GE Re-enters Countertop Appliance Biz

GEA’s industrial designers ready the new countertop appliance collection.

By Alan Wolf, YSN

Good things are once again coming in small packages from GE Appliances (GEA).

The major appliance maker has just launched elements of a 24-SKU kitchen countertop line at Best Buy, which includes coffee makers, toasters, toaster ovens, blenders and food processors. The 19-product collection, which variously carries the company’s GE, GE Profile and Café badges, is rolling out to other retailers nationwide and will also be sold direct by GE later this month.

A search of BestBuy.com shows a two-slice toaster retailing for $50; a two-speed immersion blender (two-piece set) selling for $80; a 12-cup drip-style coffee maker priced at $100; and a 12-cup food processor available for $130. All are clad in stainless steel and carry the classic GE trademark.

GE has a legacy in countertop appliances, having introduced its first full collection in 1904 and debuting the first electric toaster in 1905. The company exited the category in 1984 but was prompted to revisit that business amid the changing consumer landscape and, presumably, Whirlpool’s success with its popular KitchenAid countertop collection.

 “The habits of consumers have changed dramatically over the last several months of the pandemic,” said Andre Zdanow, GEA’s executive director of small appliances. “As people are making most of their meals at home, they have experienced everything from recipe experimentation to cooking fatigue.”

“Our new line-up offers performance and convenience to help consumers elevate their own abilities and change up their routines,” he continued. “From nugget ice to coffee brewed at the perfect temperature, our range of new appliances from our trusted brands is a new opportunity to deliver restaurant-quality food and drink, while adding an extra touch of enjoyment to the home.”

GEA said the launch of the new area of business demonstrates its commitment to growth. Over the last two years the Haier-owned company has invested more than $660 million in new products, U.S.-based manufacturing, and an expanded smart distribution network, creating more than 1,500 new jobs in the process.