IFA 2009: Trends in household appliances

Innovative, easy to use, efficient

Berlin, June 2009 - IFA 2009 will be the second time that the leading brands in consumer electronics and in the household appliance industry have been displayed together, with an even more extensive presentation on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds. IFA offers a unique combination of these markets, and provides the ideal platform for international dealers, buyers, consumers and the industry.


For the consumer electronics sector the focus is on media use in the home and on the move, while the household appliance industry is concerned with such aspects as comfort, lifestyle, health and wellness. And there are plenty of innovative develop-ments among both large and small electrical appliances. Outstanding design, ease of operation, smart technology and, of course, highly efficient use of water and energy, are the main features of the new household appliances from the leading brands.

 The focus today is on comfort, lifestyle, health and wellness

Simple controls and ergonomic design are important features of household appliances. Smart electronic controls, sensors and ingenious mechanical features are all intended to make them even easier to use. The latest washing machines include a whole range of special programmes for even cleaner clothes. Dishwashers make extremely efficient use of water and employ special minerals to assist the drying process. Driers have self-cleaning condensers, make use of heat pump technology and can even assist with ironing. A slight contact is all that is needed to operate cookers and small appliances, and there are no handles on the doors and flaps, which are activated simply by a touch.


Home cooking is now more popular than ever. There are countless television shows with well known cooks to provide suggestions on how to prepare tasty and memor-able meals for family and friends.

Among the large electrical appliances there are innovative new developments such as induction cooktops, high speed ovens with combinations of functions and cooking programmes, while the small appliances include kitchen appliances, mixers and grills, all of them ideal for home cooking. Healthier eating is still an important trend, and steamers, either incorporated in an oven or as separate units, and an extensive range of small electrical appliances are available to ensure that the food loses none of its nutritious properties.

Refrigerators are designed to keep food fresh for longer. Air filters, humidity regulators, separate storage compartments and a zero-degree area are available to provide perfect refrigeration and storage. There are many examples of designs setting new standards, and the built-in ice cube makers and even LCD-TVs offer welcome additional facilities. 

Coffee-making continues to enjoy unprecedented popularity and the number of available products has grown accordingly. These range from traditional coffee-makers to fully automated coffee machines, espresso machines, portion control units, including those with automatic recognition of the type of portion, and perfectly designed built-in units to enhance any kitchen.

Personal care and beauty appliances are another area attracting keen and growing interest. Many varied hair care and hair styling products are now available, along with a wide range of other body care appliances such as body groomers. Here too examples and suggestions are provided by the beauty and model shows on television.

 The careful use of energy and water

The manufacturers of household appliances have a long record of encouraging energy efficiency and the careful use of resources. Major advances are constantly being made with appliances incorporating new and innovative concepts. The aim is clear: to reduce energy and water costs without sacrificing utility and comfort. Over the past ten years washing machines, driers, refrigerators and dish washers offering reductions of 30 to almost 50 per cent in energy consumption have provided impressive proof of the success of these efforts. The catalogue of energy-efficient appliances is increasing all the time and now includes items such as kettles and coffee makers with substantially reduced energy consumption.

Even if in the years ahead new EU efficiency specifications for home appliances will begin to take effect, setting limits on energy consumption, a large savings potential can be realised by replacing older, inefficient appliances. In European households more than 180 million appliances aged ten years and older are still in use.


The average lifespan of home appliances currently exceeds 12 years for washing machines and tumble driers, and is close to 17 years for freezers. Thus according to a survey by ZVEI, annually 44 TWh of electricity are needlessly spent on powering inefficient, older appliances. Both trade and industry are called upon to make an even greater effort to jointly deal with this issue and educate the consumer on how to save energy.

The savings that can be achieved by replacing older appliances are huge, as the following figures demonstrate:

Savings achieved with a new appliance, compared with one that is 15 years old:

Dishwasher:  electricity: - 35 %, water: -50 %
Washing machine: electricity: -35 %, water: -50 %
Refrigerator: - 50 %
Freezer: - 65 %
Fridge freezer: - 65 %

Reducing the consumption of a fridge freezer by 65 % saves

70 Euros annually in electricity bills.

There are three very convincing reasons why consumers benefit by obtaining modern, energy-efficient appliances: such products help to protect the environment, significantly reduce energy costs and offer greater utility as a result of their innovative concepts, with new applications and increased comfort.

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