers on a mission to seek newness will not be disappointed – from in-store experiences to clever gadgets and more environmentally conscious product than we have ever seen before, the show will be a fantastic start to range-planning and buying for the fourth quarter and into 2020.” Exhibitors with products displaying eco-credentials has emerged as a positive trend at this year’s event. 25% are showcasing products with eco-qualities stated as “biodegradable”, “earth friendly”, “minimal impact on the environment” and “made with recycled materials”. As in past years, the heart of the business carried out at shows remains that of Housewares, tabletop and small domestic appliances, the latter being offered by 30 exhibitors, the majority of whom will be in Exclusively Electrical. For further details of exhibitors and products: www.exclusivelyshows.co.uk
TOP DOG BEKO WINS ‘BEST IN SHOW’ Beko Plc UK and Ireland won Best in Show for its stand at this year’s Euronics Showcase, which took place in April at Birmingham’s NEC. The stand included new appliances from Blomberg, the Beko brand exclusive to Euronics agents. Steve Naylor, Channel Manager Independents at Beko Plc UK and Ireland, said: “We are delighted to have won the best stand award at the Euronics Show. The layout and design really helped us to deliver the messages we wanted for all of the new products we were showing across our three brands on show”
SHORTCUTS Exertis has announced an agreement with SMART Worldwide Ltd to distribute the company’s SMART Retro and SMART Modern ranges of small kitchen appliances to retailers in the UK and selected European countries. The distributor has also partnered with MPL Home to supply the firm’s CRUX SDA range (See page 15 of the Product Gallery in this issue). Connect Distribution has launched a 374-page full-colour Spring/ Summer catalogue which will supplement its annual Autumn/Winter edition to give independents access to the best deals and the latest product ranges all year round. Tefal is supporting its OptiGrill+ with a 6-week multi-level digital media campaign, with activity including Facebook, YouTube and Instagram underpinned by a broad range of in-store point-of-sale material.
Beko has received the BT Sport Industry ‘Individual or Team Partnership’ Award for its Eat Like a Pro campaign run in association with FC Barcelona and UNICEF. #EatLikeAPro achieved visibility worldwide and reached its €1m target in just 11 days. Sharp Home Appliances has entered into a Europe-wide partnership with dishwasher detergent brand Finish to offer a complimentary detergent kit with its built-in and freestanding dishwashers. Whirlpool’s freestanding 4-door fridge freezer (WQ9 B1L) with 6TH SENSE® FreshLock technology has received a 2019 Red Dot design award. Appliance brand Hoover has been awarded Consumer Superbrands status for 2019. GDHA has appointed former Sharp Home Appliances Sales & Marketing Director Andy Warren as Head of Channel for Kitchen Specialists.
MAJOR CONSUMER PROMOTIONAL INVESTMENT FOR STOVES
HOOVER INTRODUCES STICKVAC-CUM-FITNESS-TRACKER
DHA has invested in its Stoves brand with a full programme of activity throughout 2019 and a six-figure outlay in consumer advertising and marketing. Stoves is to launch an inclusive digital marketing and print advertising campaign targeting national news supplements and home & lifestyle magazines, supported by its partnership with cookery theatre provider Chefs on Stage. The brand’s appliances will be used in Stoves Cookery Theatres at more than 60 regional food events across the UK. Stoves is also sponsoring The Hairy Bikers’ 2019 UK tour and has supplied appliances to London’s Tart bakery and coffee shop for use in its workshops and cookery classes.
oover has launched a WiFi cordless stick vacuum cleaner that promises no loss of suction and can monitor the number of calories burned while in use.
The H-Free 800 multifunctional appliance with removable handheld offers a “hyper powerful performance” throughout its 35-minute runtime due to a 220W brushless motor, Hoover’s unique HSpin-Core+ technology and a large exhaust filter. The unit switches easily between different types of floors and offers a Turbo boost option to maximise suction power. It also has a continuous power mode which helps prevent
‘trigger finger’ and comes with a range of accessories including a turbo brush, a radiator tool and up-to-top adaptor for reaching above shelving. The H-Free 800 can be monitored through Hoover’s Wizard app, which provides statistics, maintenance information, product hints/tips and additional settings, and allows users to check the battery status, when it was last used and for how long. It also acts as a fitness tracker (of a sort!) as it monitors the number of calories the user burns while vacuuming. Commercial gimmick or genuine benefit? Catrin Davies, senior product manager at Hoover SDA, said the feature can complement the user’s exercise regime.
GEORGE COLE GETS CONNECTED GEORGE COLE PINPOINTS HOTSPOTS IN THE WORLD OF CONSUMER ELECTRONICS
WI-FI – YOUR NUMBER’S UP Six years doesn’t seem like a long time, but when it comes to technology, it’s an age. Hence the arrival of another upgrade to the Wi-Fi standard this year and the launch of the first Wi-Fi 6 products…
i-Fi 6? In the past, Wi-Fi speed standards have had rather ungainly names. The first – launched in 1999 – was known as 802.11b. The one before last, published in 2013, was 802.11ac. Last year, the Wi-Fi Association decided that the standards needed a catchier name and so 802.11b became Wi-Fi 1 and 802.11ac, Wi-Fi 5. For those who prefer the old style moniker, Wi-Fi 6 is termed 802.11ax. The upgrade to the standard is essential because the home and the entertainment landscape have changed so much in the past six years. Many homes have far more Wi-Fi-enabled products these days, from laptops to PVRs, and Smart TVs to Smart speakers. Streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon have mushroomed and are set to be joined by services offered by Apple, Disney and the joint ITV/BBC service Britbox. Wi-Fi 6 offers various benefits over previous Wi-Fi standards including: faster data speeds (up to 9.6 Gbps compared with 3.5 Gbps for Wi-Fi 5); greater security (it uses a stronger encryption system called WPA3); and a smarter and more efficient data distribution system called Mu-MIMO, which stands for Multi-user, multiple-input, multiple-output technology. Most routers can only communicate with one device at a time, so every device on a Wi-Fi network has to wait its turn. But Wi-Fi Mu-MIMO routers will be able to communicate with up to eight different devices simultaneously.
