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Refrigerators, Freezers, and Dishwashers - US - March 2014

“While an improving economy and housing market is driving sales for the market as a whole, other factors give individual brands and retailers opportunities to gain competitive advantage. Superior owner protection is one such area. Another is finding a way to appeal to a new generation of appliance shoppers who want the most advanced features but may find them out of reach.”

– John Owen, Senior Household Analyst
 
Some questions answered in this report include:
  • Who is taking ownership of reliability?
  • Who is the next generation of appliance owners?
  • How to increase refrigerator sales one room at a time?
For the purposes of this report, Mintel has used the following definitions:
  • Refrigerators include modular refrigerators, and compact and standard sizes. 
  • Top-freezer, side-by-side, French door and bottom-freezer refrigerators are included. 
  • Freezers include both upright and chest models. 
  • Dishwashers include portable and built-in models. 
Includes purchases made by consumers and excludes purchases made by institutions/organizations, businesses, home builders/developers, government agencies, and other non-consumers. Used and rented appliances are also excluded.

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Sales data
            • Consumer survey data
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                      • The market
                        • Category gains ground on improvement in housing and economy
                          • Figure 1: Total US retail sales and fan chart forecast of refrigerators, freezers, and dishwashers, at current prices, 2008-18
                        • Segments
                          • Figure 2: Sales of refrigerators, freezers, and dishwashers, segmented by type, 2011 and 2013
                        • The consumer
                          • Ownership of refrigerators nearly universal
                            • Figure 3: Refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher ownership, 2008-13
                          • Replacement most common reason for refrigerators, dishwashers
                            • Figure 4: Reasons for most recent purchase of a refrigerator, freezer, or dishwasher, January 2014
                          • Recent purchases likely to have started with online research
                            • Figure 5: Refrigerator/Freezer/Dishwasher shopping behaviors for most recent purchase of any appliance, by date of most recent purchase, January 2014
                          • Interest in energy efficiency, reliability consistent across appliances
                            • Figure 6: Attribute importance in purchase of a refrigerator, freezer, or dishwasher, January 2014
                          • Added fridge/freezer features are especially appealing to recent purchasers
                            • Figure 7: Interest in refrigerator/freezer special features, by date of most recent refrigerator purchase, January 2014
                          • Recent dishwasher purchasers most interested in quick-wash capability
                            • Figure 8: Interest in dishwasher special features, by date of most recent dishwashing purchase, January 2014
                          • What we think
                          • Issues and Insights

                              • Taking ownership of reliability
                                • The issues
                                  • The implications
                                    • The next generation of appliance owners
                                      • The issues
                                        • The implications
                                          • Increasing refrigerator sales one room at a time
                                            • The issues
                                              • The implications
                                              • Trend Application

                                                  • Trend: Green and Lean
                                                    • Trend: Hungry Planet
                                                      • Trend: Suite Life
                                                      • Market Size and Forecast

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • Category gains ground on improvement in housing and economy
                                                            • Sales and forecast of refrigerators, freezers, and dishwashers
                                                              • Figure 9: Total US retail sales and forecast of refrigerators, freezers, and dishwashers, at current prices, 2008-18
                                                              • Figure 10: Total US retail sales and forecast of refrigerators, freezers, and dishwashers, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2008-18
                                                            • Fan chart forecast
                                                                • Figure 11: Total US retail sales and fan chart forecast of refrigerators, freezers, and dishwashers, at current prices, 2008-18
                                                            • Market Drivers

                                                              • Replacement cycle, economic factors drive sales trends
                                                                • Figure 12: Top reasons for purchasing large kitchen appliances, January 2014
                                                              • Industry competitors see key drivers improving
                                                                • Housing market builds momentum in 2013
                                                                  • Figure 13: New and existing home sales, 2009-13
                                                                • Remodeling trends higher, creating more opportunities for appliance sales
                                                                  • Figure 14: BuildFax Remodeling Index, 2008-13
                                                                • Halting improvement in consumer confidence helps market
                                                                  • Figure 15: Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment, 2009-14
                                                                • Homeownership rate declines, especially among younger adults
                                                                  • Figure 16: Fourth quarter homeownership rate, by age of householder, 2008-13
                                                                • More households, but households getting smaller
                                                                  • Figure 17: Households, by presence of own children, 2003-13
                                                                  • Figure 18: Household size, 2003-13
                                                              • Segment Performance

