Henneke Duistermaat defends the reputation of the range cooker

Britannia’s Henneke Duistermaat defends the reputation of the range cooker…

In his recent market analysis of range cookers Nigel Jacobs from Euroline states that consumers are no longer in an ‘intense love affair’ with range cookers.

Not so long ago, I received a letter from a lady who had bought a Britannia range cooker (custom-finished in her favourite candy pink). She never liked cooking, but since this personalised cooker was installed in her kitchen, she is really enjoying using it! At Britannia, we speak to many consumers every week who are inspired by cooking on a range cooker and at every show we see consumers falling in love with a range cooker.

True, range cookers may not include as many innovative technologies as some built-in appliances, but they offer something different. A range cooker is the central point of a kitchen, and in turn, a home. Range cookers are for keen cooks, who like to be inspired by the versatility range cookers offer. Not everyone needs, for instance, a host of pre-programmed recipes.

Additionally, with range cookers, there is so much more variety. Consumers can choose not only from a selection of widths and configurations, but also from a wide palette of colours as well as fuel types and design styles.

Consumers and retailers alike are still very much in love with the range cooker.

Henneke Duistermaat, sales and marketing director, Britannia

Nigel Jacobs, managing director, Euroline sales and marketing, sole UK importer of Bertazzoni, looks at range cookers…

I don’t believe there is still an intense love affair between the consumer and range cooker.

The range cooker market has seen what you could term as a lack of innovation, especially compared with the technology now seen in the built-in market. Buying patterns in appliances seem to be very much linked to the culinary trends of the moment; there is a lot of emphasis on different methods of cooking such as steam, teppanyaki, barbecue.

Induction tops are most definitely coming to the fore however. This type of cooking is becoming popular in general because of its energy efficiency and its time and cost-saving qualities; combining the traditional range with the more modern concept of induction seems to have fired up people’s imaginations.

It is true that gas hobs will always be close to the cooking purists’ hearts, however, people are increasingly reliant on technology that makes tasks faster and more convenient; induction hobs are almost twice as fast as gas when it comes to cooking.

As with any introduction in what is considered to be ‘newer’ technology, there are cost implications.  Induction is generally more expensive to produce and retail and the equipment required can be expensive in comparison with gas, which can be off-putting to the end consumer. It’s all about education though, some existing cookware can be used, dependent on the ferrous metal content, and when induction becomes more ‘mainstream’ prices will start to come down anyway. And with people becoming more environmentally aware and lifestyles getting even busier, induction could take over sooner rather than later.

Space is also an issue. Ranges are great for larger kitchens, but can be overbearing when space is limited. This is being addressed by slimline versions that have the same engineering as larger models, with no compromise on quality.

Kitchens Kitchens think that whilst Range cookers have perhaps fallen in favour amongst the UK consumers one weird trend seems to run counter to the argument about cost of buying and running costs.

Twin single Ovens housed in a tall bank are becoming a big on trend choice at the minute and it begs the question that when you consider the space being used, the fact that you are buying two identical single ovens, and you still need a hob, surely, the space needed for a range is less, as to is the purchase price if you are choosing some of the more modern range cookers?

Personally, whilst we think most modern kitchens deserve modern appliances there are some great state of the art ranges out there that shouldn’t just be written off.