ast month I reported on how my PVRs were missing recordings, especially on BBC channels. I reckoned that something was wrong with the Accurate Recording (AR) system, which transmits metadata along with the programme. The PVR uses AR metadata to stop and start recordings, and also for features such as Series Link, where a single setting will automatically record all the following programmes in a series. I contacted the PVR manufacturer, Freeview and the BBC to find out more about the problem (which is also widely reported on various online user forums). Alas, the BBC and Freeview did not bother to reply, but the manufacturer released a
The first Wi-Fi 6 routers are expected this year and will be backwards compatible with devices using previous Wi-Fi standards. Consumers will have to wait for a new generation of Wi-Fi products to emerge before they can get the full benefits of Wi-Fi 6. Expect to see a raft of Wi-Fi 6-compatible Smart TVs, Smart speakers and other products later this year.
short statement: “The BBC has recently changed the way it manages its metadata, which has led to some issues for TV recorders that were already set up to record BBC content. These issues are affecting a number of TV platforms. The BBC is currently working to fix the problem.” From what I have gleaned through my investigations, it seems that the BBC used to outsource its broadcast metadata service, but has recently taken it back in-house. It seems that there was some tweaking with the metadata and hence the mess. In the past few weeks, things have improved in terms of the number of lost recordings, but many viewers are still reporting: recordings starting
“Wi-Fi 6 off ers various ben efits over previous W i-Fi standa rds including: fa ster data speeds (up to 9.6Gbps compared with 3.5Gb ps for Wi-Fi 5 );”
late; recordings ending after a couple of minutes; over-recording programmes, which in some cases means that later recordings are lost; double recording the same programme (on the SD and HD channels) and stopping an alternative programme being recorded; and Series Link not working. At least one person has complained to the communications regulator Ofcom about the shambles. The problem is that consumers can easily assume that the problem lies with their PVR, and consequently manufacturers and retailers can end up looking for nonexistent problems with the hardware, or at the very least spend a lot of time reassuring customers that their product is fine. With a bit of luck, these issues will have been resolved by the time my next column is published. In the meantime, Freeview and the BBC are more than welcome to get in touch and tell us what they’re doing about it.
Compact wine storage from Danby Danby has released a 16-bottle wine cooler (DWC016KA1BDB), the first of a comprehensive range of units coming on stream and available from distribution partner Exertis. The A+ rated appliance has a temperature range of 6-14°C and smoked UV-resistant glass to protect the wine from sunlight. Energy-efficient blue LED lighting gives a clear view of the contents.
Astell&Kern launches 2nd generation KANN high-resolution audio player Astell&Kern has introduced the KANN CUBE, the second model in the KANN performance line of portable high-resolution audio players. The unit is equipped with new features including dual ESS Sabre ES9038PRO DACs, greater power output, 5-pin mini XLR, Quad-Core CPU, more internal memory and a larger battery. It is available in the UK from June 2019.
Smeg introduces 90cm built-in Dolce Stil Novo ovens Smeg has added 90cm-wide ovens offering 100 litres of capacity to its Dolce Stil Novo built-in collection. The appliances feature 50 automatic cooking programmes, 10 customisable recipes, a smart cooking system and large LCD easy-guide display. Other features include A+ energy efficiency, triple fan technology and pyrolytic cleaning.
Day-1 technology from Hotpoint Hotpoint’s latest Total No Frost fridge freezers incorporate a variety of technologies to ensure long-lasting food freshness and minimal food waste. The A+ rated Class 7 model H7T 911T MX H (pictured) features Day-1 technology which creates the optimum environment for storing fresh foodstuffs. The Fresh Zone+ compartment is intended for fresh fruit and vegetables, and the Fresh Zone 0°C compartment for items such as meat, fish and cheese.
Husky introduces San Miguel drinks cooler Husky has added the San Miguel label to its range of branded drinks coolers, offering this model finished in white with the beer company’s branding featured on the glass door and sides. The A+ rated table-top unit has an adjustable thermostat and a 46-litre capacity accommodating the storage of up to 40 x 330–440ml cans. It operates at 40dB(A). Available June 2019.
AEG introduces induction hob with wireless food probe AEG’s SensePro induction hob has a wireless, battery-less food probe which tracks and automatically adjusts the temperature of food and measures it to a precise +/- 1°C. It has a Bridge function which turns two zones into one large zone to accommodate items such as fish kettles, and Hob2Hood technology which automatically controls the cooker hood.
Limited edition Queen of Hearts Collection marks KitchenAid’s 100th year KitchenAid has introduced a limited-edition range of small kitchen appliances to mark the brand’s 100th anniversary. The Queen of Hearts Collection in Passion Red comprises an Artisan Stand Mixer, an Artisan High Performance Blender, a Design Collection Toaster and Kettle, a Mini Food Processor, 7-Speed Hand Mixer and a Hand Blender. All products in the range sport a trim of miniature red hearts and a celebratory 100-year logo.
