Small Appliance Growth Drivers Range from Innovative to Necessary, Reports NPD

Port Washington, NY, September 22, 2014 – The U.S. small home appliance market grew 4 percent to $19.6 billion in the months from July 2013 through June 2014. The categories that gained the most sales during these 12 months were either centered around providing something new, or filling simpler needs, according to The NPD Group, a global information company.

“Innovation has been the key to driving small appliance sales in recent years, but we are also beginning to see consumers that are interested in getting back to basics again,” said Debra Mednick, executive director and home industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc.

Single-serve brewing systems, blender/mixer/chopper systems, stick vacuums, and bare floor cleaners are clear examples of innovative products that are drawing consumer interest, regardless of the price premium. In the case of countertop blenders, it is the high-powered premium offerings within the category that are driving the dollar growth. Unique features or positioning gives consumers the ability to rationalize the higher spend which, in some cases, can be as much as 10 times higher than lower-priced solutions.

While some consumers are certainly trading up to higher priced, more premium products, there are also categories realizing increased demand, and sales, in the absence of recent notable innovation. Rice cookers, electric kettles, slow cookers, stand mixers, and waffle irons are examples of such categories that are growing simply due to their basic function, appealing to the American consumer’s desire to get back to basics. 

“There is clearly a consumer out there for almost every type of product, whether they are focused on aspirational items that fill a desire to have something a little more special, products that can help them when they feel inspiration to take on a new project or idea, or appliances that will assist them in performing a necessary task,” added Mednick. “Regardless of the category or the consumer, innovative thinking to reach and engage with today’s consumer is key to the success of retailers and manufacturers alike.”

Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Consumer Tracking Service, July 2013-June 2014

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