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Five Small Appliances Trends to Watch in 2024

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In 2023, small appliances witnessed modest growth, mainly driven by the replacement of products purchased during the pandemic. The response to COVID-19 had a habit-forming impact on many consumers, who have become used to making coffee at home using espresso machines and enjoying the convenience of a robotic vacuum cleaner. Many of these appliances are now an integral part of a consumer’s home. However, growth was weaker than predicted, as high interest rates and inflation resulted in reduced disposable incomes.

The industry is expected to experience higher growth in 2024 as inflation is easing and consumers have adjusted to a higher cost of living. Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence will make small appliances “smarter”, while manufacturers are also moving towards “servitisation”. These positive developments are expected to boost growth in the industry as consumers continue to replace products purchased during the period of extended home seclusion.

Chart showing Small Appliances: The Evolution of the Industry 2018-2028

Euromonitor International expects the following five trends to have a significant impact on shaping the industry:

AI takes customisation to the next level

63% of industry leaders in appliances and electronics see AI impacting their business in the next five years

Source: Euromonitor International’s Voice of the Industry Survey 2023

This is underscored by the prevalence of AI-centred product unveilings at CES 2024. Coffee machines have become a focus for AI integration, with Midea’s introduction of its Barista Brew one example. These machines use AI to recommend various coffee brews and collect user feedback to create the perfect customised brew based on consumer preferences. It will then recommend new flavours that each user might like based on previous experiences. Robotic vacuum cleaners continue to take AI applications to the next level, including the latest technology from Ecovacs, which is able to detect the floor type to adjust its suction power and mopping mode.Images of Midea's Barista Brew app Design and AI personalisation for air treatment products

Consumers of today are increasingly looking for personalised features in small appliances.

48% of global consumers want products that are uniquely tailored to them

Source: Euromonitor International’s Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey (fielded January to February 2023)

Samsung and LG have been at the forefront in this space, offering personalised colour panels for air conditioners to blend with home interiors. They also use AI to personalise room temperature for greater comfort and energy efficiency. Air purifier manufacturers have also been creative in offering design flexibility for consumers. Dupray Bloom Air Purifier is designed to accommodate a plant container on the top and can transform into a side table, fitting seamlessly into home design. Meanwhile, Sterra Air Purifier licensed Marvel characters to be part of its design, appealing to young families and film fans.Photos of air purifiersSummer heatwaves to fuel surge in demand for air conditioners and heat pumps

UN forecasts predict 2024 heatwaves to exceed previous years, fuelled by a naturally occurring El Niño pattern and greenhouse gas emissions. This will encourage an increasing number of consumers to look for long-term cooling solutions, even after 9% growth in air conditioner sales in 2023. Consumers in Asia Pacific are expected to install additional units at home, while many mid-income households will try these appliances for the first time. Meanwhile, cooling solutions in Europe are increasingly trending towards heat pumps, which can address both heating and cooling efficiently. With increased manufacturer activities releasing innovative heat pumps and heavy government subsidies for installation costs, the product is poised for strong future growth.

The rise of smart cooking appliances marks a shift towards “servitisation”

Driven by the shift towards digitalisation, consumers are increasingly looking for continued engagement from manufacturers through services. This is a major change for appliance manufacturers, where previous engagements were usually limited to sales and servicing. Consumers are becoming increasingly open to subscription services for household essentials and meal kits, prompting manufacturers to offer a subscription model together with cooking appliances. For example, Tineco’s Smart Cooking machine offers an automated cooking solution where consumers can choose from thousands of recipes available on Tineco’s mobile app; it will then automatically order ingredients needed and deliver them fresh to consumers’ homes. Tineco also offers meal kits to make cooking processes easier as every ingredient is prepared and measured based on the recipe.

Chart showing Consumer Habits: Current Subscriptions

Innovation in budget-friendly cooking appliances reflects growing demand for affordable premium appliances

The gap between premiumisation and affordability is closer than ever, with consumers looking for products with more features while still demanding a fair price. Thermomix would probably be top of mind when it comes to a smart cooker, helping consumers prepare high-quality, healthy meals at home without significant effort. However, its premium price of USD1,499 is often a barrier for the mass market. This has led to other manufacturers releasing more affordable options. For instance, The Tokit Omni Cook is priced at USD899 and has similar functions to Thermomix. For a more economical option, Cecotec Mambo Touch Kitchen Robot costs USD300 with similar capabilities.

Learn more about this topic in our report, World Market for Small Appliances


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