Foodies Drive Sales of Small Home Appliances

The NPD Group is reporting the U.S. small home appliance market grew 4 percent to $19.6 billion in the months from July 2013 through June 2014. Consumers seem to be buying these appliances because they offer good functionality and the latest models offer exciting new features.

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.


  • Blender/​Mixer/​Chopper Systems +39%
  • Countertop Blenders +10%
  • Single-​service Brewing Systems +8%
  • Bare Floor Cleaners +20%
  • Stick Vacuums +10%

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.


  • Rice Cookers +34%
  • Electric Kettles +27%
  • Slow Cookers +4%
  • Stand Mixers +2%
  • Waffle Irons +4%

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.”

Consumers who do a lot of cooking make good targets for retailers that sell small appliances. These consumers comprise 50% of the U.S. adult population. According to AudienceSCAN data, 59% of foodies especially enjoy baking cakes, pies, breads and desserts. Over 30% of foodies also enjoy home decorating and gardening. It's possible these folks are growing some of the food they enjoy cooking. TV rules as a format for connecting with foodies and 46.3% of these consumers have taken action as a result of TV ads they've seen in the past month. In addition, 36% of foodies have started an online search after seeing a social network post so this medium may be another way for retailers to connect with consumers who are looking for the latest in small kitchen appliances.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports in AdMall.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.