Exertis brings CRUX SDA brand to UK market Exertis has partnered with MPL Home as distributor of the firm’s CRUX range of Small Domestic Appliances including breakfast, cooking and food preparation. CRUX appliances’ signature look is stainless steel with copper accents and the products were originally created for US department store chain Macy’s. Exertis said it will offer them at an affordable price to compete favourably with existing high-end brands in the market.
FROM THE BENCH
FROM THE BENCH
SERVICING POWER SUPPLY CIRCUITS Alan Bennett wields his meter and soldering iron…
he most common hardware fault area in consumer entertainment equipment is the mains power converter, often easy to repair, even for a moderately-skilled technician. It can be a good generator of profit where the facility for it exists.
with puzzling symptoms due to low operating voltage or ‘ripple’ on the line. In this case the problem may well be cured simply by replacing the faulty capacitors after taking the vital safety precautions – see below. Typically they will be high capacitance low voltage types on the secondary side of the switching transformer, SWITCH-MODE BASICS e.g. 1000 and 2000ꙡF 10V–25V working. Some Switching power convertors have been around technicians advocate the replacement of all a long time. They work by rapid on-off switching of them. In many designs of SMPSU there is of mains energy into a ferrite-cored a small capacitor in the primary side, for transformer, and because the instance to kick-start the switching semiconductor switch is either chip at power-up; its failure fully on or off (‘chopping’) renders the set ‘dead’. High they are cool-running and quality replacements t “The mos can be over 90% efficient are recommended, ep st t rs important fi in operation. In the rated at 105°C. Ageing nosis secondary circuit of the and heat (check in PSU fault diag ough or transformer the highventilation and any is a close and th fuse(s), e frequency – typically cooling fan present) inspection of th d the 40-100kHz – energy are the usual causes the PC board, an rries, ca it s pulses are fed into of deterioration of nt ne po com olytic tr reactive components these hard-worked ec el ly al ci pe es (inductors, capacitors) to components. A less capacitors.” smooth them into a steady frequent nasty habit DC voltage, usually at a of smoothing capacitors much lower voltage than that is leakage of corrosive of the incoming AC mains. Several electrolyte onto the PC board different voltages are generated in the and its printed conductors. convertor transformer’s secondary windings These capacitors can fail without any change at various currents to suit the requirements of in external appearance when they develop a the equipment – video, audio, etc. – of which high effective series resistance, e.g. by drying the PSU forms a part. The transformer provides up. This is easily detected with a special ESR another vital function: that of electrical isolation tester which applies to them a ‘rippling ‘ voltage from the mains so that the gear can be run at and measures the resulting current. It’s an earth potential and is thus safe to handle and to inexpensive and useful bit of kit. connect to peripheral devices. TEST GEAR AND SAFETY The most important first step in PSU fault Having got onto test equipment, some PSU diagnosis is a close and thorough inspection of faults call for a multimeter to detect open- and the fuse(s), the PC board, and the components it short-circuits and to measure voltage and carries, especially electrolytic capacitors. current. Less often a (simple, low bandwidth) ELECTROLYTIC CAPACITORS oscilloscope is needed, e.g. incorporated in a These are by far the most common causes of hand-held multi-tester; this checks the dynamics PSU failure, often indicated by bulging tops (see of the oscillator and chopper switch. It is vital to picture). When they go down, complete or partial take safety precautions in this field of servicing. failure of sound, vision or functionality of the Never work on a ‘live ‘ power circuit – run it screen, box or whatever is the result, sometimes from a 1:1 mains isolating transformer. The large
Bulging electrolytic capacitors
capacitor (about 350V working) in the primary section of the PSU can hold its charge for a long time after disconnection from the mains so check with a voltmeter and if necessary discharge it, fingers off, with a large resistor of a few tens of ohms rating until it has fully run out.
BLOW-UPS The multimeter, switched to ohms ranges, comes into its own with blown fuses, usually indicative of a short-circuit on the primary side, but bear in mind that the fuse can go open as a result of ageing, metal fatigue or mains voltage surges. A shattered and blackened fuse generally indicates a definite problem: typically short-circuit rectifier diodes or chopper switch, which latter may be a stand-alone transistor or built into the control chip. After every obviouslyfaulty component has been replaced they will sometimes all blow up again when power is reapplied, accompanied by a bright blue flash from the new fuse. This is less of a nightmare than in days of yore with TV sets when it often happened! The solution here may be to replace all possible culprits – easier said than done. For some models, especially older TVs, freelance suppliers offer complete repair kits in the form of a handful of replacement capacitors, semiconductors etc. These usually work well, incorporating both the villains and the victims, so to speak. A complete PSU circuit board may sometimes be available. Occasional causes of PSU problems are arcing and dry soldered joints, typically at the lead-outs of the hotter and heavier components and at mains input sockets. Sparks and intermittent contact can wreak havoc amongst the switching and control semiconductors. The power converter section is one of the few parts of a TV, audio or other box which can be amenable to repair without a circuit diagram or other service data, though it’s important to first assess economic viability and for safety and reliability’s sake to replace components or assemblies like-for-like. Many sources of components, kits, boards and assemblies can be found via web search engines and on Amazon and eBay.
