APPLIANCE magazine is in Las Vegas today for the opening of the 2007 Kitchen/Bath Industry Show & Conference. The show is often serves as the primary launch pad for the latest high-end appliances for the U.S. market, and in this case serves as the launch for an entirely new brand from appliance maker GE. In a KBIS press release, GE said 54 percent of the parents surveyed by Harris Interactive(r) reported cooking dinner at least five times a week. The survey, investigating family dining habits on behalf of Super Target, found that two-thirds of respondent cook dinner more than half of the time (at least four times per week).
Kitchens are also expanding in size, and U.S. Census Bureau data shows average U.S. kitchen size grew 216 percent from 1950-2004, while the average home itself increased only 72 percent. GE sees kitchens turning into more "café-style" spaces, where the family enjoys passing time and relaxing. This motivated GE to launch the GE Café Series, with restaurant-inspired appearance and features for people who love to cook and entertain. All the appliances are freestanding, which, combined with affordable pricing, is intended to make them an easy upgrade for many homeowners.
Among the GE Café appliances being launched is the gas or dual-fuel range (pictured) with a retail price estimated to start at U.S. $2,499. It has an 18,000 BTU dual–stacked burner, a 17,000 BTU burner, a center oval burner with a non-stick griddle, and a double oven configuration for added cooking capacity.
A dishwasher in the new line ($1,199) is designed with a stainless steel interior and a SmartDispense™ feature to holds an entire 45–fluid–ounce bottle of liquid or gel dishwasher detergent. Detergent is dispensed in the correct amount to compensate for water hardness, cycle selection and the amount of soil on the dishes.
A refrigerator ($2,199) brand will have stainless–steel side panels for a sleek appearance, regardless of placement in kitchen, and a standard depth to fit flush with most cabinetry.
An over–the–range microwave ($649) will have a dual–distribution cooking system with a top and second side stirrer for even heating. It has a 2.0 cubic feet of capacity and is controlled via blue LCD touch controls.
A vent hood ($849) is said to have 600 CFM venting performance with a four–speed fan control and dual–halogen cooktop light.
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