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Sales of dishwashers outpace refrigerators and freezers in past two years
                                                                    • Sales of refrigerators, freezers, and dishwashers, by segment
                                                                      • Figure 19: Sales of refrigerators, freezers, and dishwashers, segmented by type, 2011 and 2013
                                                                    • Refrigerators and freezers
                                                                      • Figure 20: Total US retail sales and forecast of refrigerators, freezers and dishwashers, by segment, at current prices, 2008-18
                                                                  • Leading Companies

                                                                    • Whirlpool
                                                                      • General Electric
                                                                        • Electrolux
                                                                          • Samsung
                                                                            • LG
                                                                              • Haier
                                                                              • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                                • Connectivity – “smart appliances”
                                                                                  • LG HomeChat
                                                                                    • Samsung refrigerator with apps
                                                                                      • Whirlpool 6th Sense Live appliances
                                                                                        • Added features
                                                                                          • Samsung Soda Fridge dispenses sparkling water
                                                                                            • Whirlpool PowerScour
                                                                                              • Samsung WaterWall dishwasher
                                                                                                • Bosch offers “quietest dishwasher in North America”
                                                                                                • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                                  • The new Maytag Man an effort to personify dependability
                                                                                                    • Figure 21: Maytag “Meet the Maytag Man” television ad, 2014
                                                                                                  • Kitchenaid “So Much More” campaign targets serious cooks
                                                                                                    • Figure 22: Kitchenaid “So Much More” television ad, 2013
                                                                                                  • GE “Reimagining Home” campaign underscores consumer input
                                                                                                    • Figure 23: GE “Reimaging The Kitchen” television ad, 2013
                                                                                                • Social Media

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • Key social media metrics
                                                                                                      • Figure 24: Key performance indicators, February 10, 2013-February 9, 2014
                                                                                                    • Market overview
                                                                                                      • Brand usage and awareness
                                                                                                        • Figure 25: Brand usage and awareness of refrigerators, freezers and dishwasher brands, January 2014
                                                                                                      • Interaction with brands
                                                                                                        • Figure 26: Interaction with refrigerators, freezers and dishwasher brands, January 2014
                                                                                                      • Online conversations
                                                                                                        • Figure 27: Online mentions, selected refrigerator, freezer and dishwasher brands, February 10, 2013-February 9, 2014
                                                                                                      • Where are people talking about refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher brands?
                                                                                                        • Figure 28: Mentions, by page type, selected refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher brands, February 10, 2013-February 9, 2014
                                                                                                      • What are people talking about online?
                                                                                                        • Figure 29: Mentions, by topic of conversation, selected refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher brands, February 10, 2013-February 9, 2014
                                                                                                      • Brand analysis
                                                                                                        • Samsung
                                                                                                          • Figure 30: Samsung key social media indicators, February 2014
                                                                                                        • Key online campaigns
                                                                                                          • What we think
                                                                                                            • GE
                                                                                                              • Figure 31: GE key social media indicators, February 2014
                                                                                                            • Key online campaigns
                                                                                                              • What we think
                                                                                                                • Whirlpool
                                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Whirlpool key social media indicators, February 2014
                                                                                                                • Key online campaigns
                                                                                                                  • What we think
                                                                                                                    • LG
                                                                                                                      • Figure 33: LG key social media indicators, February 2014
                                                                                                                    • Key online campaigns
                                                                                                                      • What we think
                                                                                                                        • Sub-Zero
                                                                                                                          • Figure 34: Sub-Zero key social media indicators, February 2014
                                                                                                                        • Key online campaigns
                                                                                                                          • What we think
                                                                                                                            • Electrolux
                                                                                                                              • Figure 35: Electrolux key social media indicators, February 2014
                                                                                                                            • Key online campaigns
                                                                                                                              • What we think
                                                                                                                              • Ownership and Acquisition

                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                  • Ownership of refrigerators nearly universal
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 36: Refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher ownership, 2008-13
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher ownership, by ownership status of home, 2008-13
                                                                                                                                  • Higher-income households own wider variety of appliances
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 38: Types of refrigerators, freezers, and dishwashers owned, by household income, January 2014
                                                                                                                                  • Specialized fridges more likely to be recent purchases
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 39: Recency of refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher acquisition, January 2014
                                                                                                                                • Reasons for Most Recent Purchase

