Full steam ahead for sales of small kitchen appliances

January 15, 2010

While a year of frugality may have seen us hold on to our toasters, kettles and blenders a little longer than we would have done so in the past, new research from Mintel finds the market for small kitchen appliances is set to steam ahead…. as the nation’s chefs chop, boil and blend their way to a mini market boom.
Following a modest 1% growth in 2008, the market for small kitchen appliances fell by 2% in 2009 when it was worth an estimated £546 million. Reduced consumer confidence has led people to delay the replacement of kitchen appliances and cutback on the number of discretionary purchases.But things are set to heat up in Britain’s kitchens, as research finds the postponement of replacement appliances will lead to a mini boom in the market, as pent-up demand is released and consumers refresh the look of their kitchens. Over the next five years, sales of these appliances are set to whip up a storm with volume and value increases of 15% and 5% respectively. By 2014, market value will hit £572 million.
Richard Caines, Senior Retail Analyst at Mintel said:”The recession has had a mixed effect on sales of kitchen appliances. While many of us will have delayed the replacement of kitchen appliances, lack of funds has led to a boost in interest in in-home food and drink preparation, underpinning the growth prospects of the market. “
” changing fashions in kitchen design and décor provide the opportunity for more frequent replacement of appliances, especially when consumer confidence returns.  The increase in the number of households will underpin future volume growth in this market, although the increase of smaller one and two person households will change the product specifications required. “Richard adds.    The report highlights significant differences in the performance of appliances. Essentials such as kettles and toasters are both doing well, with volume sales up 12% and  24% between 2005 and 2009.  Kettles are easily the largest segment of kitchen appliances accounting for more than 60% of volume and almost half of market value. In the last three years alone, as many as two thirds (64%) of us have bought a kettle, while one in two of us (50%) has splashed out on a toaster. Sales of food preparation appliances (including mixers, blenders, whisks and choppers) have also performed well, with volume sales of these appliances increasing by 17% over the same five year period.     Less essential or ” of the moment” appliances, such as deep fat fryers (-10%) health grills (-2%) and sandwich toasters (-11%) have seen volume declines between 2005 and 2009.Loss of “novelty appeal” is an underlying problem, with as many as four in ten (41%) of Britons admitting to having kitchen appliances they have used for a while but no longer use today.  “While kettles and toasters are likely to be in regular use, other items such as food processors, slow cookers, bread makers and deep fat fryers can easily be forgotten. Too many small kitchen appliances quickly lose their novelty appeal and end up at the back of a cupboard. “Richard concludes.  Mintel’s findings also show that consumers are becoming disillusioned with the short life span of many modern small appliances, as four in ten Brits (14 million) are prepared to pay for quality that lasts to save themselves money in the longer term and benefit the environment.   Finally, space is an issue for one in five (19%) of us and as many as a quarter (25%) of older consumers (55-64 year-olds) who are likely to have accumulated more appliances over the years.

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