Once the preserve of only the very top- end kitchen projects, the hot water tap has seen its role change significantly over the years, assuming a more prominent position on the consumer’s wish list. Helen Clark, Marketing Manager at Abode, said: “Over the past five years we have really seen this sector of the market flourish. It has offered the next new and exciting introduction for the kitchen and the concept is a hard one not to warm to. After all, who doesn’t want to save time and have something instantly, not to mention the benefits of helping to provide a clutter-free kitchen décor.”
“We’ve seen advancements in model options, technology and finishes and we see this trend set to continue as the demand for this type of product continues to increase as it becomes more accessible to the mass market.”
Denise Iordache, Marketing Manager, Europe and Russia, InSinkErator, added: “With kitchens increasingly merging with living space in the home, consumers are seeking appliances that deliver practical convenience, de-clutter the home, and satisfy busy lifestyles. The latest combined innovations have taken a huge leap in revolutionising the kitchen tap market; incorporating steaming hot, filtered water, alongside hot and cold options, from a single fixture.
“Increasing numbers of consumers are choosing to cast out the kettle and install a steaming hot water tap in order to streamline the kitchen, save time, increase convenience and flexibility, as well as reduce water waste in the home. According to the 2017 Houzz UK kitchen trends survey, 24 per cent of respondents installed a steaming hot water tap in their kitchen in the last 12 months or plan to install a steaming hot water tap in their kitchen in the next three months.”
Ron Blount, UK Manager of HotSpot Titanium, said: “With 165 million cups of tea drunk each day in the UK, the hot tap is now seen as the must- have appliance for any new kitchen. Demand for kettles has declined as sales of hot taps have escalated. Not surprisingly, this trend is set to continue as time-poor consumers continue to favour ways of saving valuable minutes in their busy working day. And not just for the home; we are finding that more and more of offices are choosing to install hot taps for their employees, not only as a substantial time-saving benefit for the company but also to save energy and increase productivity.
“The HotSpot Titanium is a new entry to this market, having arrived in the UK at the beginning of this year. I am pleased to report that we are already making inroads around the country in premium kitchen specialist retailers – the only market we are targeting – and the feedback is very encouraging. Many are keen to display more than one hot tap option so that the consumer can compare models. Unlike many other hot taps, the HotSpot is a true boiling water hot tap, reaching well over 100 degrees and boasting a titanium heater that is not only anti-corrosive but also antibacterial and very strong. The tap comes in a choice of styles and finishes with 3-in-1 and single versions available in the range.”
The profile of the product category has been enhanced in a number of ways. Luke Shipway, Product Manager at Caple, said: “Hot water taps are increasingly being seen on high-pro le cooking shows, which add to their desirability. Consumers are also becoming more aware of their many bene ts. Providing a sleek, space-saving alternative to a kettle, they help to keep the worktop clutter-free, which is particularly helpful in smaller or open-plan kitchens where consumers are looking to create a streamlined, cohesive design.
“Incredibly flexible, taps that instantly deliver filtered, 98°C steaming water are perfect for preparing tea, blanching vegetables and assisting cooking pasta or rice. Models such as our Vapos, which has water- conditioning technology, provide exceptional accuracy for scale and acidity control for increased boiler protection, which means outstanding food and beverage quality. We believe sales within the market will continue to rise as awareness and affordable options increase.”
Fiona Bowyer, Marketing Director at Franke, adds that products that can adapt to the specific needs of the user are the key to growth: “It’s fair to say the market is now well populated with 3-in-1 tap models offering hot, cold and boiling water. This functionality will be a highly popular seller for years to come but we are forecasting stronger growth in models that also include filtration. This is being influenced by greater prominence in people’s minds for health and wellbeing, including better hydration, as well as a desire to live more sustainably by minimising the carbon footprint and recycling needs associated with bottled water.”
The energy saving aspect of hot taps is becoming an increasingly key selling point it seems. Russell Owens, Marketing Director at Zip Water UK, said: “The development of energy efficiency features is a real hot topic right now. There’s a clear rise, particularly among millennials, in those becoming more environmentally aware. Couple this with rising fuel bills and it’s easy to see why consumers are considering the energy savings that can be made with home appliance choices.”
Aside from eliminating the need to use inefficient kettles to boil water, many instant hot water taps include various energy saving features. Owens points out that the Zip HydroTap for example, has an auto-sleep mode and air cooled technology. It also features Zip’s Power- Pulse technology which maintains stored boiling water to within 0.2°C of set temperature, so no energy or time is wasted waiting for it to heat up.
“Taps that produce chilled filtered water, as well as boiling, are also great for cutting down the sales of environmentally-unfriendly bottled water,” he adds. “Not only can bottled water be up to 1,000 times more expensive than tap water, it takes three times the amount of water to produce one bottle of water than it does to fill it and on average, plastic water bottles take 450 years to break down naturally.”
Michael Gray, Product Manager at Grohe UK, said: “Consumers are becoming more mindful about their impact on the environment and want to make small changes around the home that will reduce their energy and water consumption, making their home more eco-friendly, as well as helping to lower monthly household costs. A hot water tap is the perfect product to help implement these changes, providing a sustainable and cost effective alternative to boiling a kettle. Some brands offer hot water taps with varying boiler sizes, ensuring demand can be met for all users from a medium sized four-litre boiler perfect for a small family, through to a large boiler suitable for business and office environments. Additionally, opt for a tap with a combined filtration system, so that residents in hard water areas will no longer see limescale deposits in their tea as it breaks away from the heating element in the kettle.
“We have seen an increase in the demand for hot water taps since the launch of Grohe Red. Consumers now see the benefits and convenience the taps bring. As well as being functional, the Red is designed to be aesthetically pleasing.”
With so many potentially selling points, its little wonder that the hot tap has become less of a luxury add-on and more of a ‘specified as standard’ product. David Cole, Sales Director at Perrin & Rowe, said: “We have seen the market grow. With open plan living and entertaining at home continuing to remain a key trend, customers are seeking out more functionality for their kitchen workspaces. Instant hot taps were previously the reserve of only much higher-end kitchens, but now customers are looking to invest their money wisely into well built, quality products which they know will last, and also prices are becoming more competitive. This has helped to drive the market.”
Cole adds that the company’s 3-in-1 Polaris and Phoenix Instant Hot Mixers are available in a range of finishes including Chrome, Nickel and Pewter as well as a Special Finishes range of English Bronze, Gold, Aged Brass, Satin Brass and Polished Brass. He added: “We expect to see the market to continue to grow, as more consumers understand the benefits of installing hot taps.”
Featured: Quooker has launched its new Flex model, a multi-function three temperature boiling water tap with the added fourth function of a pull-out ex hose for delivery of warm and cold water. With safety in mind, the tap has been designed so that boiling water cannot be delivered while the flex hose is in use. The Flex features a double push and turn handle with a warning light ring which lights up when the water is heating up, or when boiling water is being used.Quooker | quooker.co.uk