Consumer appetite for kitchenware remained strong to start 2021, a carryover from the prior year when sales across key cooking categories grew exponentially.
According to Checkout Information from The NPD Group, dollar sales of small appliances and housewares in January were up 46% and 38% respectively.
“Consumers have been spending more time at home than ever before, and that continues to be true through much of the first quarter of 2021,” said Joe Derochowski, home industry advisor at NPD.
At the start of the New Year, kitchen appliance sales have stayed strong revealing a greater focus on new in-home meal needs. With a return to some level of “normalcy” expected in the back half of 2021, products such as air fryers, blenders, toaster ovens and single-serve coffeemakers are expected to be in strong demand.
NPD figures for January back up this line of thinking, with kitchenware products holding five of the seven growth categories based on absolute year-over-year dollar change. They include cookware (1), air fryers (2), traditional blending appliances (5), toaster ovens (6) and single-serve coffeemakers (7).
While kitchenware suppliers and retailers have reaped the rewards of consumers staying home over the past 12 months, the return to a more normal way of life could see consumers reengaging with previous habits.
An NPD survey found that 6 in 10 respondents said they anticipate returning to pre-pandemic leisure travel within the next year. A return to activities such as movies, theme parks and vacations could happen sooner. These behaviors will lead to changes in how consumers cook at home.
“As the consumer becomes more comfortable returning to some of their pre-pandemic ways, they will begin spending more time juggling daily and social activities, which means that convenience and saving time will be a top priority again,” said Derochowski. “The home industry needs to be prepared to address the new needs that emerge as the consumer moves toward post-pandemic living, while also making it easier for them to continue newly adopted behaviors.”