Cooking A Get Connected integral supplement
he kitchen is where cooking – and all the social activity associated with it – takes place, and it’s still the centre of family life. As a nationwide survey by Belling has revealed, 70% of Brits see the kitchen as the heart of the home, and the average Briton spends 3 hours a day there. Every year the average British kitchen sees 203 family meals, 171 arguments, 463 kisses shared, 120 decisions made, 94 pieces of homework completed... “This research,” says Belling’s Jane Rylands, “shows just how integral the kitchen is to the British family home. It’s a place of treasured moments, spontaneous fun and life-changing events. It’s clear to see that even as modern family life has developed, the kitchen remains the beating heart of the home.” What’s put into this most important of spaces in the home is about helping create an ideal space for the preparation, cooking and sharing of food. And it’s probably the most intensely considered of all consumer buying decisions.
“There is no sincerer love than the love of food.”
Inside. . . Food Preparation
Built-in and Freestanding Cooking
– George Bernard Shaw
The Gourmet Quarter Manufacturers showcase products
Airuno’s stylish induction hob with integrated downdraft extractor
Doing our thing “Preparing food with heat or fire is an activity unique to humans. It may have started around 2 million years ago.” Whenever humans first used fire to make food safer, easier and more palatable to eat, it’s probably true that, in terms of technology, technique and sophistication, cooking has advanced more in the last hundred years than in the previous couple of million
ow we cook has changed, but food remains a universal necessity. The social significance of cooking as an activity around which friends and family gather to enjoy company, savour flavours and – let’s admit it – show off skills and appliances, has if anything seen a revival over the past few decades. As the Belling survey has mentioned at the front of this supplement, the kitchen is a social hub where a lot of everyday living is done, and also where a lot of significant and life-changing events take place. That means the style of our ovens, hobs, hoods and ancillaries is as important as how well they help the cook to achieve impressive dishes. Cooking, and the appliances we use, are expressions of personal style and taste, whether that’s just for the satisfaction of the cook and family, or as a competitive statement. There is, after all, plenty of competition from the professional and “celebrity” chefs and the cooking and baking competition contestants who fill up the TV schedules; and from the online “influencers” and Instagrammers who infest social media. In these media it’s not just the food that generates aspiration for the home cook: the featured appliances become objects of desire because of the way they look, the way they perform, and the fact that they’re associated
with famous and skilful practitioners. “As seen on TV” carries an especially powerful impact in this field.
OPPORTUNITY This creates, for retailers and manufacturers who understand the dynamic, a further dimension and a further set of opportunities to satisfy customer aspirations in a market that is already the driving force in UK white goods sales. It has to be said that manufacturers have more than fulfilled the brief, and there is currently a superb range of cooking appliances, for consumer budgets from entry level to high end, that not only demonstrate the highest levels of aesthetics and design integration, but also incorporate technologies and processes that were hitherto only available in professional kitchens. There is something for everyone: finishes and colours
ranging from traditional enamelling to metallics such as stainless steel, titanium, gunmetal and copper, and the contemporary light-reflecting brilliance of banks of glass; technologies ranging from “foolproof” recipe advice and automatic cooking programmes to steam combi ovens, induction hobs, integrated food probes and sous vide – not to mention the banishing of the UK’s most hated chore – oven cleaning – through a choice of self-cleaning options including the revolutionary and increasingly affordable pyrolytic cleaning feature.
“The premium market is definitely shifting more towards built-in”
Hotpoint steam oven: using steam to enhance flavours and textures
SLEEK, CHIC & UNIQUE Bring a touch of luxury and unique styling to any kitchen with the new Wi6160 fully integrated undercounter wine cabinet. The innovative design allows you to create a bespoke frame to match your kitchen cabinets, ensuring seamless integration and an uninterrupted finish. With brilliant performance this model has been developed to store red, white and even sparkling wine in optimum conditions. The Wi6160 features perfect temperature, humidity and air circulation controls, with unrivalled low vibration technology to minimise disturbance, protecting the winesâ€™ complex flavours. Always choose Caple for complete confidence in your wine cabinet.
Belling’s Farmhouse showing that range cookers are at home in the 21st century
BUILT-IN DRIVING THE MARKET The argument used to be that built-in was where the premium cooking technologies were introduced to the market, and this is to some extend still true. Built-in continues to gain ground in the UK, not only for its perceived technological leadership but because it provides an aesthetic scope that appeals to 21st century consumers. As Bertazzoni UK & Ireland MD Maurizio Severgnini says: “As appearance becomes a more important factor within the kitchen, thanks to the advent of social media and interiors influencers, built-in appliances are on the rise thanks to their sleek appearance and complete co-ordinated offer.” Hotpoint head of brand Jennifer Taylor reinforces the importance of built-in: “Research has found that the performance of the entire major domestic appliance market is wholly dependent on the sales of built-in appliances, which in turn is largely driven by built-in cooking appliances. The trend for modern and minimalist kitchens continues, with built-in cooking appliances perfectly complementing this style… 35% of consumers who have purchased built-in appliances have done so because they believe they are more stylish.” Caple product manager Luke Shipway believes “homeowners are looking for ovens which look stylish and will ultimately complement their kitchen design.” And Alistair Orr, marketing manager at relative newcomer Hisense, which acquired Gorenje last year, says “built-in ovens are proving much more popular as consumers strive for streamlined, integrated kitchen designs.” Indesit brand manager Sara Bazeley is also keen to extol the virtues of built-in as a means “to create a seamless and stylish look across the living space. Built-in appliances,” she adds, “not only have an aesthetically pleasing look, and the flexibility to offer a variety of design combinations, they are also highly practical as they release vital worktop and under-counter space.” AEG’s development strategy reflects this, says head of electrical retail Luke Harding: “At AEG we have seen an increase in both volume and value of built-in ovens over the past two years, particularly in the premium market. While we continue to stock freestanding cookers at AEG, the premium market is definitely shifting more towards built-in. As such, a lot of our product development has been focused on integrated cooking appliances.”
