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Jun 8, 2017

A Long-Term Proposition

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The general thinking around healthy-living has evolved. Instead of “going on a diet,” which is a short-term behavior, more people seem to be thinking of their diet in the broader sense and are focused on eating more healthfully, which for them is  a longer-term proposition. This mindset shift is playing out in many home appliance and housewares products.

I’ve been tracking how people eat and drink for nearly 20 years, and when the focus is on being healthy the consumer’s response always indicates a need for more fruit, vegetables, and exercise. Blending and processing products seem to be the perfect solution to address the first two, and even the third if you think about an on-the-go lifestyle. However, blender/mixer/chopper systems and countertop blenders have been on the decline. Dollar sales of the multi-function blending systems were down 7 percent in the 12 months ending March 2016, and another 11 percent in the 12 months ending March 2017*. Traditional counter-top blenders have seen double-digit declines over the past two years*. How can this be?

According to NPD’s Eating Patterns In America, dieting has been declining slightly over the past few years, and doing so across the generations. NPD’s Dieting Monitor also shows that in each of the first three months of 2017, fewer consumers are dieting than during the same time last year. This does not bode well for products that market themselves around a dieting-related behavior, like making smoothies has become. 

Dieting has evolved from an activity to a lifestyle change. This is why dollar sales of traditional food processors (+9%), hand blenders (+17%), and even non-electric kitchen gadgets focused on chopping, slicing, and coring (+3%) are all growing. Consumers are focused on integrating more fruits and vegetables into their normal diet, making them ingredients  in the healthy foods and meals they are preparing. This way of thinking makes products like multi-cookers very appealing to consumers and sales show it – dollar sales increased by more than 50 percent a year for the past two years.

The “diet” isn’t dead, but the long-term mindset that is emerging around healthy lifestyles is the real opportunity for marketers. Consumers will be more willing to invest more in small kitchen electrics and food prep products that help them achieve their long-term goal of a healthier lifestyle rather than spend money on products that fill a ‘for now’ need. Marketers who embrace the healthy lifestyle proposition consumers are adopting will realize lasting results as well.

*Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Retail Tracking Service


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