Sharp microwave was Australia’s largest selling in 2017 according to Hans De Jong, Head of Consumer Electronics at Sharp Australia.
“But regarding brand recognition, we are number two behind Panasonic. We aim to fix that with our new ‘Live Smart, Live Sharp’ mantra,” De Jong said.
De Jong has been with Sharp since the end of 2016 after a long career at Samsung in TV and AV. It is fair to say that while he admits he can’t cook he ‘knows his onions’ where microwaves are concerned.
“The sweet spot for a Sharp microwave is around the $200 mark. For that, you can get a mid-sized, white, 1200-watt, inverter technology with all of Sharp’s ‘smarts’. Although we have 800W units from less than $100,” he said.
“But for a few hundred dollars more you can get so much more including convection and grilling that turns a microwave into an oven replacement.”
“At present only about 5% of sales are in this category, and we think it is because people don’t understand that it is just a microwave with a fast fan-forced oven and a grill element. Why waste lots of time and money in pre-heating a full-size oven to make a pizza or grill some cheese? That is the extent of my cooking skills!” he admitted.
We spoke to our spy’s at JB Hi-Fi who confirmed De Jong’s suspicions. “We sell maybe one or two convection for every ten microwaves. Two things. People come looking for a microwave because it’s a typical add-on to an oven – quick reheat and veggies cook. Second, they are conditioned to spend that magic $200, and they want the largest capacity, highest power and best features for dollars and that currently comes from Sharp’s R350YW”.
Now I pride myself on being a slightly better than average cook. I also bought one of the first consumer microwaves back in 1974 and admittedly have used Panasonic microwaves ever since. I mainly use it for defrosting, cooking vegetables, reheating drinks, popcorn, and my favourite – 60-second bacon and two-minute scrambled eggs. That may change!
I did not know you could do some interesting things Felsch did with a microwave, courtesy of Sharp ‘Smarts’. Sharp’s larger seven-segment LCD enables many of these.
A humidity sensor allows you to put fresh or frozen vegetables in and it calculates the cooking time. No more guestimates and nuked veggies.