STANDING UP FOR FREESTANDING
Induction is a prime example of a great innovative technology that took some time to be understood by consumers, but has “trickled down” to affordable price points and is appreciated for its genuine benefits: its flat, uncluttered glass profile looks good in modern schemes; it’s easy to clean; it’s safer to use; it’s highly energyefficient; it’s fast; it’s instantly and precisely controllable. Induction is a technology more easily demonstrated than explained, especially to customers who have grown up using gas hobs and who do not get on with “conventional” electric hobs such as solid plate or ceramic. All the benefits can be presented in minutes with a practical demonstration; much faster than trying to explain the reasons why induction is fuelled by electricity but is nothing like any other electric hob. Automatic recipe programmes are a “key trend” according to Indesit’s Sara Bazeley. They are useful for the less confident cook, and simplicity and ease of use is also a plus for older cooks who want to remain independent. Another “professional” technique now widely available to the domestic cook is steam and steam combi cooking. “Cooking with steam,” says Hotpoint’s Jennifer Taylor, “creates nutritious meals with perfect results and it takes less time than conventional cooking,” and “requires no additional fats or oils and therefore increases health and well-being.” Again, it’s a technology that may be less well understood by customers who associate it with a method that is only for vegetables, fish and poultry, and it’s worth explaining that steam helps “conventional” cooking to produce more succulent, bettertextured results for all kinds of foods. Sous vide, a cooking method used in commercial kitchens for some time and previously only seen on TV cooking programmes, is now also within the reach of home cooks looking to produce restaurant quality dishes. Hotpoint, for example, launched a Sous Vide system in 2018, and Hoover Candy UK business director Nick Platt explains that it’s “a fast and healthy method that involves precise temperature control and cooking vacuum or bag-sealed food in a water bath. This is considered a healthier and tastier alternative to other cooking methods and preserves the vitamins and minerals in the food.” He adds that “the system is more likely to be sought out by consumers looking for quality appliances, so it’s important for retailers to have a full understanding of how this works so they can offer advice to the health-conscious consumer.” Given the breadth and depth of choice available to consumers across all the cooking functions, and the near-universal requirement for cooking appliances, the category will still reward a commitment to careful ranging, effective display and serious product training.
“Many of our range cookers feature innovative functions that rival built-in options”
However, as really important technologies filter through to the wider market, with consequent price drops, AEG’s Harding also acknowledges that “freestanding cookers definitely still have their place in the market and we have seen a notable growth in sales, particularly freestanding electric cookers with induction hobs. Over the last three years, the market has grown by 23%, with the majority of volume being sold through electrical retail.”
Hoover Vogue vacuum sealer bringing professional Sous Vide cooking to the home
Range cookers, for a long time the star performers of the freestanding category, are still strong performers, being an iconic symbol of the cosy country kitchen or the grand county style, because they have innovated and adapted to keep up with new technology while maintaining their traditional appeal. Range cookers come in a choice of sizes to overcome restricted space problems, and are fully equipped with the 21st century aids and controls belonging to their built-in cousins. Even customers with smaller kitchens can now indulge their aspiration for this traditional British icon, without sacrificing ease and efficiency. As Smeg UK product manager Lucy Dunstan puts it: “Many of our range cookers feature innovative functions that rival built-in options.” She cites refinements such as pyrolytic cleaning and automatic cooking programmes, and, while she acknowledges the growth of the built-in market, she points out that “range cookers remain very popular with foodies, larger families and individuals who simply wish to create a statement in their kitchen.”
Designing the technology behind great cookers Visit the website for details on the full cooker range for 2019 or call sales on 01949 862010
THE GOURMET QUARTER
Manufacturers present products and ideas designed to inspire the imagination of the UK’s cooking-conscious consumers
Innovative Built-in Appliances from De Dietrich De Dietrich appliances offer outstanding functionalities and are a great addition to any home. The products are expertly incorporated into homes and feature avant-garde innovations offering a multitude of time saving and energy-efficient functions, as well as producing great food. The designer collection offers a variety of built-in ovens, hobs, microwaves, dishwashers, warming drawers and fridge freezers, meticulously crafted into four colour choices – Absolute Black, Platinum, Pure White and Iron Grey – to suit individual kitchen design, symmetry and layout. The full collection is available from AB Distributors. See www.dedietrich.co.uk for more information.
