Q&A: Sazi Bugay, Director of Product Managment and Marketing, Beko US

Beko is a sponsor of SKS 2019, and a global leader in the appliance market. Beko Director of Product Managment and Marketing Sazi Bugay spoke with us on his perspective of challenges in the industry and Beko’s vision.

What are the unique challenges Beko is taking on within the foodtech or smart kitchen space?

Beko is taking on the challenge to making cooking and appliance cleaning easier. Its goal is to provide automatic and user-friendly “cleanability” of the wall oven and other household appliances, plus smart cooking features.

What is Beko?

Beko is Europe's largest freestanding white goods brand. It’s the choice of 440 million people in 146 countries and is manufactured in 23 factories around the world, the number one in the British and Polish white goods market, and the number one freestanding brand in France.

In 2016, Beko U.S. Inc. was established with headquarters in Bolingbrook, IL, outside of Chicago, which includes a distribution warehouse. Beko globally is committed to developing highly energy efficient appliances that deliver advanced technology and premium features, empowering families to live healthier. Beko U.S. received the EPA's ENERGY STAR(R) Partner of the Year Award for its outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency each year for three years in a row, and in 2019, Beko was recognized with the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year with the Sustained Excellence Award.

At SKS, Beko showcasing an innovative cooking product that provides an industry first cleanability solution with smart cooking functions on a residential kitchen appliance.

Give us an important “origin story” moment for Beko:

Self-clean features are not typically used in households because they require high temperatures and long cycle times. To improve the experience and make self-cleaning features more user-friendly, Beko developed a self-cleaning wall oven that uses tap water plus dishwasher detergent tabs to remove grease and food residue from cooking cycles, without the high temperatures.

What is Beko doing differently? What are you disrupting, innovating, or inventing?

Many appliances come with a self-cleaning feature, but is rarely used. Beko is disrupting the self-cleaning function on cooking appliances by improving the process with connected tap water and special detergent tabs for ovens and other smart appliances. Instead of requiring high temperatures and long cycles, the Beko self-cleaning function is effective and efficient.

What’s Beko’s future vision for how foodtech will change the way we think about and interact with food?

Menu driven, sensor driven, and self-cooking are being developed in the industry to create a better restaurant and household experience. With smart appliances, users can have help preparing and cooking food, as well as managing their kitchen with new self-cleaning features. The chores and challenges for the average consumer are becoming streamlined and leading to a better, more efficient cooking experience.

What are some of the challenges Beko and others within your industry are facing?

While self-cleaning features have been available in large appliances, they require long cycle times and high temperatures and, as a result, aren’t frequently used in the average household. Beko is improving the wall oven experience, bringing smart cooking features in addition to efficient self-cleaning using tap water and special cleaning tabs. In bringing this technology to homes, Beko is facing product training and installation challenges. As appliances become smart and bring users more features, the installation becomes more difficult for the average professional, and will be an industry-wide shift.

Laura ShubelComment