US: Appliances tipped to sell well in 2016

Outdoor living, healthy eating and connected home trends top the list, according to US research.

Consumer confidence has increased significantly in North America, reaching the highest level in Nielsen’s ten-year consumer confidence history, according to its 2015 online survey. The survey has also shown that spending in 2016 will be focused on home remodeling, improvements and renovations, which could see an increase in housewares purchases.

Smart BBQ

“Despite some mixed economic signals from the US, consumer confidence has strengthened and consumer spending is driving the economy,” Nielsen senior vice president, Louise Keely said.

According to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity, annual spending growth for home improvements will accelerate from 2.4% in 2015 to 6.8% in the second quarter 2016.

A love for the outdoors

Among the top reasons consumers desire outdoor living spaces are because they believe they enhance the home’s overall atmosphere, consumers can spend time outdoors even in bad weather, it expands living spaces outside the home and it transforms outdoor spaces into a relaxing oasis.

As kitchens have long been the focal point for indoor entertaining, grills have become the gathering point of outdoor living. According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) 2015 State of the Barbecue Market, more than one-third (37%) of grillers plan to purchase another grill or smoker in the next year.

The HPBA report also stated that over a third (35%) are likely to upgrade their outdoor kitchen in the next three years.

“While consumers want to experience the outdoors, they do not want to give up all the comforts of home, hence the interest in products such as high-tech coolers,” The NPD Group sports industry analyst, Matt Powell, said.

Healthy eating continues to trend

Many consumers are focusing on cooking fresh, nutritious meals. According to The Institute of Food Technologists’ Top Ten Food Trends, shoppers are buying more fresh ingredients, up 10% versus three years ago. In addition, one-half of shoppers are preparing more nutritious meals and one-quarter are steaming and stir-frying more.

According to Mintel Global Food and Drink analyst, Jenny Zegler, the desire for fresh ingredients and healthy meals is having a positive impact on the housewares industry, especially sales of slow cookers.

“Slow cookers have been around for over four decades but increasing interest in freshly prepared meals has made them the hot – so to speak – new appliance,” according to The NPD Group, which reported in the 12 months ending June 2015, 12.6 million slow cookers were sold and dollar sales reached $334.1 million, up 4% from the same period a year ago.

“Consumers continue to demonstrate their interest in home-cooked meals, their willingness to pay for convenience in creating them, and their propensity to pay more for a premium product,” NPD Group home division president, Lora Morsovillo said.

Consumers want to be connected

Meanwhile, interest in smart home, or internet connected products, is continuing. The smart kitchen market is projected to be worth as much as $10 billion by the early 2020s, according to Transparency Market Research.

The connected home – or smart home – is all about making life easier. One of the major trends is the demand for smart home products that solve specific problems related to safety, security and in-home convenience.


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