Design director of Abode Paul Illingworth says convenience, luxury and sustainable solutions are key to instant hot tap sales
The need for 24/7 convenience that empowers both home and lifestyle is inspiring new levels of design in the kitchen.
Time is of the essence and well-considered functionality that also improves health and wellbeing is top priority.
Naturally, the trend for steaming hot water and filtered water on tap is set to reach new heights in 2022, with 3 IN 1 and 4 IN 1 taps becoming a staple of kitchen design, while helping end users save energy, reduce single-use plastic bottles and increase health and wellbeing in the home.
The near boiling hot water tap is currently the fastest growing kitchen appliance, and retail customers of Abode are reporting to include at least one in almost every kitchen they design to meet demand.
This would suggest the market sees the hot tap as a prerequisite of the modern kitchen with the majority of consumers undeterred by price point.
Our recent industry research supports this notion, as 68% of consumers state the kitchen now holds great significance in terms of day-to-day living and improved personal wellbeing, and the hot tap is ranking high when considering overall design and eco credentials that offer long-term rewards.
Emphasising safety is a great sales opportunity for kitchen retailers, especially when there is a raft of industry standards like WRAS approval, which give consumers peace of mind around product testing and quality assurance.
During development of the Abode steaming hot water taps, we considered every aspect of safety, both for the dispensing of the steaming hot water and the maximum temperature for stored water in the boiler.
Our boiler can be set between 80°C to a maximum 98°C, which makes our taps fully compliant with Part G(3) of the UK Building Regulations.
Identifying the safety features may help convert the sale, as being able to ‘design for all’ is even more relevant in respect to changing social trends and demographics.
According to the Office for National Statistics, multi-family homes have been the fastest growing over the last two decades with 34% of adults now living in a multi-generational household.
Now that over one-third of adults are co-habiting this way, it makes sense for retailers to discuss how hazard prevention can be an advantage in an accessible kitchen.
Retailers should also keep in mind customers are prioritising the issue of sustainability when buying products for the home and garden.
So, demonstrating how a hot water tap can save time, money, resources and energy will satisfy the consumer wish list, as well as free up space on the work surface as the kettle can be retired for good.
I would urge kitchen retailers to emphasise how user-friendly and sustainable a premium hot water tap can be.
Point out opting for a filtered water option will help the end user save money on bottled water and wasted energy boiling a kettle regularly while doing their bit for the planet.
Trade-up and trends
But what is the latest technology at the top-end of the market and how can kitchen retailers encourage their client to trade up?
The stand-out trend in the premium market is to offer style and substance with hero products such as the 4-in-1 hot water tap which facilitates hot, cold, boiling, and filtered water from one source.
Arguably one of the latest interior trends is the comeback of traditional design and this is now impacting hot tap design, as we see a 2000% increase in searches for traditional products that offer modern functionality.
Now, kitchen retailers and their consumers no longer have to settle for the conventional style of hot tap.
Instead, there is a range of classically-styled market alternatives featuring ceramic style handles, Victorian styling, traditional finishes and the same level of functionality so every style of kitchen is catered for.
The strength of the housing market has been a huge driver behind kitchen sales since late 2020 and the prime residential markets are set to be a key part of the UK’s economic recovery going forwards.
Research shows luxury is being redefined for a new generation of home buyers wanting convenience in the kitchen, which is stylish and sustainable.
With all this in mind retailers need to ensure their product knowledge is comprehensive and up-to-date to keep pace with new instant hot water taps coming on-stream.