When a man cooks at home, it becomes an event: Sanjeev Wadhwa

17 Oct,2013

Men make great chefs. There was never any doubt about that. But it’s only lately that they’ve started getting into the kitchen – commended to be the domain of women – at home and often lending a helping hand to the ladies at home. Marketers are not oblivious to this change and are even encouraging them to don the apron more often. New Zealand-based kitchen appliances maker, Fisher & Paykel, that largely operates in the luxury space, was launched in India in December 2011 and was quick to acknowledge the evolution of the Indian male by introducing the ‘Men in the Kitchen’ concept. It helps if you hand over a gadget to them. Technology, is something men like to play with. Sanjeev Wadhwa, Country Manager – Fisher & Paykel India, tells MxMIndia, more about the company’s strategy and the evolution of the Indian male. Excerpts:

 

What was the insight behind launching the ‘Men in the Kitchen’ concept?

Before we get into the evolution of men, we have to understand the evolution of the kitchen. The kitchen has moved from the back of the house where cooking was a chore, to the centre of the home where cooking is about creativity and sociability. The kitchen is the heart of the home. It is where we cook and prepare food for our families, help kids with their homework and entertain friends. It has become a makeshift office, a place we perch when a friend arrives, where parties inevitably seem to congregate and where we create culinary feasts. Our kitchens now communicate how we live as much as how we cook.

 

With the advent of so many cooking shows, people are now willing to experiment with food at home and everyone is chipping in. The weekends/holidays are becoming social time where men want to have an ego boost by showcasing their culinary skills amongst friends and families.

 

Is it just the ego or boost that the man is looking for?

When a woman cooks at home, it is generally a lunch or dinner and when a man cooks, it triggers applause. At home, all through the week, it is the woman, who is churning out daily chores and trying to please her children and spouse with dishes of their choices. So we thought, why not keep a woman’s day out – and let men cook for their wives. Men believe that they have the technique, discipline and passion that makes cooking consistently an art. Fisher & Paykel (F&P) gave them an opportunity to showcase their skills.

 

What makes men’s cooking an art?

When women cook, it is expected. When a man takes the mantle it becomes an event, Why? I strongly believe that women are better cooks and they create dishes with love and passion, whereas boys love toys… the gadgets and appliances. They are fascinated by technology. F&P believes in creating fun evenings with F&P Social Kitchen. The Social Kitchen underpins our design philosophy in developing flexible appliances that can be distributed throughout your kitchen and tailored to your individual lifestyle and needs.

 

What are the products that have been launched under the concept?

The Social Kitchen is more than a single event. The Social Kitchen is an approach to design, cooking and the kitchen. By interacting with people who eat and cook and clean up every day, Fisher & Paykel is rethinking assumptions about kitchen design and creating appliances that will allow kitchens to be truly social. The Social Kitchen is an ongoing experience to connect people with food and design and start rethinking the kitchen.

 

How different are the products in terms of functionality and usage as compared to other products which are largely pitched at women?

The products are the same for men, women alike. But we have noticed that the built-in CoffeeMaker and the CoolDrawer are very popular with men as the same is being used in offices & conference rooms.

 

Is the pricing any different?

We do not believe in any discrimination, all prices are same across the country.

 

When it comes to marketing, how are strategies different for men than women? Does F&P look at men as a different customer segment?

With the ease of operating our appliances, the same appliances comply with all. But yes, we do strategise events for men, being labelled foodies.

 

How many of your customers are men? Or influencers in the purchase decision making?

It is the family which makes the decision, women see the design, ease & convenience of using the appliances whereas men are attracted to latest technology. They want to know about the technical details, warranty and after sales service which is very important.

 

F&P has stores in some of the metros and cities in Punjab. Is there any difference in shopping behaviour amongst men in these cities?

Men will be men from Bhatinda to Kanyakumari.

 

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