Sustainability, added value, fun and enjoyment with smart home appliances
According to Jürgen Boyny, Global Director, Consumer Electronics, at market researcher GfK Retail and Technology, trends this year include smart, connected appliances boasting numerous new functions, including resource saving and energy-ef ciency, sustainability, as well as easy-to-use and programmable time-saving features.
Of course, this year, everyone is talking about “connected” appliances. Now is the era of “push” meaning the industry is “pushing” them into the market. Last year, the numbers doubled. But it’s important to underline, during CE China, that 71% of all smart fridges are sold in China. Similarly, the Chinese market for smart washing machines is huge compared to the rest of the world. With a total market size of 7.5mn units in 2016, the Chinese market, valued at US$1.785bn was almost five times bigger than the world’s number two market – South Korea (US$335mn). GfK reports that 11% of washing machines sold globally are “smart”. Being smart also adds a major premium to the price of a device. In Europe, the average price of a smart fridge is 198% that of a non-smart one, a smart washing machine has a 127% premium, a smart kitchen hob 389% and a smart oven has a premium of 439%.
SMALL DOMESTIC APPLIANCES (SDA) CONTINUE TO BOOM
The total value of the SDA market, according to GfK, is US$60.5bn (+5% over 2015). Africa saw +10% growth, Asia +8% and Western Europe +2.5%. Growth drivers include home comfort, with oor care becoming more and more “cordless”. The market for handstick and robotic vacs is indeed growing fast. China is the biggest market for robot vacs.
Air cleaners also continue to grow rapidly as a category (+20%).
The fully automatic coffee machine market is up by 12%. And the electric water kettle market is up 11%. Here again, most growth is coming from China, and this is impacting the global market.
Personal care is an important sector, where sales of hair dryers were up 18% last year, and people are spending more individually on devices. Innovation continues to be very important in the small home appliance market. Smart appliance sales are up 358% over the past 5 years (2011-2016). Smart Home + Connectivity are growing in small appliances, with major growth in items like personal scales or connected toothbrushes. For example, since 2014, the market in China for robot vacuum cleaners has gone from zero to 28% in 2016.