Small appliances ‘set for a mini boom’

The small kitchen appliances market is set for significant growth, as the nation’s home chefs chop, blend and toast their way to a mini market boom.

Small appliances 'set for a mini boom'

New research from Mintel shows that following a modest 1% growth in 2008, the market for small kitchen appliances fell by 2% in 2009, when it was worth an estimated £546m.

But because cash-strapped consumers have been postponing replacing appliances the market is now set to heat up. Mintel says that the release of pent-up demand will see sales of appliances grow in volume and value by 15% and 5% respectively over the next five years. By 2014, market value is predicted to hit £572m.

Mintel’s senior retail analyst,Richard Caines, said: “The recession has had a mixed effect on sales of kitchen appliances. While many of us will have delayed the replacement of kitchen appliances, lack of funds has led to a boost in interest in in-home food and drink preparation, underpinning the growth prospects of the market.

“Changing fashions in kitchen design and décor provide the opportunity for more frequent replacement of appliances, especially when consumer confidence returns. The increase in the number of households will underpin future volume growth in this market, although the increase of smaller one and two-person households will change the product specifications required.”

Essentials such as kettles and toasters are both doing well, with volume sales up 12% and 24% between 2005 and 2009. Sales of food preparation appliances have also performed well, with volume sales of these appliances increasing by 17% over the same period.

Less essential or “of the moment” appliances, such as deep fat fryers (-10%), health grills (-2%) and sandwich toasters (-11%) have seen volume declines between 2005 and 2009.

Mintel says that loss of novelty appeal is an underlying problem, with as many as four in ten consumers admitting to having kitchen appliances they no longer use.

Mintel’s findings also show that consumers are becoming disillusioned with the short life span of many modern small appliances. Four in 10 consumers are prepared to pay for quality that lasts to save themselves money in the longer term and benefit the environment.

The research also highlights that storage space is an issue for one in five householders.

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