As Unox Casa enters the UK and ahead of the unveiling of its SuperOven at Halcyon Interiors, director of Unox Casa Matteo De Lise explains what it means to kitchen retailers, interior designers and architects
Q: Can you give us a little background on Unox?
A: Unox is a brand of professional ovens. Founded in Padua, Italy, in 1990, the company has a turnover of €125 million euros in the first half of 2022.
The Unox Casa project has been a secret dream for years, stimulated by a latent need among high-end consumers.
Every time the owners invited friends to have dinner at their home and used the professional Unox oven installed in the kitchen, the dinner would end with the request of one of the guests to install a Unox oven in their own home.
However, installing a professional oven at home is certainly not an ideal solution due to connection problems, excessive dimensions and industrial-type aesthetics.
The moment to develop ad hoc products for high-end domestic settings came during the lockdown, which caused the demand for professional technologies.
We decided to transform this into a business opportunity with the motto: “If people can’t go to the restaurant, we’ll bring the restaurant to their homes!”
Thus began the challenge of taking our highest range oven, the one used by some of the best starred chefs in the world, and redesigning it for the domestic market, adapting its aesthetics and user experience, while maintaining unchanged performance and results.
Thus was born SuperOven, designed for the most exclusive of homes.
Q: Why did you decide to launch into the UK?
A: This year’s participation in Milan’s Salone del Mobile marked a great success for Unox Casa and opened the doors to internationalisation, which has started from the UK, finding favour with renowned architects and interior designers.
The official launch will take place on October 13, 2022, at Halcyon Interiors showroom, Wigmore Street, in London.
The global centre for design and innovation, London was the obvious choice for the start of the internationalisation of the Unox Casa brand, but we are already heading into the next phase of the expansion.
Q: What range of appliances will be available in the UK?
A: The Unox Casa collection will be available in two configurations, Model 1 and Model 1S.
The two models feature the same technology: Model 1 has two stacked ovens; the more compact Model 1S has a single cooking chamber.
In these very hard times where every supplier of ovens is having very long lead times and some even can’t give any lead times, Unox Casa can deliver its SuperOven to the UK within 10-12 weeks.
This is because we produce every component of our ovens in Italy and have full control over production lead times.
Q: What are the USPs of the ovens?
A: Our SuperOven cannot be compared with any other oven available on the market because it is not a home oven with added professional features, but a full-fledged professional oven with an iconic Italian design and an easy-to-use digital interface for the refined interiors of the most exclusive homes.
Professional performance is backed up by a digital platform like no other, Cook Like a Chef, which connects users with Unox Casa chefs who are available 24/7 to help them discover the world of haute cuisine.
The Personal Cooking Trainer option also provides one-to-one, on-demand support from Unox Casa chefs, who can contact users prior to a dinner party with a suggested menu and step-by-step help in creating unique dishes.
Q: What support are you offering UK retailers?
A: UK retailers will enjoy the support of a well-established subsidiary, Unox UK, based in Surrey as well as a dedicated Unox Casa business development manager.
Unox Casa guarantees guidance in the pre-sales process, assistance during installation and an after-sales first on-site response service within 24 hours throughout the UK.
As we serve the most demanding restaurants and professional kitchens all over the world, we know how important service is and therefore have built an extensive service network.
SuperOven has a warranty of 7 years or 10.000 hours of cooking.
On top of this, marketing support is also provided to help retailers promote the products on their digital and print channels, organise events and therefore drive sales.
Q: What will be your biggest business challenge?
A: At the very beginning, the main challenge was the change of target between Unox and Unox Casa.
The professional users seek the best performance in terms of product and assistance that they compare to the purchase price to achieve the best return on investment.
The mindset of private consumers who buy luxury goods for their homes to improve their quality of life is very different.
The objective criteria of performance and service remain but to these are added more subjective and intangible aspects, such as design and brand positioning.
For this reason it was necessary to create a separate Unox Casa Business Unit within the company, with a team dedicated to the creation of a whole new brand experience, marketing and distribution system.
Q: What will be your biggest business opportunities?
A: It must be said that SuperOven is an oven like no other: it is not a home oven with added professional features, but the very first professional oven for the most exclusive homes.
We specialise in the production of ovens, have a long tradition of over 30 years in the professional industry, and proudly serve the world’s best Michelin-starred chefs as well as the most discerning consumers.
We don’t just sell a product, but a lifestyle, creating an aspirational feeling, and leading customers to believe that our oven will help them achieve a better quality of living.
Q: What are your future business ambitions for the Unox Casa brand?
We plan to strengthen our position by building new relationships with renowned architect, interior designers, and kitchen retailers, as well as penetrate new geographical markets, expanding our presence in Europe, America and Asia.
To increase the brand awareness of our brand, we also intend to participate in design exhibitions, invest in a structured social media campaign and revamp our website.
SuperOven is an exclusive, high-end product, that requires a selective distribution system, in order to preserve the image and prestige of the brand.
It can only be sold by selected kitchen studios of the highest quality that fully understandUnox Casa products and who can display the ovens in an inspiring setting to make their unique features and design stand out.