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Published on September 30th, 2021 | by The GC Team


Home Appliances: Consumers focus on performance/capacity, high quality and “top class”

When it comes to food storage and preparation, cooking and even cleaning chores, consumers value performance/capacity, high quality, and “top class”, according to latest research.

This was evidenced in the first half of 2021 by sales of high-capacity side-by-side refrigerators, which saw 36% year-on-year growth, while models with four doors or more saw 33% growth.

Products promising elevated hygiene also showed potential, according to GfK. For example: almost twice as many washing machines with steam function were sold than in the previous year.

“In 2021, people still spend a lot of time inside the home and their demands on household appliances will increase,” the research analyst said, predicting an 8% rise in global appliance sales for the year.

“Whether food processors or espresso machines, built-in appliances such as dishwashers or cooktops (preferably with integrated exhaust system), all these product segments grew significantly faster than the market for large and small appliances as a whole.”

During the first wave of the pandemic in 2020, small cooking appliances were in great demand; a year later, “old familiar categories” such as automatic espresso machines, styling appliances such as straightening irons and other hair styling tools, are again driving growth. 

And when it comes to cleaning, many consumers are focusing on timesaving helpers. Robot vacuum cleaners grew by 50%, overtaking traditional cylinder vacuum cleaners in sales for the first time, performing particularly well alongside handstick vacuum cleaners, which grew by 19% in the first half of 2021. 

GfK’s figures also show that online sales of appliances reached unprecedented levels, with new all-time highs being recorded both for small and large goods. Following growth in large appliances in the first half of 2020 (up 30%), this year saw renewed increases of 38% compared to the same period last year.

This means that more than 31% of all major household appliances are sold online, said GfK, and the figure for small appliances is even higher at 49%.

“COVID-19 has elevated us, almost by necessity, to a new level of digitalisation,” said GfK’s Norbert Herzog. But he added that consumer loyalty and trust in traditional retailers remains strong.

“It is their online business that has benefited the most,” he said, “driving up the home appliances market in Europe with a triple-digit growth rate of 152% compared to 2019.

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