Whirlpool Shares Shoppers’ Appliance Concerns

Consumers want appliances that save energy and are made in an environmentally responsible way.

Consumers want more than quality and value

By Alan Wolf, YSN

For today’s consumer, quality and value are merely table stakes when purchasing a new appliance.

According to a recent survey by Whirlpool, shoppers want more out of their white goods — as well as the companies that make them. In an interview this month with local news station WTOL 11 in Toledo, Ohio, the vendor’s Global Sustainability Director Ronald Voglewede shared some specifics from that poll.

“It’s really about how consumers can improve their life at home,” he said on the broadcast, “in the sense that it will save energy, save them time and effort, and save the planet.”

Specifically, 40 percent of respondents said they want an appliance that uses less energy, and Whirlpool has been delivering on that want with what Voglewede described as “purposeful innovation.”

“It’s technology that’s not for technology’s sake,” he explained. “It’s not things yelling at you. It’s technology that works for you, rather than bugs you.”

As an example of practical and earth-friendly product benefits, Voglewede pointed to the company’s third-rack dishwashers that offer 30 percent more space, use 3.5 less gallons of water, and save 30 minutes per wash cycle. Similarly, the vendor’s latest generation of refrigerators consume less power than a 60W light bulb, he said.

“You’re saving time, you’re saving money, and you’re saving the planet,” he noted. “You’re doing good.”

Voglewede said consumer considerations extend beyond the products to the manufacturers that make them. “People want to trust the companies they’re buying from,” he explained. Whirlpool, he said, earns that trust by making 80 percent of its U.S.-sold goods domestically, and by producing them in environmentally responsible plants. Indeed, many of the company’s U.S. factories are hitting a 96-percent use-rate of recycled materials, employ on-site renewable energy, and/or contribute zero waste to landfills.

Whirlpool also demonstrates its good corporate citizenship by providing appliances to Habitat for Humanity, Homes for Our Troops, and local organizations, and by the one-third of company employees who volunteer in their communities.

“Those are key reasons why you trust and buy your appliances from us, Voglewede said.

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