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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
30th July 2010


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Please note that you are viewing an archived issue of The KBzine.

International News

Welcome to the

A number of people have picked up on the move to scrap use-by dates on some products and I for one couldn't be more delighted!

I muddle along pretty well most of the year, using common sense, my eyes and my nose to judge whether the food I grab from my fridge, cupboards or fruit bowl can be safely used ('grab' says it all, doesn't it?). Although often what I eat has passed its use-by date, I don't get stomach upsets and nor do I tend to pick up the bugs suffered by others, which leads me to believe that I'm pretty healthy.

When my daughters are home from university it's a different matter, and my neighbours must think I'm a dreadful mother when they hear me loudly berated for having a fridge full of "mouldy food" and told that there's nothing to eat in the house! In my defence this is not true, but you know what teenagers are like!

Often products have been in the freezer before going into the refrigerator, while bread that's kept in the fridge rather than a bread bin stays fresher for much longer, especially in this warm weather. Yoghurts, I'm told, can be eaten up to six weeks after the manufacturer says they should be binned. And I learned as a teenager that eggs had often been stored for four to six months before hitting the supermarket shelves so why on earth do they need to be date stamped now? Most foods have their own indicators that they're beyond safe consumption so why should someone who can't see or smell the products they're advising us to throw away, make that decision for us?

And of course, as fridges and freezers become more efficient, (see the Gorenje story below for some examples) those who are lucky enough to own them will find that their foodstuffs will enjoy an even longer shelf life.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs says that some 364,000 tons of edible food is misguidedly binned by Britons each year because it has passed its 'best before' date. I contribute to that waste (during the holidays!) and am looking forward to spending a little less on food once common sense is once again allowed to come into play.



Jan Hobbs

This Week's News

New report focuses on special needs bathroom products market - UK 2010-2014

With a growing number of elderly and disabled people in the UK, the demand for inclusively designed special needs bathroom products looks set to grow. With revisions to Document Part M in 2006, special needs bathroom products will continue to be installed in a wider range of domestic and commercial end-use applications. These will include domestic homes and commercial applications such as hospitals and schools.
The UK special needs bathroom market has an estimated value of around £119 million at Manufacturers Selling Prices in 2009. This represents a decrease of around 11% when compared to the market size in 2008.

The commercial sector accounts for around 30% of the overall special needs bathroom market in 2009. This sector has grown in recent years and has been supported by continued

Mereway Kitchens New English Revival Shaker Collection

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A fashionable return to more traditional kitchen designs brings a brand new beginning for Mereway Kitchens this summer with the introduction of a new Revival Shaker style door for their English Revival range.

Originally launched 12 years ago, the English Revival brand has remained popular and with traditional handcrafted styles seeing a huge renaissance Mereway Kitchens believe the timing of this new range is perfect for today's market.

New wetroom drainage system launched

CME Sanitary Systems has released two new wetroom drainage systems, 'Drainline' and 'Drainboard'.

"With increasing numbers of wetrooms being fitted into new and refurbished homes, this highly sought-after minimalist look can be achieved with our systems, whilst a high drainage capacity ensures there is no risk of overspill or flooding," says John Peter, Sales Director at CME Sanitary Systems.

Drainline has a maximum drainage capacity of 1.3 litres per second, which makes it ideally suited to meet the most demanding power shower systems.

New flooring is perfect for kitchens and bathrooms

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The look of rustic stone or cool ceramic tiling remains a perennial favourite when it comes to the fitting out of new kitchens and bathrooms or the refurbishment of existing ones. Now, a new range of laminate effects - indiscernible from the original material and with significant practical advantages - has been introduced .

A world leader in laminate flooring, Faus (a division of the international Finsa Group) has introduced an exiting new range of laminate floor designs that achieves its reality through the application of cutting edge 'Registered Embossing' technology, which now has international patents both granted and pending.

Gorenje welcomes decision to scrap use-by dates

Gorenje, the Slovenian manufacturer famed for its creative and innovative appliances, welcomes the decision by food manufacturers to scrap use-by dates on some products.

