Smeg is a company that prides itself on its Italian heritage, which is one of the reasons many of their appliances come with such an expensive price tag. They have been at the forefront of innovative household appliances for over 70 years and even to this day, their headquarters are still based in Guastalla, Italy. The Italian company is proud of its European heritage, so it’s no surprise that many people assume all Smeg appliances are made in Italy.
From humble beginnings dating back to 1948, Vittorio Bertazzoni founded Smeg (Smalterie Metallurgiche Emiliane Guastalla) in a small workshop in the town of Guastalla, province of Reggio Emilia in Italy.
Nowadays, the company is run by the third-generation Bertazzoni family and is still headquartered in the same town where it all started. So, does this mean that all Smeg appliances are made in Italy? Unfortunately, if you thought your Smeg toaster was hand-assembled in this beautiful Mediterranean country, you might need to think again.
In fact, very few Smeg appliances are actually made in Italy. While some large appliances are assembled by hand in Italy, many other are made in different parts of the world. I will take a closer look at where Smeg appliances are made and dispel some myths about their Italian heritage.
Where are Smeg appliances made?
Smeg has a vast range of products ranging from fridges and cookers to smaller appliances like stand mixers and kettles.
Smeg currently has 3 factories in Northern Italy, with two of them being in Guastalla and Bonferraro, and has almost 2000 employees around the world. In addition to its factories in Italy, Smeg also operates 16 subsidiaries in various countries like the UK, Australia, France and the USA.
Smeg makes it pretty tricky to discover where each product is made or where their factories are located. After multiple unsuccessful attempts to contact Smeg, I took it upon myself to find out as much information about this luxury brand.
Here is what I found out.
The FAB retro-style refrigerators are a large part of the reason why Smeg has become a renowned household name around the world. Introduced in 1997, their 50s retro fridges redefined the style and aesthetics of kitchen appliances forever and became a furnishing element in its own right. Their curved lines, bold colors, and fine detailing make them stand out from the competition and can be found in kitchens all over the world. Aside from the iconic FAB range, Smeg has a range of other fridges in their Universale aesthetics style.
Since 1997, these iconic fridges have maintained their design and manufacturing in their birth country, Italy.
The first dishwasher was introduced into the Smeg range in 1970. It was a freestanding model with an innovative design that set it apart from the competition. It was the world’s first 14-place setting dishwasher, making a breakthrough for large wash capacities.
While the design has evolved over time, Smeg dishwashers are still manufactured in Italy to this day, more specifically in the Bonferraro factory. When operating at full capacity, the Bonferarro factory can produce 1500 dishwashers a day!
Smeg cookers are designed and manufactured in the Guastalla factory in Italy. Production of their cookers began in 1955 with the first Smeg branded cooker coming out in 1956.
They have a wide range of products that cater to all cooking needs, from compact ovens to professional-grade ranges. Other large appliances that are made in Italy include their hobs, ovens and hood ranges.
Small appliances are a relatively recent addition to Smeg’s repertoire. It wasn’t until 2014 that Smeg launched its domestic appliance line.
Although there is not much information on where Smeg toasters are made, I believe that most of their smaller appliances are made in China.
The Smeg coffee machines are nothing less than ordinary. You can choose to go for the retro-inspired capsule coffee machine or a bean-to-cup machine that launched in 2021.
Like with most smaller appliances, expect your Smeg coffee machine to be manufactured in China.
Stand Mixers/Hand Mixers
The retro stand mixer is a timeless classic that comes in various colors to suit any kitchen.
It was first introduced in 2014 along with most of Smeg’s other small domestic appliances.
Both the stand mixers and hand mixers are made in China.
Other smaller appliances made in China include their kettles and blenders.
While it’s true that Smeg appliances are not all made in Italy, the company still has its roots embedded in the country. As I mentioned earlier, it is still headquartered in Guastalla and most of its senior management team are Italian.
In addition, the design of all their appliances are still carried out in Italy. All of the company’s products are designed at its headquarters by a team of internationally renowned architects and designers. Many of these architects and designers are Italian, further solidifying the company’s Italian heritage.
So, even though Smeg appliances are not all made in Italy, the country is still very much a part of its identity.