The household goods sector was hit hard by the economic downturn and recession, but small kitchen appliances have outperformed the sector, with sales holding up well in 2009 and showing significant value growth during 2010. Small kitchen appliances have benefited from being more affordable than big-ticket household items, as well as a number of other positive sales drivers.
- Large numbers of small kitchen appliances are owned but hardly ever used, including 22% of sandwich toasters and 15% of hand-held blenders/mixers. To persuade more people that these appliances are worth buying (and using regularly) promotion needs to centre on how they can be used to make food and drink preparation easier, quicker and produce better results.
- Apart from kettles and toasters, ownership of small kitchen appliances is far from universal. To encourage first-time purchasing consumers need to be persuaded through demonstrations of recipes that they have a need for a product. Bread makers (25%) and slow cookers (23%) are the items owned most likely to be bought for the first time in response to a particular need.
- Triggering purchasing at the point of sale is important to help bring products alive and show how they can be used for particular meals or occasions to make food or drink a bit special. Owners of juicers (20%) and smoothie makers (26%) are most likely to have bought having seen the product while shopping.
- Marketing more unusual, innovative and design-led items as gifts and helping shoppers to match gifts to intended recipients has the potential to increase sales of small kitchen appliances. Bread makers (24%) and slow cookers (20%) are the products owned most likely to have been received as a gift.
- Product design that enables all parts that get dirty during usage to go in the dishwasher or be easily cleaned, and allows appliances to be stored away easily in limited space is vital. Ease of cleaning affects the choice of product of half of adults (51%) and three in ten (28%) want the product to be easy to store/compact.
- Busy lifestyles demand kitchen appliances for that help get the job done quickly and efficiently and this has been a major focus of new product development by manufacturers. Just under half of adults (46%) say speed or efficiency is important when choosing what brand or make of product to buy.