John Lewis has reported that sales of ‘professional’ small kitchen appliances featured on the likes of Masterchef are soaring. So do premium products have pride of place in your kitchen?
The department store says sales of food processors, mixers, blenders and other cookery gadgetry from premium brands have increased by a whopping 233% over the past month alone – that’s no mean feat in these austere times.
Attributing a boost in sales to a cookery show might seem a little far-fetched, but the halo-effect created by a high-profile endorsement shouldn’t be underestimated. The £20 Kenwood Mini Chopper found fame after Delia Smith named it one of her ‘cheat’ gadgets in 2008, and it still accounts for a healthy share of food prep product sales.
A price worth paying?
But what about stumping up rather more cash for a high-end kitchen product? The two brands highlighted by John Lewis certainly don’t come cheap.
It’s certainly not a case of style over substance – Magimix and Kitchenaid mixers generally fare well in our test lab (Which? members can log in for full results of our food processors review).
And as any Masterchef contender would probably agree, a decent mixer or processor can be a marvellous asset when it comes to speedy whisking, whipping, chopping and so on.
But rather like guiltily splurging on a designer handbag, I can’t help but think there’s something ever-so-slightly obscene about parting with this sort of money for what’s essentially a non-essential kitchen item – bearing in mind you can get a whole Which? Best Buy freestanding cooker for under £300.
Designer = quality?
We’ve found that most food processors, kitchen machines and mini choppers are, generally speaking, built to last. While you can certainly pay more for good looks, a celebrity or premium brand name, the extra money won’t necessarily buy a machine that will last any longer, or perform any better.
What is it about products like these that keep them in demand, then – great styling? A luxury brand name? A popular TV show encouraging us all to get busy in the kitchen? I guess whatever the reason for buying, and however much you paid, the main thing is that you get good value for money from your investment, and it’s not left gathering dust.
So tell us – is your kitchen adorned with fancy kitchen gadgets? Nominate the product you’d be willing to, or already have, splashed out on (and the ones you wished you hadn’t).
I’ll get the ball rolling. My one personal kitchen indulgence is a beautiful Gaggia Baby coffee machine that takes up pride of place – but, sadly, rather a lot of space! – on my modestly-sized kitchen worktop…