To help launch the Gemini, Maytag found 'twins' for (left to right) Maytag Corp. president Lloyd Ward and CEO Len Hadley and Bill Beer, president of Maytag Appliances.
Maytag Appliances is introducing its new Gemini twin-oven electric range, which incorporates two separate self-cleaning ovens -- a larger full-size 4.0-cubic-foot one on the bottom and a smaller 1.2-cubic foot unit for a total of 5.2 cubic feet of cooking space -- in the same space as a standard 30-inch single-oven range.
"Last year Maytag introduced a line of ovens with even cooking," said Mark Buss, VP and general manager of the cooking division. "Today we are addressing another consumer benefit, the mealtime dilemma of getting all of the food ready at the same time."
"The Gemini allows you to cook two different things at different temperatures and have them come out at the same time," he said.
At a gala introduction where at least a dozen twins were on hand, the company noted that the new double-oven Gemini targets homeowners who would like to have two ovens, but either don't want to or can't afford to spend the approximately $20,000 that it would cost to renovate to accommodate them.
"Eighty-six percent of homeowners in the United States use a freestanding range," said Bill Beer, president of Maytag Appliances.
"Many consumers simply don't have room to install double wall ovens," said Bill Deter, Maytag director of cooking product planning, noting that the Gemini is much less expensive than installing double wall ovens and requires no installation.
The introduction marks another step in Maytag's path toward fueling sales through innovative products.
"We are starting to see a structural transformation to an industry where replacement sales are driven by exciting new products, not by the need to replace worn-out appliances," Beer told the group. "We are moving from a ‘wear out' to a ‘want in' industry," he said, noting that the new Gemini electric range was designed to fuel that concept.
Also on hand for the extravagant launch was food consultant Shirley Corriher, author of CookWise, a noted cookbook. "Having the flexibility of two ovens and two temperatures lets you broil the meat, roast the vegetables, or toast the French bread, and have it all ready at the same time," she said.
The new range also offers other benefits, said Deter, noting that the upper oven preheats in half the time of a conventional oven and not only bakes, broils and warms, but also toasts with accuracy. An automatic warming function heats the oven to 170 degrees.
According senior consumer scientist Beth McIntyre, Maytag was able to put the two ovens into the standard 30-inch range size by eliminating the storage drawer on the bottom.
The 30-inch Gemini oven is slated to be available July 1 in white, black and brushed chrome at a suggested retail price of $1,395 ($100 more for the brushed chrome). Consumers can reserve one of the new ranges at the approximately 6,000 Maytag dealers from April to June 20.
Company executives said that a dual-fuel version is in the works, and Maytag is not ruling out the possibility of expanding the concept into other range sizes and into its other brands,
"This is just the beginning of Maytag's innovation in cooking," said Beer. "Over 30 cooking products are in development, 12 in the Maytag brand alone. The Gemini range is the first of many innovative products to come."