The refrigerator is one of the most important product groups in the home appliance sector, and therefore we can find one of the largest ranges of products in this segment. That is why every innovation, every novelty, every response to consumer needs can be of great importance in the market. We asked Thomas Ausserdorfer, Liebherr Head of Sales Region Austria and East Europe, about the refrigerator segment, the prevailing trends, consumer expectations and Liebherr’s recently launched new range.
The pandemic has shaped consumer demand for many product lines. Is there a similar trend for refrigerators? Are certain product features getting more attention from consumers than before?
Due to the fact that the travel behavior of consumers has been severely restricted due to the pandemic and the sensitivity to one’s own home has come more into focus, the demand for refrigerators and freezers and the replacement of existing models has of course also risen sharply. Food storage and extending shelf life is a big issue. This is why Liebherr’s storage theme – BioFresh – is in very high demand. Of course, connecting your own home is also playing an increasingly important role. Every refrigerator and freezer from the new Liebherr series can now be networked with Liebherr SmartDevice.
Two years ago, the energy label regulation for refrigerators changed. So now most of the range is in the “E” and “F” class, with very few “C” class models and almost none better than this on the Hungarian market. The new Liebherr range, however, includes an energy class A appliance. Does this feature make a significant difference to the price?
Liebherr has always been a pioneer in the field of energy efficiency. As a specialist for refrigerators and freezers, it is also our aim to always be technologically up-to-date and to be a pioneer. Each range has a certain price ladder. At Liebherr, we distinguish between the Pure, Plus, Prime and Peak classes in the range of appliances. Within this distinction there are of course different features and price ranges.
In your opinion, how long can this product feature be considered special, rare? In other words, when will class A become commonplace on the market?
It all depends on how much the additional added value reaches the end consumer and to what extent they are willing to pay this additional price for this added value.
Their new models also feature a DuoCooling system, i.e. a cooling circuit that can be individually controlled. This is another solution that not all brands have. Why is this solution useful for endusers?
As a specialist in refrigerators and freezers, we are constantly striving to bring innovations and added value to the market. DuoCooling is just one of the many added-value features that we are pursuing as part of the storage climate strategy. Incidentally, every refrigerator and freezer from the new series deals with the subject of storage climate. Even in the entry-level Pure series, food is stored with EasyFresh, a moisture-controlled zone and DuoCooling. DuoCooling stops the transfer of odors between the fridge and freezer compartments and prevents the food from drying out. This is a special added value that Liebherr offers with it.
Smart functions seem to have taken a back seat in the refrigerators, but they can open up a whole new dimension. What do you think about this and how important is it as a development direction at the moment?
Every manufacturer of household appliances is confronted with the topic of networking. It is important to constantly promote and develop this future topic. Liebherr is also constantly developing this digital topic with the topic of SmartDevice (for household appliances) and SmartMonitoring (for professional devices), because it is important to show the customer visions and innovations. However, it is particularly important to offer the customer added value that is significantly recognizable.
„At Liebherr, it is already possible to put together your own configured refrigerator or freezer. ”
What are the dominant product trends in refrigerators at the moment? For example, is there a growing demand for fresh-keeping technology, for specially designed compartments to facilitate loading?
The dominant product themes are always those that offer the customer added value. In addition to the large number of new freshness technologies, the topic of individualization is a megatrend. At Liebherr, it is already possible to put together your own configured refrigerator or freezer. And all according to the wishes and needs of the end consumer, who gets a unique product delivered to their home as the end product.
How can Liebherr’s new refrigerator range be segmented?
Liebherr has the largest range of refrigerators and freezers in the world. With the new equipment range, Liebherr has embarked on a new path. 4 device classes, Pure, Plus, Prime and Peak characterize the program and stand for pure innovation paired with affordable technologies. Even in the Pure entry level, end users can get Liebherr freshness technology combined with aesthetic steel surfaces. In addition, all new devices can be networked and are equipped with the most innovative cooling technology, BluPerformance. BluPerformance combines topics such as energy efficiency, low volume and maximum usable content.