                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                    • Replacement most common reason for refrigerators, dishwashers
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 40: Reasons for most recent purchase of a refrigerator, freezer, or dishwasher, January 2014
                                                                                                                                    • Refrigerator purchase decision process growing more complex
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 41: Reasons for most recent purchase of a refrigerator, by date of most recent refrigerator purchase, January 2014
                                                                                                                                    • Higher-income buyers more likely to be motivated by remodeling and décor
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 42: Reasons for most recent purchase of a refrigerator, by household income, January 2014
                                                                                                                                    • Freezer purchases driven by practicality
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 43: Reasons for most recent purchase of a freezer, by date of most recent freezer purchase, January 2014
                                                                                                                                    • Recent dishwasher purchases motivated by replacement, remodeling
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 44: Reasons for most recent purchase of a dishwasher, by date of most recent dishwasher purchase, January 2014
                                                                                                                                  • Shopping Behaviors

                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                      • Recent purchases likely to have started with online research
                                                                                                                                        • Home centers gain momentum
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 45: Refrigerator/Freezer/Dishwasher shopping behaviors for most recent purchase of any appliance, by date of most recent purchase, January 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Higher-income buyers more likely to do research, shop in specialty stores
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 46: Refrigerator/Freezer/Dishwasher shopping behaviors for most recent purchase of any appliance, by household income, January 2014
                                                                                                                                      • Usage Behaviors and Meal Prep Habits

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Refrigerators still play a central role in many households
                                                                                                                                            • Young adults interested in secondary fridges
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 47: Refrigerator/Freezer/Dishwasher usage behaviors and meal prep habits, by gender and age, January 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Higher-income consumers more likely to want refrigerators that blend in
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 48: Refrigerator/Freezer/Dishwasher usage behaviors and meal prep habits, by household income, January 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Larger households interested in secondary fridges and extra features
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 49: Refrigerator/Freezer/Dishwasher usage behaviors and meal prep habits, by household size, January 2014
                                                                                                                                          • Attribute Importance

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • Interest in energy efficiency consistent across appliances
                                                                                                                                                • Reliability and durability are also common denominators
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 50: Attribute importance in purchase of a refrigerator, freezer, or dishwasher, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Style growing more important in refrigerator purchases
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 51: Attribute importance in purchase of a refrigerator, by date of most recent refrigerator purchase, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Capacity, efficiency, and reliability are top priorities in freezer purchases
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 52: Attribute importance in purchase of a freezer, by date of most recent standalone freezer purchase, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Recent dishwasher purchasers more likely to look for style
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 53: Attribute importance in purchase of a dishwasher, by date of most recent dishwasher purchase, January 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Interest in Special Features

                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                  • Added fridge/freezer features are especially appealing to recent purchasers
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 54: Interest in refrigerator/freezer special features, by date of most recent refrigerator purchase, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                  • Recent dishwasher purchasers most interested in quick-wash capability
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 55: Interest in dishwasher special features, by date of most recent dishwasher purchase, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                                  • Black, Hispanic consumers less likely to own dishwashers
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 56: Refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher ownership, by race and Hispanic origin, 2008-13
                                                                                                                                                  • Reasons for refrigerator purchase consistent across groups
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 57: Reasons for most recent purchase of a refrigerator, by race/Hispanic origin, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                  • Refrigerator and dishwasher attribute importance similar across groups
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 58: Attribute importance in purchase of a refrigerator, by race/Hispanic origin, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 59: Attribute importance in purchase of a dishwasher, by race/Hispanic origin, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                  • Refrigerator added features of appeal to Black, Hispanic consumers
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 60: Interest in refrigerator/freezer special features, by race/Hispanic origin, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Custom Consumer Groups