Going Solo with Melitta
A taste of luxury from JURA Pioneering Swiss manufacturer JURA, the only brand in the world to focus solely on premium bean-to-cup coffee machines, has once again proven its expertise in achieving the perfect coffee with the launch of its all-new ENA 8. Not only is it the brand’s first compact machine to feature a VC brewing unit, which ensures careful and controlled flow of coffee, but it also presents JURA’s first round water tank, elegantly embossed and taking inspiration from luxury crystal glass decanters. This new machine offers a choice of 10 specialities and can be operated wirelessly via the JURA Coffee App. Contact: 01282 868266 | Website: www.uk.jura.com
Gourmet cooking from Stoves Stoves’ highly successful Richmond and Sterling Deluxe collections include 90cm models which boast a unique Quad Oven with PROFLEX™ cavity splitter, enabling users to convert the 79L capacity Titan™ oven into two separate Equiflow™ fan ovens, giving the option to use the Range Cooker as three or four separate ovens. Another key feature is STEAM & INFUSE™, an innovative accessory which allows consumers to achieve healthy cooking quickly, optimising an even cook and fuller flavour every time. Steam & Infuse™ adds moisture and flavour to the dish, turning every meal into a masterpiece. Simply adding water, stock or infused spices to the pot serves to steam from the inside, optimising the taste and texture of food. All this flavour fast, with an average reduction in cooking time of 20%. Tel: 0344 248 4149 www.stoves.co.uk
Solo® & Perfect Milk Combining compact design and heavenly creamy frothed milk, the Solo® Perfect Milk makes excellent coffee, from a velvety crema to a delicious latte macchiato topped with light and airy milk foam. The practical Auto-Cappuccinatore makes easy work of preparing warm milk, hot water and naturally light frothed milk – not to mention the pre-brewing feature which moistens freshly ground coffee with water before the actual brewing to release the flavours in coffee. What’s more, the machine (with free app) can make two cups of coffee or espresso simultaneously at the touch of a button. Solo® Perfect Milk by Melitta (available in silver/black and black) is priced from £499.99. Melitta UK will be at Exclusively Electrical – EE28. Trade enquires: 01952 671077 www.melitta.co.uk
A GET CONNECTED SUPPLEMENT
Tefal demonstrating a stylish “family” approach to food prep appliances
“65% of UK households say they prepare meals from scratch at least once a week”
ome 65% of UK households say they prepare meals from scratch at least once a week – more than half of them every day – which is up 10% since 2005. It’s a trend likely to strengthen as publicity and support for the benefits of home cooking intensify. Baking is big – largely because of popular TV programmes, and that’s good for the “big beasts” of food prep – the stand mixers – which benefit from wide exposure on those programmes. Healthy living is a “megatrend”, which means that cooking from scratch with fresh ingredients boosts the market for choppers, hand mixers, food processors and soup makers – not to forget the burgeoning demand for juicers, blenders and smoothie makers that quickly and efficiently deliver those custom-made healthy drinks. And speed and convenience have never been out of style. Lucy Dunstan, product manager at Smeg UK, reports that sales of SDA appliances “continue to soar”, with GfK data for 2017-18 showing a 7% increase year-on-year. “One trend driving sales of
Be prepared Even in a land of fast food franchises, ready meals, takeaways and food delivery apps, food preparation in UK homes is not only surviving but growing, and the market for food preparation appliances is getting more and more attractive to retailers who are prepared to create the right mix food preparation products such as hand blenders and juicers,” says Dunstan, “is healthy eating. We’ve noticed that many people now want to cook and prepare their food from scratch, often planning and preparing meals for the week ahead - something that we’ve now coined ‘the Joe Wicks effect’ after the health and fitness influencer. In fact, at the time of writing #mealprep had just shy of 10 million posts on Instagram showing that this trend is here to stay.” Social media “influencers,” like it or not, have a powerful effect on consumers’ attitudes and buying decisions.
WORTH THEIR PLACE? It’s a measure of the opportunities in this category that it has become more attractive to some manufacturers who are better known for their major domestic appliances. When the likes of Hotpoint, Smeg, Beko and Bosch not only create food prep ranges but actively develop, expand and promote them, it’s a strong indication that there is a market here where the profits and retail margins are worth pursuing.
Electrical retailers who may in the past have left this category alone, on the grounds that comparatively low unit prices, limited space instore and competition from low-end supermarket goods made it unprofitable, could perhaps have another look in the light of the current market. As we’ve noted, consumer appetite for food prep is strong and still growing, margins are comparatively good, there is a range of well known and trusted brands in this category, there is good dealer support and POS, trade and consumer promotion is ongoing, and development of products and integrated ranges to suit modern lifestyles and contemporary décor is flourishing. There are opportunities here for retailers to choose products which fit their customer demographic, to display them effectively – making good use of their colour, design and integrated range appeal – and to earn reasonable margins while providing the shopping experience and product expertise that bricksand-mortar does best.
CHEF TITANIUM KITCHEN MACHINE
Not all MIXERS are the same The Kenwood CHEF Titanium with in-bowl illumination provides you infinite precision and control. The power and versatility means creating endless possibilities has never been easier.
High performance bowl accessories come as standard with every Chef, supporting you with every task.
K – Beater For making cakes, biscuits, pastry, icing, fillings, éclairs and mashed potato.
Balloon Whisk For eggs, cream, batters, fatless sponges, meringues, cheesecakes, mousses, and soufflés.
Dough Tool To mix bread dough, pizza dough, pasta dough or brioche.
CREATE MORE MULTIPRO EXCEL FOOD PROCESSOR
ULTIMATE performance and versatility Includes unique in-built weighing scales
The Kenwood Multipro Excel has unique built in weighing scales with illuminated digital display, allowing you to weigh ingredients directly into the bowl. Whether youâ€™re blending, chopping, slicing, grating or kneading, the results are never compromised as the auto function intuitively selects the optimum speed for each attachment.
