Driven by celebrity chefs and home cooking, the UK kitchenware market grew by 4% in 2008 to an estimated £828m at RSP – an 11.5% increase in value since 2004.
According to Key Note’s new Kitchenware 2009 report, which covers cookware, ovenware, utensils and cleaning and storage, cookware remains the largest sector, but ovenware was the fastest-growing between 2004 and 2008.
The report says that the market is being driven forward by interest in celebrity chefs, a revival in cooking from scratch as a leisure activity and for health, a return to eating in as eating out becomes more expensive, and the prevalence of single-person households.
At the same time, sales are being held back by continued demand for convenience, with ready meals satisfying the time-poor cook, and by the tough economic conditions.
Key Note points out that fashion has played an important role in pushing the kitchenware industry forward. Celebrity chefs have encouraged this phenomenon, because they place great emphasis on the aesthetics of food and how it is presented, as well as how it tastes.
However, kitchenware is an intensely competitive market and in recent years it has experienced a huge influx of low-priced branded and own-label products. Premium products, says the report, can no longer rely on their aesthetics, because budget cookware is now very design conscious. Instead, manufacturers of expensive items must differentiate their products in terms of quality and longevity.
These trends, Key Note predicts, will continue to shape the kitchenware market between 2009 and 2013. It forecasts that the market will increase in value by just 8.8% over the period, to £919m. Cookware is forecast to remain the largest market sector and to see the fastest growth.