Resurgence of range cooker sales
If there’s one white good sector that can denotes luxury and wealth, then it has to be the range cooker. And along with early indications of green shoots of consumer confidence, range cooker sales are once again finding favour. Product manager for range cookers at Glen Dimplex Home Appliances, Dan Connell comments: “ In the past 12 months along, the range market has grown by 2.9% in value and 4.2% in volume, so it is a really positive time for the sector.”
Capacity and variety
Put quite simply, the range cooker can offer it all. They boast the same technology as their built-in counterparts and can beat them for sheer capacity and offering a variety of cooking techniques. Managing director of the built-in division of Hoover Candy, Maurizio Severgnini says: “Dual or multiple cavities are the most popular providing greater flexibility.” With a demand for large oven cavities, it could suggest bigger is the better for range cooker sales. But for those who haven’t quite got the space for a model measuring over 1000mm, then 900mm models which still have large ovens, are coming into their own.
Induction takes hold
Dual fuel is most in demand but induction is beginning to take a firmer hold. Wai San Hon from Rangemaster says: “Ceramic as a fuel type is decreasing as basic induction becomes more affordable and the more technologically advanced induction takes the premium position. Therefore, clever induction hobs that we are seeing in the built-in market will make their way onto range cookers.”
Steel still staple
But what firmly remains a staple in the range cooker arsenal is the professional-looking finish of stainless steel. While there have been moves to inject colour into the kitchen through bright and pastel finishes or even bold graphics, stainless steel remains key to sales. Joan Fraser, product training and development at Smeg UK, points out: “We believe the appeal for traditional styling and pastel colours is not a passing trend and is here to stay, effectively growing the market rather than diminishing the stainless steel one.”
Following built-in lead
Certainly, as consumer confidence continues to grow, so should the development and sales of range cookers. And they will take on even more characteristics associated with built-in oven sales. Top-end models already feature pyrolytic and induction, and these are only going to grow in importance. While Wai San Hon cites connectivity – just beginning to appear in built-in appliances – as a trend developing over the next five years.
The full article appeared in the October 2013 issue of Kitchens & Bathrooms News