Distinguished Italian cooking brand Smeg has revealed its brand-new collection of VIVOscreen connected ovens.
Originally founded in 1948 in northern Italy, by the entrepreneurial Bertazzoni family, Smeg has since grown into one of the largest, most innovative home appliance companies in the world, thanks to its passion for good food and dedicated expertise. It continues to be a family company, and over the years have developed a wide product range.
The latest product to be added to Smeg’s diverse range of state-of-the-art kitchen tech are the company’s recently unveiled VIVOscreen connected ovens. Boasting the perfect combination of aesthetics and functionality, the new VIVOscreen connected ovens are bigger, with full-colour display and exciting new functions. We spoke to Smeg UK’s head of products, Laura Jones, to find out more about this exciting, innovative company and the new VIVOscreen connected ovens.
Tell us a bit more about Smeg?
Smeg actually means ‘Metal Enamelling Foundry based in Guastalla, Emilia, Romagna’ in Italian! Family, Design and Food are at the heart of everything we do – even our HQ in Northern Italy was designed by Guido Canali, who also designed the Prada HQ. We have our own estate growing our own olive oil, balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese. We are on our 3rd generation of family owners and have 4 divisions: small appliances, major appliances, foodservice and medical.
Our heartland is cooking – we sell a range of stylish Cookers and Built-in Ovens, as well as our signature FAB fridges and small appliances, which we launched in more recent years. Many of our design aesthetics have been collaborations with world famous architects, such as Renzo Piano, and they run deep across our ranges. We are one of few brands who can offer a sink and tap or a kettle and toaster to match your cooker or oven! These details are our speciality.
Tell us about yourself?
I have worked for Smeg for 12 months, but come from a background in Premium Appliances and Cookware. I love food so the role is a perfect match; I look after the Product Management Team who work with our HQ in Italy to bring to market new products, technologies and design lines. Smeg has a wide range of products to manage so we are a busy department – but I have two young daughters at home, so I am used to juggling many things and keeping busy!
What is special about the new VIVOscreen oven?
Smeg have recently launched a new premium range of touch control ovens called ‘Vivo’. Not only are they one of the largest screens on the market, they are incredibly initiative, and are like having a smart phone in your oven. Their navigation is simple, featuring colour images to guide the user through the operation. Available in 9cm (Vivo) and 15 cm (Vivo Max), these new displays are available across the Dolce Stil Novo range of ovens, as well as in our Linea range. They feature additional benefits such as added steam cooking, temperature probes, automatic programmes and Smeg Connect technology, allowing the user to control the device from their smart phone.
Tell us about the design/creation process for the VIVOscreen oven?
Smeg has been making ovens for over 40 years so we have lots of experience in this field! We have our own in-house design and engineering team, as well as home economists and food technicians, so this new launch is a happy marriage of the two and the result of many years of consumer testing.
Do you think the current climate / lockdown we’ve had will have any effect on the launch?
Although many consumers have had to put their new kitchen on hold for the past four months, we are now seeing great demand for our appliances as stores reopen and like gets back to ‘normal’. Coupled with the fact that many consumers have been at home for months planning their new home improvements, having the time to research what they want, I am hoping this will actually enhance the launch – there is an appetite for consumers to improve their homes and find ways to live smarter and find products to best suit their lifestyle. Purchases will be more considered and for a brand like us, that’s a good thing.
What excites you about using technology in the kitchen?
I love the fact that even a novice cook or someone with very limited experience can feel confident using this oven. The automatic programmes guide the user, so even the most basic chef can produce good quality food to enjoy with sophisticated results, such as perfect medium rare roast beef or perfect rise cakes. You don’t need to be savvy to use it, just follow the onscreen instructions!
How do you hope customers will react to the VIVOscreen oven?
Firstly, I hope they choose Smeg for the design; whether they choose Dolce Stil Novo (my favourite design line) or the timeless symmetry of Linea, they are making a design statement unique to them. Our ovens really are different to the rest of the market, and the consumer can take their design line right across the kitchen with ovens, steam ovens, microwaves, etc. to match.
Secondly, I hope they choose the Vivo or Vivo Max display for its simplicity and clean design. Having a large TFT touch display gives the consumer maximum control and visibility, but also clean lines and simplicity. I know they will love the user-friendly navigation, and enjoy the results from the automatic programmes – any food lover would!
What else can we expect to see from Smeg, or should we be excited for, in the near future?
These new Vivo ovens raise the bar in technology and style in the market, and it is our aim to continue to do this in other product categories. We have some exciting new developments planned for cookers in 2021, as well as hobs, for example. In terms of making technology more accessible, we will continue to bring useful technology further down the range in ovens to make them more accessible to all.