For KitchenAid Market Lead for Germany and Austria, Nicole Thiery, the Ambiente trade fair is the big annual kickoff for her sales team. The show, held in Frankfurt, Germany, calls itself the world’s leading consumer goods fair, and sees 134,000 attendees from 167 countries.
The star of the show is the iconic KitchenAid Stand Mixer, but there are some other new, innovative products on display.
“The K400 blender is new,” said Thiery. “It’s more modern and fits well with our range of products, and comes in a lot of nice colors that complement the Stand Mixer, kettle, toaster or any other KitchenAid small appliances that the consumer already has in their kitchen. This design tackles the toughest ingredients and is really smooth, resulting in perfect taste.”
This is the first year the new blenders are available in the German and Austrian markets.
“This product development was very focused on consumer insights we gained from ‘The Maker,’” said Dan Valenti, KitchenAid small appliances VP and General Manager.
The Maker is the brand’s target consumer, and drives innovation, design and performance in product development.
“Those insights told us that what matters is delivering the best possible taste from various ingredients, with the best possible texture,” added Valenti. “And I’d say — pun intended — that we’ve created a perfect blend of craftsmanship and performance.”
Another new product at the show is an espresso machine. “It’s a semi-automatic espresso machine paired together with a burr grinder,” said Thiery. “This product allows our customers to make an authentic espresso at home.”
This new model has a smaller footprint, making it a good fit for more compact kitchens.
“We found that there are a lot of subtleties to making the perfect cup of espresso,” said Valenti, and we’ve nailed the most important ones — such as temperature.”
What makes this machine stand out is a first to market dual sensor system that takes temperature readings at the point of initial water intake as well as when the water is output. This helps to assure the perfect temps for great espresso.
“We’ve got a new burr grinder that goes with it to ensure the perfect grind, because the fineness of the grind really matters when making espresso,” said Valenti. “We’ve also got a professional portafilter, which also matters, because the way you tamper the espresso and how firm it is improves taste.”
Another consumer need the KitchenAid team is addressing is the bespoke trend. Bespoke is a verb meaning “to speak for something,” that has evolved to represent anything that can be customized. This insight was addressed with the introduction of customizable, engraved trim bands on Stand Mixers, which will also be on display during the show.
“You could always customize Stand Mixers with the large number of colors we offer,” said Thiery, “but now you can also take that a step further.” New Stand Mixer owners can now commemorate birthdays, anniversaries, or just put their names on their mixers. “This gives us a unique differentiation in the market,” she explained. “In Europe it has accounted for around 70 percent of the KitchenAid website sales, where the customization exists.”
“The Stand Mixer is one of the most beloved, pure emotion products that you’ll ever come across,” added Valenti. “To some people it’s an extension of who they are. So this customization and personalization just becomes an even stronger emotional hook for that consumer.”
All of these product innovations and more will be the topic of discussion at the brand’s impressive new booth, including the food processors that help eliminate consumer pain points associated with usage, cleaning and storage.
“We are excited to show the trade partners our food processors, blenders, espresso machine, and for sure the Stand Mixers in all colors; but also to use this opportunity to have conversations about strategy, about trends, about the market, and to show them our appreciation for being our customers,” said Thiery. “I’m really proud of the portfolio that we are showing this year.”