Housewares Design Awards

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2006 Best in Category: Cooking Electrics

Breville

800ESXL - Espresso Machine

When Australia’s Breville decided to enter the crowded U.S. small appliance market, it knew it needed a decided advantage to make its mark in a price-sensitive arena that has had a profit-stifling affect on many of the largest suppliers in the field.

Why would upscale retailers take a chance on a brand that, while three quarters of a century old and a dominant player in Australia and other regions, had no equity between these shores?

Design was the answer.

In just two-plus years since its formal U.S. debut, Breville kitchen electrics have earned prominent placement in a full range of department and specialty stores.

Add to the mix Breville’s Best in Category Housewares Design Awards honor this year in Cooking Electrics for its Die Cast Espresso Machine (Breville’s Die Cast Indoor Grill was another of the five finalists) and you get the feeing the company made the right call.

“There really wasn’t anything but our ability to innovate and bring sophisticated design to the market. We didn’t have the ability to compete on price for mass distribution,” said Scott Brady, vp/sales and marketing for Breville USA, a division of Austrialia’s diverse housewares company HWI.

It was in 1972, when Breville opened its Sidney Design Studio that the company turned to exclusive design as a focal point of its differentiation effort. That’s when the idea crystallized for Breville: successful, marketable design would integrate a clean aesthetic concept with the application of premium materials and precision performance characteristic.

“Design starts with the consumer,” Brady said. “Our process is not to just make something that looks goods, but to ascertain what the consumer needs, and how they will use the product.”

On a glance, the award-winning Breville espresso machine certainly is attractive and upscale in its brushed-metal, cube-shaped exterior with rounded edges. Brady described it as a simple, balanced aesthetic— strong without a harsh industrial tone. But there’s so much more to it than that, he stressed.

The external components of the espresso maker are die-cast, wherein molten metal is poured into a mold to form a solid piece of steel. Brady said this produces an exterior shell 10 times thicker than the sheet metal often used to wrap other kitchen electrics

While enhancing the espresso machine’s overall weight and durability, the die-cast components plays a critical role in supporting the high heat and pressure required for optimum brewing of espresso, Brady said. Similarly, he said, die-cast parts allow the grill in the collection to deliver consistent heat for proper searing and cooking; and they allow a juice extractor in the collection to withstand the heavy forces needed for full extraction.

“You can use less sturdy parts and still make a product that looks good. But that often compromises performance,” Brady said. “We’re focused on making sure every single product that bears the Breville name offers a genuine benefit to the consumer that doesn’t exist on other products in that category.“

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