Middle-market cookware is being squeezed by value and top-end alternatives, delegates at this week’s Housewares Conference learned.

Housewares prices polarising, conference told

Middle-market cookware is being squeezed by value and top-end alternatives, delegates at this week’s Housewares Conference learned.

Housewares prices polarising, conference told

Speaker Erol Sukan, business group director with GfK Retail and Technology, told his audience that middle-priced cookware’s volume share of the market shrank from 52% in 2006 to 47% in 2007, while top-end products grew from 8% to 10%. Value cookware also took more share, increasing from 40% to 43%, which Sukan put down to grocers’ growing involvement in the kitchenware market.

Grocers now represent 6% of spend on consumer durables, at £2.7b, while within the kitchen sector their involvement is now worth up to £0.3b, said Sukan. They hold 22% of the small appliance market by value and 25% of cookware.

Sukan put the average cookware price within grocers at £6.30 and within variety stores at £7.10, while department stores’ average price shot up to £26.13.

Prices of small appliances are also polarising, said the speaker. Middle-market products’ share declined from 60% in 2006 to 56% in 2007, while higher-priced lines increased from 11% to 13% and value products were up from 28% to 31%.

Sukan said that in the small appliance sector spending was particularly high on leisure and specialist products and on energy-saving lines: espresso machines had shown recent growth of 16%, kitchen machines 26%, paella makers 21% and raclettes 41%.

In cookware, Sukan tipped induction-hob-friendly items as future winners, with the hobs enjoying 36% growth last year.

Read more about Erol Sukan’s talk in Housewares Magazine’s April issue.

The Housewares Conference is organised by HousewaresLive.net and Housewares Magazine.

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