Domestic appliances: The coolest status symbol? A fridge


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The Independent Online

As a status symbol, you might not think that something that keeps your leftovers at a steady temperature would be much cop. Sports cars are a more traditional social signifier (not least of someone trying to convince their peers that they have an enormous… amount of money), as are regular holidays and the resultant tans. But for hundreds of years, having a way to keep food cool, and thus prolong its edibility, was far more show-offy than  a supercar.

In fact, a study by white-goods brand De’Longhi last year revealed that Britain’s ultimate domestic status symbol after a hot tub (keeping it classy, guys) was a “US-style fridge”. One of those big jobs with two doors, an ice dispenser and enough space to have a dinner party inside. But that was last year. This year there’s a new cool kid on the block. Samsung and SodaStream have announced the first-ever four-door (FOUR?!) refrigerator with a sparkling water dispenser as well as the now  standard ice one.

It “reflects Samsung’s strong commitment to offering home appliances that not only meet consumers’ needs, but anticipate them in ways they never thought possible,” according to Kevin Dexter, senior vice-president of home appliances sales and marketing. You’re not wrong, Kev! It certainly shows how far fridges have come since the 19th century when keeping comestibles cool involved a) being an aristocrat who b) had their own ice house that they would have packed with slabs of ice in winter to last through summer. Even in the last century, only a quarter of British households had their own refrigerator. Still, I expect they had a good swank about their status symbol, as no doubt the future owners of the SodaStream Samsung will. Nobody likes a show-off, no matter how cool they (and their drinks) are.

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