Shoppers are buying fewer small kitchen appliances - but the growing appeal of quality products is pushing up the market's value.

Shoppers pay more for small appliances

Shoppers are buying fewer small kitchen appliances – but the growing appeal of quality products is pushing up the market’s value.

Shoppers pay more for small appliances

According to new research from GfK Retail and Technology, February 2011 saw the number of small appliances sold fall 1.5% over the previous February, from 2.11m to 2.08m.

However, the value of the market this February reached £52m – an increase on February 2010 of 11.1%.

The figures reflect the fact that the average selling price of a small kitchen appliance has put on year-on-year growth of 9.2%, from £22.52 to £24.60.

While some of this growth is driven by the recent success of premium categories such as hot beverage machines and high-end food prep equipment, GfK says there is also significant value growth in more commodity markets such as kettles.

February 2011 saw the volume of kettles sold decline by 2% year-on-year, to 664,000.

At the same time, though, the average price paid for a kettle rose from £18.45 to £19.52, driving the value of the market up from £12.7m to over £13.5m.

GfK says this growth has been driven by consumers increasingly looking to buy higher-quality, more premium kettles than were typically bought during the last two or three years.

Advanced features such as multiple water-level viewing windows and more durable housing materials have become commonplace.

According to GfK, the value of plastic kettles is down 2% but that of metal kettles is up 14.7%, from £7.7m in February 2010 to over £8.9m a year later.

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