(NC)—The customer is always right is a principle the small appliance industry takes very seriously. Each year they bring numerous products to market in an effort to answer to the demands of today’s consumers, many of who are living in fast forward. Louise Sauvé-Nicholls of Hamilton Beach (www.hamiltonbeach.ca) a leading small appliance maker, says the following trends for 2010/2011 have greatly influenced the company’s holiday gift lineup:
The look and feel of commercial – “The popularity of cooking shows and food festivals has had a huge impact on the small appliance industry,” says Sauvé-Nicholls. “Consumers want commercial-style features but at a price point that doesn’t break their budget.” As an example, Sauvé-Nicholls cites the new Espresso Maker from Hamilton Beach, which retails under $100, features a powerful 15-bar Italian pump system, and has a frother for making cappuccinos and lattes.
Compact and dual purpose – “No one wants appliances cluttering up their counterspace but many people simply don’t have a lot of storage space either,” she says. “As a result, we’re making more products that either have a dual purpose or are compact enough to fit under cupboard overhangs.” She says the company’s Blender Chef is a blender and a food chopper all-in-one, while this year’s 6 Slice Toaster Oven can fit a 12-inch pizza but doesn’t hog counter space.
On-the-go convenience – “With everyone leading a busy lifestyle, this is a trend that continues to reign supreme,” says Sauvé-Nicholls. “This year we designed the Next Generation Stay or Go Coffeemaker which has a split basket feature, allowing consumers to brew two different flavours of coffee at the same time into thermal travel mugs.” The product can also brew one flavour into a regular thermal pot and makes iced coffee says Sauvé-Nicholls.