Conventional microwaves are at the centre of modern kitchen convenience – most Australians households have one and couldn’t do without it. But with so many options to choose from, ranging in price from as little as $90 to around $800, how do you know which one to choose?
Our customer satisfaction ratings are designed to help make that purchase decision a little easier, with more than 1,000 Australians giving their verdict on their brand of microwave. Breville was the standout performer in 2015, so we caught up with Sharon Lenzner, Senior Category Manager – Cooking, to find out what the company has been doing to earn a five-star review from consumers.
The importance of simplicity
Q) We found ‘ease of use’ to be the greatest driver of customer satisfaction when buying a new microwave – an area Breville scored top marks in. Has it been a priority to make your microwaves as easy to use as possible and can you tell us about any research you have done with regards to what consumers are looking for?
Every kitchen has a microwave, however Breville’s extensive in-home research found that microwaves are often difficult to operate to their full potential without reference to the instruction manual. This means users often choose the instant start button – which blasts everything at 100 per cent power – or experiment only with time.
The latest Breville microwave, the Quick Touch™, was in development for three years. During that time more than 3,000 hours were spent in the test kitchen to ensure these microwaves solved real food challenges, were easy to use and produced superior food results.
Understanding microwave settings
Tasks such as reheating baked beans, which are known to explode in the microwave because the user can’t work out how to adjust the power, have been pre-programmed as a short cut to take out all the guess work. Other easy to use short cuts mean no more defrosted chicken with a frozen core and cooked edges, or melted chocolate that has over heated.
The Quick Touch microwave understands how much power (which is equivalent to heat) and time is required to reheat, cook and defrost perfectly for each food type and does it for you. Adapting the clever food thinking of the “a Bit More” feature, which was originally invented for toasters, provides the user with greater control over the results. What’s more, the Quick Touch microwaves are the first to allow manual adjustment of power and time while the microwave is in use.
Q) Three out of five adults use their microwave every day of the week, but less than one in five actually clean it every day. What are your experiences of consumer use and how important is it to maintain a clean microwave?
The main cause for microwaves getting dirty is the overheating and consequent exploding and splattering of food. The extensive testing Breville undertook before launching the Quick Touch was to ensure the microwaves deliver the optimal power level and time to cook, reheat or defrost a wide variety of foods in order to avoid messy results.
Breville has also made it easier to clean inside the Quick Touch microwave, made with stainless steel with a unique self-centring carriage design that allows the turntable to be removed for easy cleaning with no need for fiddly re-alignment.
What’s next in kitchen innovation?
Q) This award success for microwaves follows on the back of Breville’s Innovation Excellence Award win for the Boss™ blender. Can you tell us about any other exciting plans for the future?
Breville has recently received internationally acclaimed iF Design Awards for the Oracle® and the Smart Waffle™. The Oracle is a world first espresso machine design, and bridges the gap between automatic and manual options, automating the most complex parts of espresso making – grinding, dosing, tamping and milk texturing. This provides the taste coffee lovers crave from a manual machine, matched with the simplicity of an automatic. In as little as 90 seconds, a true café quality cappuccino or latte is ready, without needing the skills of a barista.
The Smart Waffle is also an innovative design. Including Breville’s unique Waffle IQ™ technology it automatically calculates the cooking time based on waffle type and colour preference for consistently good results. It has also been designed with a no-mess moat that catches and cooks batter overflow for easy clean up.
Not only is Breville reinventing pressure and slow cooking this winter, but the award-winning Quick Touch microwave range welcomes an exciting new addition with interesting features, that will resonate with consumers looking for a best-in-class microwave. These are just some of many innovations from Breville that make life in the kitchen faster, simpler and better.