Appliance trends: A round-up of the coolest fridge-freezer technology

KitchensFeatures Mon 8th Aug 2022 by Nicola Hanley

Appliance trends: A round-up of the coolest fridge-freezer technology

Appliance trends: A round-up of the coolest fridge-freezer technology

Feature by Nicola Hanley | Mon 8th Aug 2022

Nicola is an award-winning journalist who has been writing about interiors for 15 years. A former editor of Essential Kitchen & Bathroom Business magazine, she has also worked in PR and is now a freelance writer specialising in kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms. More

As fridge-freezers continue to get smarter and greener, Nicola Hanley looks at the features most in demand with consumers keen to reduce food waste and cut energy consumption.

For some time now, consumers have been striving to reduce food waste and this has never been as important as it is today. It’s no surprise then that food preservation technologies that help produce stay fresher for longer continue to top many consumer wishlists. “People are looking for features that help food last longer, thereby reducing waste,” says Valerie Posner, BSH’s business unit head, refrigeration.

Launched in June, the Cube 90 Series 7 fridge-freezer from Haier has a large, 601L capacity and a flexible drawer that can be used as a fridge or freezer. The Humidity Zone drawer is designed to keep fruit and vegetables fresh for twice as long while ABT Pro removes 99.99% of bacteria. It also has a water and ice dispenser

With many of us increasingly prioritising hygiene in our homes following the pandemic, fridge-freezers with programmes that can reduce bacteria, while helping to keep food fresher, are becoming more attractive to consumers, too.

Available in white, black or silver, Hotpoint’s new Total No Frost Fridge-Freezers feature Active Oxygen to reduce viruses and bacteria by up to 99% while preserving fresh food for longer. Air is continuously circulated throughout the fridge and freezer to prevent ice and moisture build up and the Multi Fresh Zone drawer has three adjustable temperature settings for vegetables, dairy and meat

Bigger, it seems, is definitely better when it comes to fridge-freezers as clients look to shop less frequently while stocking up on more produce. “COVID-19 has meant that larger appliances have become popular because people started buying food in greater quantities,” continues BSH’s Valerie Posner. For other consumers, flexibility is the name of the game and having the option to easily swap fridge and freezer space is incredibly valuable.

Finished in sleek black glass, Siemens’ iQ700 KF96RSBEA American-style multiDoor fridge-freezer has a generous 572L capacity. Consumers using the Home Connect app can be notified if one of the doors has been left open or the temperature needs adjusting, which can be done remotely. It also has a beverage drawer with oak racks that can store 17 bottles at five temperatures

Providing flexible storage, Samsung’s Bespoke cooling range allows clients to choose from multiple fridge and freezer modules and a variety of colours and finishes. Customisable Inner Space also allows the interior to be tailored to suit individual needs

Jo Jackson, product manager at Fisher & Paykel, agrees that size really does matter. “Capacity is a key factor for many consumers as they will consider the times they use their fridge-freezers most, such as Christmas and when entertaining. American-style fridge-freezers continue to be a popular style as their design allows homeowners to clearly see what’s available in their fridge with the wide-open doors.”

New from August this year, Fisher & Paykel’s 60cm-wide RS6019F3LJ1 integrated fridge-freezer has a 323L capacity. The brand’s ActiveSmart control system adapts to daily use to optimise cooling and help preserve food and save energy. It also has WiFi connectivity and LED lighting to the top and sides

Spending more time at home over the last couple of years has altered the way we interact with appliances such as fridge-freezers and made consumers demand even more from them. “The pandemic has undoubtedly affected the way in which we live and work. This shift showed us that the noise output from compressors needed to be significantly reduced,” says Hugo Prado, UK senior marketing manager at Liebherr. “From this we introduced a new freestanding range that is quieter. Liebherr now has the largest range of QuietMark certified appliances on the market, which is a significant milestone for the company.”

One of Liebherr’s best-selling models, the CBNef 5735 Comfort BioFresh NoFrost fridge-freezer is finished in SmartSteel, an easy-to-clean and scratch-resistant stainless steel. BioFresh compartments keep temperature just above 0°C to help food stay fresh and retain vitamins longer while DuoCooling prevents odour transfer and food from drying out. It is rated D for en energy efficiency

More and more appliance manufacturers are also reporting that connectivity has become increasingly relevant to the cooling market, too. “The one question Gaggenau is regularly asked about its fridge-freezers is: 'Does it have connectivity?’” says Simon Plumbridge, category manager at Gaggenau. “The reason why it’s a popular question, more so than hobs, for example, is that it is easy for people to relate to the real-world benefits of a connected fridge-freezer.”

Operated by TFT touch display and compatible with the Home Connect app, Gaggenau’s RB472305 Vario fridge-freezer 400 Series has a total capacity of 452L and an integrated ice maker. Features include fast cooling and freezing and warm white and glare-free LED spotlights

Connected cooling appliances add value and make consumers’ lives easier, says Sian Bailey, refrigeration at Miele GB. “It’s great to get alerts if the door has been left open, or be able to turn on the super cool feature before you return from the big shop for quick cool down of groceries. This will help food last longer which ultimately reduces waste.”

Miele’s top-of-the-range built-in KFN 7795 D fridge-freezer has a 175L fridge and 71L freezer and is D-rated for energy efficiency. It uses the brand’s PerfectFresh Active technology to keep food fresh for five times longer, with a fine mist waterfall sprayed on to the contents of the crisper drawer. It has a TFT Touch Display and can also be controlled by the Miele@home app

Soaring energy prices have also made people more aware of sustainability. “Historically, consumers of premium appliances have been looking for elements that fit around their lifestyle before sustainability enters the hierarchy. At least that was the case until very recently,” says Fisher & Paykel’s Jo Jackson. “This time last year, saving money on energy bills through sustainable practices might not have been the priority that it is today. But now it is unquestionably on everyone’s minds.”

Ideal for large families and clients that enjoy entertaining, Scandinavian appliance brand Asko’s fully integrated R31831I_UK refrigerator has an impressive 301L capacity while the no-frost FN31831_UK freezer offers 212L. Fridge features include Super Cool, Auto Super Cool and a wire bottle holder while the freezer boasts Auto Fast Freeze and Fast Freeze functions

Liebherr’s Hugo Prado agrees. “Sustainability and energy efficiency remain top of the agenda with consumers. They are factoring in the long-term financial savings, but also the environmental impact and how choosing the right appliance can help towards a greener future. With energy efficiency and sustainability driving the market, the refrigeration industry is seeing the development of most of the components from a fridge being made from recyclable materials, that can further be recycled at the end of its life. The importance for our industry to not only drive technology but participate in a circular economy is paramount.”  

Caple’s RiL1800 larder fridge has a 294L capacity while the frost-free RiF1800 freezer offers 197L. Super Cool and Super Freeze functions speed up chilling and freezing times and both models have Eco modes to help save energy. They are operated by digital touch controls

Tags: kitchens, features, fridge-freezers, cooling, refrigeration

In other news