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Innovation and design of the highest calibre. Allmilmö, a premium supplier in the kitchen sector,

IFA 2014 – Good things are getting better

The Internationale Funkausstellung in Berlin (IFA) is well known as far more than just an exhibition for radio and television. This year, too, the 240,000 visitors found pioneering products by famous manufacturers from the worldwide electronics sector.


There is no doubt that the pressures of economic progress and competing brands demand of manufacturers even more innovative ideas and inexpensive implementation. The material limits have long been reached. The market is saturated and many concerns are increasingly concentrating more on the strategy of optimising products that have already been developed rather than presenting completely new ideas. Because – to be honest – nobody can re-invent the wheel.


High-end household equipment is becoming more user-friendly, offering improved performance with reduced energy consumption; now it is becoming sustainable or is simply being given a facelift. HOWEVER, major innovations were noticeably absent from the 54th IFA.


In the halls displaying small household appliances visitors could find famous manufacturers like Bodum, Kenwood, Nespresso and Braun. Coffee aromas wafted; macaroons and smoothies of pear, apple, ginger and chilli were enjoyed and here and there you could hear the live commentary from the stands’ own cooking shows which presented the new, improved models every hour on the hour – mostly with a star testimonial.

Liebherr, the manufacturer of refrigerators, puts it main focus on freshness and has declared war on the perishability of foodstuffs. Its fair stand was decorated with a vitamin-rich display of kilos of fresh fruit for visitors to help themselves, while Liebherr presented refrigerator shelves with their own chilling and ventilation zones, thereby extending the storability of the foodstuffs by a measurable amount. Next door on the same stand, a colourful market-research project was under way. Interactive, of course. Stand visitors could vote for a fridge painted in their favourite colour. There were six different colours and six buzzers which clearly caught the fair visitors’ eye for participation. Not only Liebherr placed increased emphasis on bright colours. Today many manufacturers offer a full range of colours in special finishes for their products. White goods are encountering competition. According to the industry, colourful households are currently all the rage.

On the Siemens stand, one hall further on, on the other hand, the emphasis in one area was not on attracting attention, but on keeping quiet. New technologies, bearings and components that absorb noise cut back the volume of washing machines and driers to under 50 dB at top rotational speeds. By comparison: the roaring of the sea lies at about 80 dB. Turbo revolutions that merely whisper – a development which truly makes sense. The appliances are already highly energy-efficient.

This year the supporting programme at the IFA once again offered plenty of action on the large outdoor site. Numerous live acts performed on the stage in the summer garden, providing a pleasant change from the bustling fair in the halls. The weather was set fair and the temperatures were pleasant, making it the ideal place to relax at the end of a long day at the IFA.

All in all: there were no really big innovations in the household appliances sector; products were optimised and are now available in a wide variety of designs. Old favourites proved themselves again – and in colour.


Text and photos: Lisa-Marie Köster