See the full range: kenwood.com/uk
MULTIPRO SENSE SUPERIOR results with maximum control
MULTIPRO CLASSIC The COMPLETE solution for kitchen creatives
MULTIPRO HOME Your EVERYDAY kitchen companion
MULTIPRO COMPACT COMPACT without compromise
MULTIPRO COMPACT Compact CONVENIENCE
Beko’s Vacuum Blender: an efficient technology for achieving healthy living
“There are opportunities here for retailers to choose products which fit their customer demographic”
GROWTH OF THE SECTOR The difficulty, if anything, is that there is so much choice: homing in on the right products for a specific retail offering has to be a matter of research, trial and retail experience. Clearly, it has to be a balance of the investment in time, space and product training, against overall sales and – most importantly – margins. But that’s something retailers know more about than journalists do. The choices today are myriad, driven by the factors mentioned above: stand mixers, hand mixers, juicers, slow juicers, vacuum blenders, stand blenders, hand blenders, choppers, food processors, soup makers…… The sector has come a long way since the great name of Kenwood first attached itself to Kenneth Wood’s now iconic Kenwood Chef, launched at the Ideal Home Exhibition in 1950. It’s testament to the vibrancy of the food prep market that the Kenwood Chef is still a major name, with the core product, constantly updated, re-engineered and styled with a great choice of 21st century finishes, being joined by a range of other Kenwood food prep products. Kenwood is now part of the De Longhi Group, which includes another powerful food prep name: Braun. As the stand mixer has innovated to keep its place in the 21st century, it’s a product that is both attractive to modern consumers and
gifted with some great brand heritage. Kitchen Aid, recently celebrating its 100th anniversary, is another icon among food mixers that has benefited from exposure on TV cooking programmes, and which has developed a design- integrated collection of complementary food prep appliances. And Smeg, with a reputation for style, and also a beneficiary of TV exposure, has recently updated its original stand mixer, as well as launching an updated version of its popular hand blender. “We’re continually expanding and investing in our portfolio of food preparation items,” says Smeg UK’s Lucy Dunstan, adding that, in common with the other progressive brands in this field, the aim is to “provide retailers with the unique opportunity to up-sell matching appliances.”
STYLE AND SUBSTANCE Whether it’s a statement stand mixer, a handy hand blender, a healthy juicer or a versatile food processor, these appliances, to survive on 21st century worktops instead of being put at the back of the cupboard, have to pass the same test. They have to be high function, useful enough to encourage frequent use, help the user to achieve something – be it a healthy smoothie or a perfect cake – and also be, in their own way, pieces of art that consumers are glad to keep on the worktop as statements of style. For retailers who have decided to commit time and space to this category, it may be advantageous to follow the path created by leading manufacturers and display those styleintegrated collections in a way that highlights their full potential not just as tools to make a lifestyle more easily achievable, but as colour co-ordinated accessories that actually enhance the look of the kitchen. Where there is a range, there is always the opportunity to encourage customers to choose further appliances and create their own set of matching worktop food prep tools.
COOKING CONVENIENCE With home cooking, health and convenience being more important to UK consumers, it may not be too much of a stretch of the “food prep” category to include worktop appliances such as air fryers and health grills. Strictly speaking they are for cooking, but their size, price ranges, growing popularity and similar worktop usage mean they are likely to attract the same kind of interest from consumers, and to be ranged instore alongside food prep appliances. As Caroline Ross, marketing manager at Groupe SEB UK says: “Consumers are always looking for innovative food prep products which deliver professional results at home with minimum effort and preferably with no guess work involved,” and contends that air fryers and grills do exactly that. She cites Tefal’s OptiGrills, which claims to deliver steaks cooked to order – from rare to well done – automatically, and without the need for oil, measuring the thickness of the steak and adjusting heat and timings accordingly. The automatic cooking programmes also work for a range of other foods including burgers, chicken, bacon, sausage and fish. There are a number of air fryers – frying chips and a range of other vegetables and foods with a minimal amount of oil – in the UK market, and the technology is well established and proven effective. With so many positives combining to make food prep an attractive retail proposition, it’s up to individual retailers to assess whether it can form part of their overall electrical appliances offering. The UK is one of Europe’s leaders in market share for food prep appliances, and Beko senior marketing manager Iain Starkey’s comment to GC in 2018 holds good into 2019 and beyond: “Thanks to the growing wellness trend, food preparation has transformed… into a popular and shareable pastime. The food preparation opportunity is therefore a profitable one for retailers.”
A GET CONNECTED SUPPLEMENT
“coffee experience” at home, whether that entails a quick fix in the morning, a relaxing midday cappuccino or latte, or impressing dinner guests with knowledge of the range of speciality coffee drinks that can now be made in the comfort of the home. Lucy Dunstan, product manager at Smeg UK, claims that the “coffee culture is bigger than ever.” She cites figures from the British Coffee Association (BCA) showing that the UK’s coffee consumption increased to 95 million cups a day in the last year. “Interestingly,” she adds, “research conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) revealed that 65% of coffee is consumed at home.” Groupe SEB UK Marketing Manager Caroline Ross adds that the coffee machine market is set to increase 15% for the next three years.
POD BREAK Simples! – Barista-standard coffee with KRUPS Evidence Plus
Anita Winther, Research Analyst at Mintel, notes the continuing popularity of the caffeinerich drink but points to an emerging trend affecting change on the market: “Coffee drinking is ingrained among Brits, with usage on par with the quintessentially British tea. However, a plateauing in pod machine ownership has put the brakes on coffee pods’ growth and slowed the overall volume performance.” While the retail coffee market has enjoyed volume growth, performance across the segments has varied, according to Winther. Coffee pods were the main driver of growth some years ago, but ground coffee and coffee beans have seen volume sales grow on the back of “connoisseur interest” in the drink. “This trading up, combined with rising inflation, has seen value sales grow ahead of volumes,” the analyst advises.