                                                                                                                                                  • Past-five-year brand purchase
                                                                                                                                                    • Whirlpool and GE owners more likely to make replacement purchases
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 61: Reasons for most recent purchase of a refrigerator, by brands purchased in past five years, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • LG, Samsung purchasers more likely to shop online, use mobile devices
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 62: Refrigerator/Freezer/Dishwasher shopping behaviors for most recent purchase of any appliance, by brands purchased in past five years, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • LG and Samsung purchasers more interested in secondary fridges
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 63: Refrigerator/Freezer/Dishwasher usage behaviors and meal prep habits, by brands purchased in past five years, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • Whirlpool and General Electric purchasers more brand-conscious
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 64: Attribute importance in purchase of a refrigerator, by brands purchased in past five years, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • LG and Samsung buyers more interested in some special features
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 65: Interest in refrigerator/freezer special features, by household income, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                    • Ownership and acquisition
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 66: Refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher ownership, by gender and age, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 67: Refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher ownership, by household size, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • Reasons for acquisition
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 68: Reasons for most recent purchase of a refrigerator, by gender and age, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 69: Reasons for most recent purchase of a refrigerator, by household income, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 70: Reasons for most recent purchase of a refrigerator, by household size, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 71: Reasons for most recent purchase of a dishwasher, by household size, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • Shopping behaviors
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 72: Refrigerator/Freezer/Dishwasher shopping behaviors for most recent purchase of any appliance, by gender and age, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 73: Refrigerator/Freezer/Dishwasher shopping behaviors for most recent purchase of any appliance, by household size, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • Attribute importance
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 74: Attribute importance in purchase of a refrigerator, by gender and age, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 75: Attribute importance in purchase of a refrigerator, by household income, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 76: Attribute importance in purchase of a refrigerator, by household size, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 77: Attribute importance in purchase of a freezer, by gender and age, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 78: Attribute importance in purchase of a freezer, by household income, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 79: Attribute importance in purchase of a freezer, by household size, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 80: Attribute importance in purchase of a dishwasher, by gender and age, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 81: Attribute importance in purchase of a dishwasher, by household income, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 82: Attribute importance in purchase of a dishwasher, by household size, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • Interest in special features
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 83: Interest in refrigerator/freezer special features, by gender and age, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 84: Interest in refrigerator/freezer special features, by household income, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 85: Interest in refrigerator/freezer special features, by household size, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 86: Interest in dishwasher special features, by gender and age, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 87: Interest in dishwasher special features, by household income, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 88: Interest in dishwasher special features, by household size, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Social Media

                                                                                                                                                    • Online conversations
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 89: Online mentions, selected refrigerator, freezer and dishwasher brands, February 10, 2013-February 9, 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • Brand usage or awareness
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 90: Brand usage or awareness, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 91: Whirlpool usage or awareness, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 92: General Electric usage or awareness, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 93: Electrolux usage or awareness, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 94: LG usage or awareness, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 95: Samsung usage or awareness, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 96: Sub-Zero usage or awareness, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • Activities done
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 97: Activities done, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 98: Whirlpool – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 99: Whirlpool – Activities done – I have contacted/interacted with the brand online on social media, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 100: Whirlpool – Activities done – I follow/like the brand on social media because, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 101: Whirlpool – Activities done – I have researched the brand on social media to, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 102: General Electric – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 103: General Electric – Activities done – I have contacted/interacted with the brand online on social media to, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 104: General Electric – Activities done – I follow/like the brand on social media because, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 105: General Electric – Activities done – I have researched the brand on social media to, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 106: LG – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 107: LG – Activities done – I have contacted/interacted with the brand online on social media to, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 108: LG – Activities done – I follow/like the brand on social media because, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 109: LG – Activities done – I have researched the brand on social media to, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 110: Samsung – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 111: Samsung – Activities done – I have contacted/interacted with the brand online on social media to, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 112: Samsung – Activities done – I have researched the brand on social media to, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Trade Association

                                                                                                                                                    Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                    • Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers
                                                                                                                                                    • Electrolux Home Products - North America
                                                                                                                                                    • General Electric Company
                                                                                                                                                    • Haier America
                                                                                                                                                    • Hotpoint Appliances
                                                                                                                                                    • LG Electronics Inc (USA)
                                                                                                                                                    • Maytag Corporation
                                                                                                                                                    • Samsung Electronics (USA)
                                                                                                                                                    • Sears Holdings Corporation
                                                                                                                                                    • Walmart Stores (USA)
                                                                                                                                                    • Whirlpool Corporation

                                                                                                                                                    Refrigerators, Freezers, and Dishwashers - US - March 2014

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