Induction specialists crank up R&D

The induction cooking market appears to be in rude health if the product roadmaps of some of the leading equipment suppliers from the sector are anything to judge by.

Many of the top players are planning key launches throughout the duration of 2012, creating fresh margin opportunities for distributors and kitchen houses in the process.

Valera intends to expand its induction range this quarter with at least four of five enhancements. Product manager, Chris Drury, insists users can look forward to more “controllability” when it comes to effectively managing the power in the pan.

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New products will also be adaptable to techniques that focus on changing the intensity of the heat, he says.

“The technology is now coming on-stream to do a lot of things, even hobs just to keep things warm will be coming on-stream,” says Drury. “In the kitchen, the chef has his sauces and his mixes, some of which he will try to keep on a low gas. Now he’ll be able to do it on an induction hob at a low power to keep it warm rather than heating it.”

Lincat, meanwhile, has recently strengthened its Opus 700 line-up this month with the introduction of complementary induction hobs.

It is a significant step for the company, says marketing and export director Nick McDonald. “It is important in that the product we have at the moment is a standalone unit rather than forming part of a range. But if people are putting together a suite of equipment and want an induction hob, and the rest of it is Opus, then they’ll want one that fits in, which this will.”

In the middle of last year, Lincat introduced the IH21 to the market, which claims to offer 90% efficiency versus a solid electric hotplate at 55% and a gas hob at 50%.

Elsewhere, Electrolux Professional is likely to reveal its latest induction innovations towards the middle part of the year. While executive training chef, Alan Evans, has no details to share at the moment, he suggests any new additions to the range will bring improved benefits.

“Electrolux are always developing products, so a certain percentage [of revenue] goes into the R&D and they will constantly upgrade,” he says. “It could be the metal; it could be the fact that we might get an oven underneath, which is difficult at the moment to do because the induction elements need to be cooled and there is hot heat coming from an oven. I think there is only one in the market place doing that, so potentially we could be doing that during the course of this year.”

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