When the caffeine kicks in.... Highs and lows of the UK coffee machine market
he coffee machine market still has plenty of life in it after many years of solid sales performances, with the black nectar reportedly eclipsing tea as the nation’s favourite hot beverage. Most commentators agree that it is still the influence of the high street coffee chains that is driving market demand and, according to the Allegra World Coffee portal, UK coffee shops have recorded 20 consecutive years of market growth, with the £10.1 billion market remaining resilient amid tough economic conditions. And
while many hospitality businesses suffered losses in 2018, with high-profile closures such as Jamie Oliver’s Italian and Prezzo’s contributing to the first fall in UK restaurant numbers since 2010, the total UK-branded coffee shop segment added over 1,300 stores, an increase of 5.8%.
BRINGING IT HOME The rise in home entertaining over recent years has also played a part in maintaining sales of coffee machines. The greatest feature of this market is consumers’ demand for creating the
Spiller & Tait’s coffee survey
ALL CHANGE HERE It’s surprising how quickly markets can change. Only last year we reported data from Euromonitor International which showed that the desire for higher quality and/or baristastyle coffee meant many more consumers were expected to switch from instant coffee to more premium options such as fresh ground coffee pods and coffee beans, the former of the two being set for record growth both in volume and value. And, with the popularity of specialist coffee shops fuelling demand for a premium drink, it emerged that middle-class consumers were being driven from instant coffee to pod machines due to ease of use and consistent brewing results. Another statistic showed that, due to the growing popularity of pod coffee machines, particularly hard pod models, there was a direct impact in sales of kettles, which account for a significant share of the overall SKA sector, thus affecting the performance of the wider category.
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Nespresso NespressoCoffee CoffeeMachines Machines With With22 22single-serve single-serveNespresso Nespressocoffee coffeecapsules capsulesavailable availableand andfresh freshmilk milkcarafe, carafe,the the De’Longhi De’LonghiNespresso NespressoLattissima Lattissimarange rangeisisaaconvenient convenientway waytotoenjoy enjoygreat greatcoffee. coffee. Capsule Capsulecoffee coffeemachines machinesare are50% 50%share shareof ofthe themarket marketininvalue,** value,** with withthe theover over£200 £200- -£250 £250segment segmentgrowing growing22% 22%ininvalue**. value**.
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Dolce DolceGusto GustoCoffee CoffeeMachines Machines With With30 30different differentsingle-serve single-servecoffee coffeeshop shopquality qualitypods podsavailable, available,the theDe’Longhi De’Longhi Dolce DolceGusto Gustorange rangehas hassomething somethingfor forevery everyfamily familymember. member.
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SUSTAINABILITY MATTERS There remains notable interest in owning coffee pod machines among current non-owners, notes Mintel’s Winther; however, she maintains that unlocking this potential is proving challenging with the prices of both the machines and the pods a barrier. The current spotlight on packaging waste is also not working in the segment’s favour either, she comments. Groupe SEB’s Ross also touches on the eco side of things, adding that coffee lovers can make their daily fix even more environmentally friendly by choosing a machine that uses fresh, authentic beans or ground coffee rather than coffee pods and capsules, many of which cannot be recycled.
STYLE AND CONVENIENCE The health of the coffee machine category continues to be boosted by innovative design, top-end machines with automatic functions, memory options and easier cleaning and descaling. But Nigel Morrison, Consumer & Trade Marketing Manager for Melitta UK Ltd, notes that, while assurances of quality and functionality are key, “great statement design” that looks elegant and contemporary is also helping to drive the market. “The fact that British people are consuming more and more coffee encourages retailers to stock the very best quality coffee machines at different price points
to satisfy the taste of different consumers. We know that consumers are prepared to pay a premium for well thoughtthrough design.”
different devices. It seems that many homes have a device for every occasion, and the choice between using one or the other seems to be determined by speed and convenience, entertaining others and savouring the flavour of the drink. The study also showed that, regardless of their relatively high price tag, bean-to-cup machines continue to rise in status and are now the 3rd most popular device at home. “As the price of bean-to-cup machines continues to fall and they become more affordable, we expect them to rise in popularity,” says David Tait, cofounder of the Devon-based company.
“...a plateauing in pod machine ownership has put the brakes on coffee pods’ growth”
Despite the nation becoming much more sophisticated in their taste for coffee, the findings from a survey conducted by Devon-based coffee roaster Spiller & Tait show that the humble cafetière continues to be the most used coffee-making device in households. And, even among households which buy fresh coffee beans for their superior flavour, making instant coffee remains a popular choice because of its convenience. ‘A Kettle with Instant Coffee’ is the second most popular coffee making method in the survey.
UMPTEEN DEVICES But the range of coffee making devices now being used in households has increased considerably – 15, as the graph on page 27 shows. Significantly, though, over 50% of people surveyed regularly use as many as three
INSIDER KNOWLEDGE Spiller &Tait said it is unlikely that the survey results reflect typical home coffee drinking habits UK-wide as many of the customers participating are considered to be part of the more discerning end of the market. But isn’t that the point? The study enhanced the business’s insight and understanding of its own customer base – a useful tool when it comes to choosing the right products to stock.
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INSIDE: 04 Editorial Comment 06 The Word In and around the industry 13 George Cole Gets Connected W-Fi gets an upgrade, and the PVR probl...
Published on May 15, 2019
INSIDE: 04 Editorial Comment 06 The Word In and around the industry 13 George Cole Gets Connected W-Fi gets an upgrade, and the PVR probl...