Kaelo, the wine and drinks chiller that fits into a worktop, had a big presence at the kbb show and the company reported signing up many new kitchen retailers.
Founder Kevin Jabou set up the company in 2009 and after extensive development finally launched it to market in 2016. In its first year, the company signed up 80 retailers and the total currently stands at 250 – with 100 of them signing up in the past six months. And they are looking for more.
Jabou spoke to kbbreview on his stand at the NEC. He believes that kitchen studios are missing out in a lucrative new market segment with Kaelo.
He said: “Kitchen dealers know that it is all about the experience that their clients have and we are fortunate that we don’t compete with anyone in the worktop space. We see it as adding an experience to the kitchen that clients love and so if dealers are looking to add to their clients’ lifestyle, that’s what Kaelo can do.”
Jabou confirms that there was a lot of interest from retailers at the show. He told kbbreview: “We have signed up so many new dealers. It has been crazy. I think a lot of people were waiting to see if we were going to grow and they have seen now that we have elevated what we are doing. We have a new CEO, a new MD, and we’ve got new product innovations and that has given them the confidence now that Kaelo is here to stay.”
Jabou added that he took inspiration from Quooker’s success in the market. The new MD is Neil Hartshorne. Jabou says: “When we came to market, we had some feedback saying no one’s going to buy this, because you can buy an ice bucket for £20. But we spoke to some other retailers who said that was exactly what when boiling hot water tap first came out. And I thought who knows this journey better than people who have worked within Quooker and we found Neil Hartshorne, who, along with Stephen Johnson, started the Quooker journey in the UK. They singlehandedly started the market.”
Kaelo also recently took on ex-Brita and Haier man David Yearsley as CEO, who has over 30 years’ experience in the kitchen industry.
Kaelo also unveiled some additions to its range of chillers at kbb Birmingham, in the form of a flush-fitting variant and an undermount option.