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About Fisher and Paykel Refrigerators

In 2015 Fisher & Paykel received a solid 4-star rating across all drivers of customer satisfaction in Canstar Blue’s refrigerators survey. We examine why New Zealand customers were so satisfied with their Fisher & Paykel fridges.

The people behind the Fisher & Paykel name

Sir Woolf Fisher and Maurice Paykel started Fisher & Paykel Industries in New Zealand in 1934 as an importer of refrigerators. Maurice’s mum Olive wanted to import a refrigerator that she had seen in American Ladies’ Home Journal. When the refrigerators sold like hot cakes, they began importing washing machines as well.

Fisher & Paykel’s design philosophy ‘refresh’, launched in 2010, is to build The Social Kitchen. As more and more homes revolve around a combined kitchen and dining area, their appliances cater for more people with less fuss.

The company now has manufacturing plants in New Zealand, Australia and the United States and exports its products to more than 80 countries.

When did Fisher & Paykel start producing refrigerators?

Fisher & Paykel began by importing refrigerators from overseas, but in 1938, the New Zealand government banned imports of manufactured appliances. Woolf and Maurice weren’t fazed. They began importing parts and manufacturing appliances locally in partnership with bigger companies like Kelvinator.

In the 1950s, they moved on to designing their own appliances.


Some Fisher & Paykel refrigerator innovations

Fisher & Paykel offer a wide array of fridges, from small, 113 litre bar fridges to 614 litre French door designs.

1938: When Fisher & Paykel began manufacturing their own fridges, there was already a lot of competition, so they had to develop new technology to differentiate themselves. They were the first in the world to commercialise the technology for plastic liners and insulation using polyurethane foam in refrigerators.

ActiveSmart™: Designed by chief engineer Neville Seagar, the ActiveSmart™ system involves a microprocessor, interior temperature sensors, independently-controlled fans and many air ducts. The microprocessor gets information from the sensors and adjusts the fan speed and compressor to regulate the cooling power being used, delivering a consistent and stable temperature. This responsiveness means it uses the minimum amount of energy needed to keep your food fresh, based on how often you open your fridge.

Fisher & Paykel have their own YouTube channel where they have videos illuminating their latest refrigerator innovations, including explaining ActiveSmart™ technology; telling the design story behind ActiveSmart™; and introducing the side-by-side fridge/freezer.

Other refrigerator brands we rated

Canstar Blue commissions Colmar Brunton to regularly survey New Zealand consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who had purchased and used a fridge in the last three years – in this case, 585 New Zealanders.

The other refrigerator brands in this year’s survey are:

  • Samsung
  • Mitsubishi Electric
  • Westinghouse
  • Haier

You can view the refrigerator survey results here.