Kitchen Electrics, Housewares Categories Beginning to Rebound

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Many kitchen electrics and housewares categories sales appear to be rebounding in 2010. Kitchen electrics ended 2009 on a strong note, and continued this momentum through the first quarter of this year. In first quarter 2010, kitchen electrics dollar sales grew by 10 percent over the same time last year, and unit sales were up nearly six percent, according to The NPD Group, a leading market research company.  The greater growth in dollars is also encouraging, as it implies consumers have demonstrated a willingness to buy more expensive products.

Kitchen electric categories like electric grills and griddles, food processors, coffee/espresso makers, deep fryers, electric skillets, and slow cookers have generated double-digit dollar and unit growth in the 12 months ending March '10, compared to the same time in 2009.

"Consumers are continuing their cost-cutting ways by spending more time at home, and cooking more," said Peter Goldman, president of NPD's home division. "Alternatively, there is an increased demand for more premium-priced products such as single-serve coffeemakers, stand mixers and juice extractors."

Kitchen housewares are also showing signs of recovery, but have been less resilient than the kitchen electrics category segment.  While sales are not back to the levels where they were two years ago, the trend is beginning to stabilize.  In the first quarter of this year (Jan. to March 2010), total kitchen housewares grew five percent in dollars, versus first quarter 2009. Categories such as bakeware, cookware, and cutlery all generated strong dollar growth in this quarter. Tabletop sales began to move in a positive direction, as well, with a focus on casual dinnerware (+2%) and beverageware (+4%) driving the growth in these categories.

"The housewares industry has started to emerge from a relatively tough economic environment.  Housewares buyers are now showing us signs that they want to refresh their kitchen and tabletop items, even if it means trading down or buying more casual products for the time being," ended Goldman.

[Source:  "The NPD Group Reports Sales of Kitchen Appliances Off to a Strong Start."  The NPD Group. 4 Jun. 2010.  Web.  18 Jun. 2010.]