Lakeland has revealed the key product trends that it believes the nation will embrace over the next six months.
The 69-strong housewares chain said: ‘From healthy eating to saving up our sins, the last 12 months have seen a seismic shift in eating trends and we’re only going to see more of this as the demand for finding gadgets to create quick, delicious food continues.
‘We’ve also never been more ‘on the go’ and this is reflected in the rise of using smart phones to control gadgets around the home to make lives easier and more comfortable. We’re also going to see more homes going wireless, as the nation embrace cordless gadgets.’
In terms of healthy eating, Lakeland has moved from selling a spiralizer every seven minutes at the start of 2015, to every two minutes in 2016.
The retailer said: ‘What was once thought to be a short term trend has now turned into a lifestyle, with spiralizing set to stay.’
As a result of this continued popularity, this autumn the kitchenware specialist will unveil new developments in spiralizing as part of its ‘Davina for Lakeland ‘range.
TV celebrity Davina McCall, who is a keen home cook and long-time Lakeland fan, teamed up with the retailer to design an exclusive range of kitchen prep products earlier this year.
First to launch this autumn will be a new Handheld Spiralizer (£11.99) with a ratchet mechanism, to make spiralizing easier. Its small footprint makes it easier to store, and leaving no central core, there’s no waste either.
Hot on the heels of the Handheld Spiralizer will come the newest development in worktop spiralizing. From the same range, the Davina Spiralizer (£29.99) is a product that, according to Lakeland, ‘is smaller than current worktop models, easier to use, easier to store, creates zero waste and disassembles for easy cleaning’.
Last year saw eating healthily become a way of life, and in 2016, Lakeland claims to have reinvented the microwave meal with a new selection of specialist microwave cookware that aims to cut down the time it takes to make meals.
A survey of 1,000 online users at end of 2015 revealed that whilst 85% of people have a microwave in their homes, 40% of those mainly used their microwave just to heat and reheat food and 23% mostly for heating ready meals. The same survey revealed that 74% of those with a microwave weren’t aware of the nutritional benefits of cooking in this way.
Lakelands noted that microwaving is actually ‘the perfect medium to cook without oil’, and is especially good for steaming food. It added that 2016 ‘will continue to see the reinvention, or rather the rediscovery of the microwave, as a way to cook healthily’.
As consumers look to eat more healthily, the nation’s love affair with eggs continues. Following the launch of Lakeland’s Microwave Egg Poacher (£5.99) which raises eggs up so that the microwaves can cook from the bottom as well as the top, sales have increased by over 45% this year.
And in keeping with breakfast themed food, Greek yoghurt is also on the rise, with sales of Lakeland’s Greek yoghurt mixes up 44%.
In reaction to the trend for healthy eating, when we do indulge, we want to do so in a big way, Lakeland says. Social media, including Facebook and Pinterest, are seeing a rising trend for cakes infused with alcohol.
Lakeland has worked with icing and cake decorating specialist Wilton to create a Shot Tops Cupcake Recipe Kit (£9.99) complete with recipe ideas and pipettes, to infuse cupcakes with spirit or liqueur.
Lakeland’s SugarSin Prosecco Gummies (£6.49|) have also been a huge hit, selling six times as many as predicted.
Finally, The Connected Home is big news. It enables household gadgets to be switched on or off at the touch of a button from a smart phone or tablet.
This season sees Lakeland introduce Christmas lights you can control with an app on your phone, as well as coffee machines, kettles and cooking machines that are fully controllable from your devices.
Cordless gadgets are now the machine of choice, the retailer says. According to market research company GfK, one in three vacuum cleaners sold in the UK are now wireless and Lakeland is working in partnership with Tefal to exclusively launch the Tefal Airforce Extreme Lithium Cordless Vacuum (£199.99).
Exceptionally light at just 3.3Kg, it is easily maneuvered, with a triangular shaped head – enabling the user to really get into the corners. The Airforce also takes advantage of advances in battery technology to offer 25 minutes of use between charges.
The interior of Lakeland’s flagship store in Windermere