As Unox enters the UK market and prepares to showcase its Casa SuperOven at Halcyon Interiors, we catch up with director of Unox Casa, Matteo De Lise, to hear what the professional ovens brand has to offer retailers, designers and consumers.
Q: Tell us about Unox – what is the company's background and why are they entering the UK now?
A: Unox is a premium brand of professional ovens. Founded in Padua, Italy, in 1990, the company broke into the market of professional ovens with a product that guarantees perfect cooking uniformity in all load conditions. A successful debut, which launched Unox on a path of continuous innovation, has been supported steady investment in research and development. The vertical integration of the design and production of all components, together with an unparalleled attention to service, allowed Unox to provide unique quality standards, establishing the company as the market leader in the professional oven industry with a consolidated turnover of 125million euros in the first half of 2022.
The Unox Casa project has been a secret dream for years, stimulated by a direct experience of the company owners about a need among high-end consumers, for which an adequate product had not yet been developed. The moment to develop ad hoc products for high-end domestic settings came during lockdown, which caused the demand for professional technologies at home to explode. We decided to transform this critical market into a business opportunity with the motto: 'If people can't go to the restaurant, we'll bring the restaurant to their homes!' And so began the challenge of taking our highest range oven – the one used by some of the best starred chefs in the world – and redesigning it for the domestic market. And that's how the SuperOven was born.
Q: What does the product portfolio consist of?
Available in two configurations, Model 1 and Model 1S, SuperOven offers professional performance in a simple, immediate way, making types of cooking not found in traditional ovens possible, such as grilling, frying, steaming, vacuum cooking, smoking, roasting and dehydrating. Thanks to sensors that continuously monitor the percentage of humidity inside the cooking chamber, food can be cooked evenly and three times faster than in a normal oven.
SuperOvens are equipped with a large and intuitive digital panel that can activate more than 400 automatic cooking processes, for which all it takes is to set the desired result for the ovens to automatically choose the ideal programme, adapting it to the amount of food being cooked. The two models feature the same technology: Model 1 takes advantage of the power and versatility of two stacked ovens; the more compact Model 1S has a single cooking chamber. Both have a built-in ventilation system that eliminates odours and vapours with professional activated carbon filters. And washing is automatic: at the touch of the screen, SuperOven cleans itself with a solution of water and the company's patented mild, environmentally friendly detergent.
Alongside the ovens, the Cook Like a Chef digital platform allows Unox Casa customers to take advantage of expert support: the company has created real film studios at its headquarters in Padua, Italy, where it has filmed over 100 video recipes. At the end of each video users can download the chosen recipe directly to the oven. It's a sort of Netflix for cooking enthusiasts, with exclusive access to those who have purchased a Unox Casa oven! With Personal Cooking Trainer, a team of corporate chefs is available 7 days a week for one-to-one support on demand.
Q: What about the products is of particular interest for kitchen designers?
A: There are some features about the product that are of particular interest of both kitchen designers and homeowners – namely design and performance. SuperOven is the first professional oven redesigned to fit into the world's finest homes: it is made of stainless steel, fine-tuned with cooking technologies driven by artificial intelligence. Consumers often complain that ovens are difficult to use – they're confused by the buttons and knobs on the panels and spend too much time trying to figure out how to turn them on. SuperOven is equipped with a large and intuitive digital panel capable of starting over 400 automatic cooking processes with a simple touch of the screen. Unox professional ovens are used by the most demanding chefs to cook impressive quantities of food 24 hours a day. They're built to last, and require no cleaning or maintenance thanks to the automatic washing system.
Q: What support does the company offer kitchen retailers in terms of product training and displays?
A: The relationship with Unox Casa doesn’t end at the time of the purchase. There is a free training service that allows kitchen retailers and end users to take advantage of the potential of their new oven. Unox Chefs are available to show them how to get the best out of their new investment, from its basic functionalities to the most advanced cooking technologies.
Q: How about customer care?
A: Unox Casa guarantees guidance in the pre-sales process, assistance during installation and an unmatchable after-sales first on site response service within 24 hours throughout the UK. Our qualified technicians will always be ready to face and manage any unexpected event. Professionalism and timeliness, for an excellent service whenever and wherever you want. Our ovens are built to last and to perform under seemingly-impossible conditions, which makes us confident in giving SuperOven a warranty of 7 years or 10.000 hours of cooking that is unmatched by any home oven. On top of this, marketing support is also provided to help retailers promote the products on their digital and print channels, organise events – and therefore drive sales.
Q: How can Unox guarantee product supply?
A: While many equipment and supply companies continue to be affected by shipping delays, material and labour shortages, and production backlogs, Unox's strategy is to overcome these challenges through lean vertical integration – a model the company adopted since its inception in 1990. From metal to circuit boards to detergents and many other key components, Unox has integrated almost everything into the manufacturing process. This gives the company more control in the overall product quality as well as the time involved to fulfill orders, meaning that it is much less vulnerable to delays and backlogs. After extending the lean method full circle, today Unox can guarantee an unmatchable after-sales first on-site response service, within 24 hours throughout the UK.
Q: How did the collaboration with Halcyon come about?
A: When we started promoting and prospecting the UK, one of the obvious choices was to be in the heart of the kitchen world in central London so we came across Halcyon Interiors whose vision was very similar to ours. We want to revolutionise the way people cook at home so we need partners who can promote the brand in line with our philosophy.