Foundation of Success
Kenwood's launch by Kenneth Wood (pictured left) and Roger Laurence, in 1947 was marked by the invention of the Kenwood A100 Turnover Toaster, which was noted for its superior quality, innovation and design at a time when people were accustomed to the inferior quality of post-war goods.
The company was founded on Wood's belief that post-World War II, with the continuing emancipation of women, there would be growing demand for labour-saving appliances in the kitchen – in fact he believed that in the future every chore in the kitchen would be done at the touch of switch.
The A100 Turnover Toaster achieved great success, selling rapidly through the first year of launch due to its unparalleled precision and finish compared to other products on the market at that time. It retained its popularity until the late 1950s when it was overtaken by the automatic pop-up toaster – a trend that Wood was instrumental in developing.
Creation of a Culinary Icon
Kenneth Wood was keen to explore other outlets in which to develop his kitchen automation. The toaster was followed by the launch of a Twin Beater Mixer, which sold well but with increased competition, Kenneth Wood needed something new to keep ahead of the competition.
With his team of designers, he started to redesign the mixer into what was to be the start of over 60 years of the Kenwood Chef generation. In 1950, he launched the new A700 machine at the Ideal Home Show in London, where the doyenne of cooking, Marguerite Patten OBE CBE was one of the first to experience first hand the skill of its attachments and versatility of this kitchen machine.
The arrival of the Kenwood Chef Kitchen machine on the market was timed perfectly to meet the growing demand for domestic appliances and the first shipment of Kenwood Chefs were snapped up from Harrods in just a week, where it was first sold for just £19, 10s, 10d. The launch of the Chef immediately changed the course of food preparation in Britain, with targeted advertising and hands-on sampling demonstrating how the Chef was to revolutionise home cooking, making it the icon that it is today.
Further refinements to the Chef have followed, making it sleeker and capable of even greater capabilities, with today's range offering people more choice with over 15 attachments, the highest specification and design in a range of sizes and finishes.
Kenwood has sold over 16 million Chefs since launch and today remains a firm favourite with the home cook, with semi-professionals and professional chefs as they are respected for their capabilities and longevity.
More than the Chef…
Sixty years on, Kenwood stands for more than the iconic Chef with a range that includes everything from Food Processors and Hand Blenders to Kettles and Toasters catering for the needs of everyone.