Around £10 billion worth of food is dumped every year, and it is estimated that each household throws away £400 of food a year, with many consumers disposing of meals, drinks, and fruit and vegetables that are still fit to eat. By removing use-by dates, it is hoped that some of this waste will be cut down, with consumers keeping food for longer.

Mix and match showering solutions from Damixa

* Damixa.jpgDesigned by Danish brassware manufacturer Damixa and brought to the UK market by Croydex, is a contemporary new shower collection with something to suit any style of bathroom or wet room.

The shower collection includes five bar mixers, with either a top or bottom outlet, which can be mixed and matched with a choice of six different shower sets in a range of sizes, all in a stylish chrome finish, to create a showering environment to suit individual tastes and requirements.

Corporate membership is helping KBSA members beat the recession

Corporate membership of the Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association is proving to be a recession-beating benefit according to several corporate members who have voiced their support and urged other organisations to take up membership.
Malcolm Scott, corporate chair of the KBSA explains: "The main advantage to a corporate business of being a KBSA member is that it can increase their profile significantly and lead to an increase in sales, which is what we have found at Swift Electrical. Our sales to KBSA members have doubled since we started communicating with the KBSA's 300 retail members, many of which are among the top kitchen, bathroom and bedroom manufacturers in the UK.

"There are many opportunities to engage with the retailers. One example is the KBSA monthly e- newsletter whic

HiB flying high with its new Icarus and Apollo stainless steel mirrored cabinets

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HiB's latest range of stainless steel mirrored cabinets, which includes the Apollo range pictured and its smaller brother Icarus, offers modern choice that combines practical design elements with sleek style.

"Stainless steel has a timeless quality that will always be desirable," says Steve Kaye of HiB. "What HiB designers have achieved is to take an established material and add innovation in the form of design application and the clever use of perfect mirror surfaces."

Historic refurbishment gains steam-free bathroom mirrors

* RSM2.jpgSteam-free mirrors with heated mirror pads by demista were an integral feature in the recent upgrading of the residential accommodation at the historic Royal Society of Medicine building in London opened in 1912 by King George V and Queen Mary.

The entire project involved the upgrade of 41 bedrooms to 5-star standard, including new bathrooms with demista, air conditioning and temperature controlled rooms. Also created were four new bedrooms including one suite plus two new fully-accessible bedrooms that comply with the Disability Discrimination Act. The project was carried out from design concept to completion in 15 weeks by Fileturn Limited.

Tradesmen be warned - mind your Ps and Qs

It's time for tradesmen to put down their tools and pick up an etiquette book, as a nationwide survey by the Electrical Contactors' Association has revealed that good manners are top of the list for householders picking a tradesman.

A massive 78% of homeowners said that after a good price and strong reputation, a polite tradesman would get their vote. Not only that, but it's time to get out the starch, car wax and Sunday Best, as clean clothes (56%), a smart van (28%) and a smart uniform (26%) were also highly valued.

Some 111.4 million European households will have smart meters by 2015

According to a new research report from the analyst firm Berg Insight, the installed base of smart electricity meters in Europe will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 17.9% between 2009 and 2015 to reach 111.4 million at the end of the period.

Providing consumers with detailed information about their electricity consumption, the new generation of meters gives customers control over energy costs and creates financial incentives for energy savings.

Soapbox: Tips to turn around struggling businesses

by Adrian Kirby

Adrian Kirby is one of the UK's leading entrepreneurs with a passion for property, the environment and investment. In recent years he has thrown his hat into the private equity sector and he boasts a proven track record in helping struggling businesses turn around their fortunes - investing both his time and investor capital into various ventures.

"After what seems like an age of stark recessional gloom, and with economic recovery now being set into motion, many UK businesses are beginning to look to the future. Those who have struggled through the hardest times are now getting back on their feet, some being bought out of administration, others once again looking to build upon their business after years of anxious caution.

But what can you do for a business to ensure a true turnaround in fortune?

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How to contact us at The KBzine:
Jan Hobbs
Publishing Editor
Email:[email protected]
Tel: +44 (0)1372 811 307 
Mobile: 07980 288 373





John Austen
Publishing Director
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