Wellness and the desire to live healthier is fueling the demand for small kitchen appliances. By 2021, sales in this category are forecast to reach $5.3 billion. The concept of creating a harmonious balance has motivated people who were novices in the kitchen to purchase high-end products that can help them easily prepare nutritious meals. The growth in small kitchen appliance sales is due to “marketplace disruptions” that are shaping America’s eating patterns.
According to the NPD Group, “The key shifts are how consumers shop, define convenience, use restaurants, and foodservice outlets, and personalize health and wellness. Consumers are making fewer visits to restaurants and opting to spend their money on experiences or something else.”
In general, people want to prepare healthier foods quickly and easily, at their convenience. Options can range from blending a fruit drink, brewing craft coffee, or air frying chicken. Suppliers have responded to the demand by developing food preparation appliances that take the drudgery out of preparation while improving the taste.
Although the market for coffee and tea makers is overflowing, the consumption of craft coffee has made expresso machines and other high-end coffee makers very popular. Consumers want to experience their favorite café-quality drinks in the comfort of their home.
Trends to Watch
For years, baby boomers determined tastes and preferences in the housewares category. While boomers continue to be influential, an even larger generational group has emerged—millennials. In combination with boomers, they will dictate the product innovations that drive sales in this category in upcoming years. Retailers should make an effort to sell to the wellness experiences of both groups since they are at different stages in life, and there is a wide variance in disposable income.
The sale of boutique high-end small kitchen appliances will continue to increase in popularity through 2021. Baby boomers dominate sales in this segment since they have the financial resources to pay for expensive coffee makers, mixers, and smart appliances. However, millennials are also purchasing higher-quality products in fewer numbers.
The small kitchen appliance market is influenced by design trends and the emphasis on refreshing the kitchen with fashionable colors. In a recent survey, 47.6 percent of shoppers agree that they want appliances to match the aesthetic of their kitchen. For many people, a complete remodel of the kitchen is unaffordable, but updating appliances can contribute to a pleasant environment can be achieved even on a tight budget.
Smaller living spaces are becoming the norm for both generations. As boomers age and become empty nesters, many downsize to more modest homes. Space efficient kitchens will drive sales of multi-purpose appliances that offer many cooking options. For financial reasons, many millennials live at home or in small apartments. Over time, these living conditions will change as they enter the housing market.
It is not uncommon for multicookers with interactive instructions to perform nine or more functions. Induction cookers use electric fields to create heat that fuels the cooking process. Surprisingly, the tried-and-true slow cooker has been updated for a new generation and is now a category leader.
Today’s version has Wi-Fi to assist in the preparation of set-and-forget recipes. These products are ideal for those with limited cooking know-how and small counter spaces.
How to Stay Relevant
To keep loyal customers and bring in new shoppers, retailers should understand the changing reality of the marketplace by offering products that are in sync with consumer expectations and emerging trends. Stocking products that support wellness lifestyles and changing cooking habits will help you generate sales and enhance the customer experience.