Frigidaire has introduced white-colored models for its Gallery Professional Series of stainless-steel kitchen appliances which have been previously available only in black. The white models are for customers who desire a brighter kitchen atmosphere and for those who want to add to existing light-colored units. Other innovations include a drawer for storing food at a warm serving temperature and a new water filter.
Frigidaire adds lighter look to Gallery Pro
A white-accented version of the Frigidaire Gallery Professional Series of stainless-steel kitchen appliances was unveiled at a December press conference in Columbus. The products were also shown at the National Association of Home Builders Expo in Houston last month. (Builders Show highlights will appear in the March issue of AM.)
Frigidaire, based in Dublin, Ohio, introduced the professional-style appliance line early in 1995 with black accents. The new white look provides an option for those who want a softer, lighter feel for their kitchens along with a professional appearance, says Robin Edman, vice president of industrial design. The new color also offers greater compatibility with existing appliances for consumers who may be interested in purchasing only one stainless-steel unit.
The Frigidaire Gallery Line and the Frigidaire Gallery Professional Series both proved to be highly successful product launches. Fred Turner, vice president of sales, announced that 1995 sales of the new products were 56 percent higher than originally forecast.
The December debut also featured several other innovations for the Gallery Collection, including:
* Warm & Serve Drawer.
Located beneath the oven, the drawer features a radiant element that keeps food at a warm serving temperature. A knob on the control panel offers the choice of low, medium or high, with the temperature ranging from about 150 [degrees] F to 195 [degrees] F. The drawer, which offers 5.5-in. of useable height, is available on both electric and gas range models in both Gallery and Gallery Professional.
* PureSource Ice & Water Filter.
The new filter improves the taste and quality of water served through the refrigerator door dispenser and also improves the quality and clarity of ice cubes. The activated-charcoal filter reduces lead, chlorine, particulates and cysts (three to four microns in size in accordance with ANSI/NSF standards 43 and 52.) The easily changeable filter is conveniently located at the upper rear of the refrigerator compartment and is designed to be replaced about every six months. A date indicator on the unit reminds the user when changing is necessary. The filter canister is only under pressure when water is being dispensed, to reduce the possibility of a flooded refrigerator in case of failure. The filter is available in select models of the Gallery and Gallery Professional refrigerators.
* Flip & Slide SpillSafe Shelf.
One side of the shelf flips up to provide added head room inside the refrigerator for tall items like wine bottles or gallon jugs of milk. The other side of the shelf slides forward to make stored items more accessible. The shelf is available on two models of the Gallery side-by-side refrigerators and on both models of the Gallery Professional refrigerators.
Another new product unveiled was a countertop microwave oven that features an oval motif throughout its design. The timer display and open-door button have matching oval shapes, and the door has a curved shape to complement the style. The unit also features raised keypads for improved tactile response, consumer adjustable convenience buttons, and the ability to program personal preferences. In addition to both black and white models, the microwave will be available in an almond-on-almond version to provide a better match for consumers whose existing kitchen appliances are almond.
In addition to new product debuts, Frigidaire also used the media event to present its marketing and merchandising plans, as well as providing other pertinent company updates.
Robin Edman discussed how he and his design staff are working with faculty and students at the Rhode Island School of Design to develop the Universal Kitchen, a look at the kitchen of the 21st century, which will be unveiled at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in New York in 1998. The project incorporates both utilitarian and aesthetic requirements that consumers desire, such as work zones and storage capabilities. The project will also take into account special consumer needs, such as homes with small children, elderly and people with disabilities.
Hans Straberg, executive vice president of operations, announced that Frigidaire’s three remaining principal manufacturing plants and its national parts distribution center have joined the company’s six other manufacturing facilities in receiving ISO 9000 registration. The company now has ISO 9000 registration in all its product categories.