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- For several French towns of similar name, see Bréville (disambiguation).
Breville is a maker of small kitchen appliances, founded in Sydney, Australia, in 1932. They created the original sandwich toaster. The product was a huge success upon its launch in Australia in 1974, selling 400,000 units in its first year and making the Breville brand a household name in Australia. Soon after, the Breville toasted sandwich maker was launched in New Zealand and Great Britain where it met with similar success. The name became synonymous with such devices - to the point where in some countries "Breville" has become the generic word for a sandwich toaster, and often the toasted sandwich itself, in much the same way that "Hoover" is associated with the vacuum cleaner.
A brief history
In 1932, Bill O'Brien and Harry Norville (born Charles Henry Norville) mixed their last names together and the Breville brand was created. They started off making radios, then mine detectors for the war.
After World War II and the commencement of television transmission in Australia in 1956, Breville turned its attention to small appliances.
It also commenced manufacturing television sets under the Precedent brand name. The television business was sold to Electronic Industries Limited in 1968.
The O'Brien family continued developing the Breville business for three generations, with Bill's son John O'Brien setting up the Breville Research and Development centre in the late 1960s, and his daughter Barbara, running the Marketing department throughout the 1990s. John continued to passionately steer many product development initiatives for the Breville brand up until his death in December 2003. The research and development centre continues to design dozens of small appliance products today and has helped Breville become a world leader in many small appliance categories. What started with one designer and an engineer in 1968, is today one of Australia's largest and most innovative industrial design centres, and one of the largest worldwide in the small electrical appliance industry. Today, Breville's R&D team has over 100 active patents and has been awarded more than 40 international design awards. In 1974, it completed development of the toastie maker. In 1977, Breville launched Australia's first food processor, the Breville Kitchen Wizz. Other firsts include the world's first high wall heating electric wok, the adjustable height sandwich press, the active arm citrus press, the world's first juice extractor to juice whole fruit, and in 2010, the Tea Maker, a variable temperature kettle with a self-lowering basket that brews tea automatically. Breville's Centre of Design Excellence is now located in Botany in Sydney.
Dual ownership of the brand
In 1982, Breville Australia sold its ownership of the brand in Europe, which today is owned by Jarden. The European business is based in England and trades almost exclusively in the United Kingdom and has collaborated with Antony Worrall Thompson. Pulse manages its own product development and is no longer affiliated with Breville's Centre of Design Excellence in Australia.
- Breville's Juice Fountain series of products is the world's best selling juicer technology with approximately 20% of the world's juicer sales.
- Ross Noble referred to the Breville in a stand-up sketch, in which he described a monkey with a Breville attached to his leg, so when he fancied a cheese toasted sandwich, he would clap his hands and shout "Breville Monkey!".
- In Shaun of the Dead, when Shaun is desperately trying to think up an impressively swank restaurant where he can take his girlfriend to, his slacker friend Ed suggests their regular pub because "They have a Breville out back, John will do you a Toastie!".
- In 2007, Oprah Winfrey listed Breville's Panini Press in her list: "Oprah's Favorite Things 2007." It was again given away in the "Oprah's Ultimate Favorite Things" held in 2010.
- Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead has been accredited with doubling the sales of Breville juicers since the documentary launched on Netflix in the US in July 2011. Breville's juicers currently hold three of the top five spots in the Amazon bestselling list.
References and footnotes
- 'Breville 800 Class Espresso Machine', 2003, Powerhouse museum collection 2.0 beta, powerhousemuseum.com. Article retrieved 2007-01-13.
- Claire Reilly (November 29, 2011). "Give it some juice: Breville doubles juicer sales following health doco". Current.com.au.
- Breville juicers on Amazon Topsellers list