Housewares Design Awards

2005 Best in Category: Food Preparation Electrics


Jasper Morrison Electric Kettle

Rowenta was an advocate of the value of design well before it began its alliance with noted British minimalist designer Jasper Morrison.

However, Jasper Morrison-designed kitchen electrics are helping to earn Rowenta, long positioned in the U.S. as a technology innovator in steam irons, a new level of attention for its effort to make distinctive design a key component of its premium positioning strategy.

Not only was the Rowenta Jasper Morrison cordless electric kettle the Food Prep Best in Category honoree at 2005 Housewares Design Awards, the Jasper Morrison toaster was one of five finalists in Cooking Electrics.

Rowenta’s U.S. strategy remains focused on its role as the performance leader in garment care, allowing its Groupe SEB stablemate Krups to concentrate on upscale kitchen electrics design. Still, the strategically narrow Jasper Morrison line (a thermal carafe coffeemaker also is included) offers Rowenta a controlled way of widening its design-driven message— particularly at the top end of the market.

Morrison’s minimalist approach to design— he has designed everything from furniture and electronics to transportation— is the perfect complement to the New Modern design theory practiced by Rowenta and Krups. The object: to create highly functional products that are simple, precise, harmonious and timeless. Such design is rooted in classic industrial form with an infusion of texture and fluid lines that lend a current, artistic touch.

With that, the Morrison signature line has opened some surprising new retail doors for Rowenta in the U.S. This has introduced the Rowenta brand and design sensibility to even more consumers while reinforcing the design foundation already set by the brand’s garment care growth.

“The Jasper Morrison collection brings distinctive, new design elements to the electrics market– something for which Rowenta is recognized in the U.S.,” said Paul Pofcher, president of Krups/Rowenta USA. “This has opened many non-traditional channels for Rowenta at the top end of the U.S., and we will continue to explore similar opportunities going forward.”

Even so, garment care remains the focal point of Rowenta’s strategy in the U.S. The company’s steam irons convincingly have demonstrated the brand’s message that design innovation must combine interesting form with precision performance, Pofcher said.

“Our products are designed to ‘live’ in the home on a day-to-day basis, to be unobtrusive and very high performers with timeless design,“ Pofcher said.

“On the Rowenta side, we’re continually working to improve an iron, and on how the delivery of heat and steam consistently over time is very important to result. A lot of technology may not be visible to the consumer, but it is immediately visible in the results they achieve. Every year, we strive to bring something better to the marketplace in terms of performance levels.”

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