The bread use in the different gastronomic cultures influences also the diffusion of the devices for its preparation and processing. Among them, the appliance to toast the bread, whose success therefore depends on these factors as well as on local economic conditions.
In western world Countries, the sales of household appliances are only partially surveyed in sector statistics. Almost always, only some appliances, deemed essential, are considered, such as for instance the vacuum cleaner, the iron and other few appliances. Only in two nations, France and Switzerland, also the toaster is included in this category and competent associations yearly release extremely precise data. In other cases, such as Denmark and The Netherlands, it is possible to formulate some estimates thanks to previous indications or data surveyed in the past. Moreover, the surveys by the Spanish government statistical institute INE include also the presence percentage of this appliance in the Country’s dwellings.
Concerning the other nations mentioned in the table, we had therefore to turn to estimates published on the sector or economic press. All this confers a character of broad approximation to these data.
Market and diffusion
The toaster diffusion in the various Countries is notably different. It is partly influenced by the local economic conditions but even more by specific alimentary habits.
It is worth reminding that the bread use in the single cultures remarkably varies in the various geographical areas. According to the evaluations by international food organizations, the broad consumption finds its highest peaks in the Arab world, where for instance in Turkey they reach 106 kg per head yearly while in Saudi Arabia, world leader in the matter, they almost attain 110 kg,
In western Europe, the average values fluctuate from 56 kg of Germany to the 52 of Italy; compared to them, Far East nations show instead very low values, such as 8 of China or 7 of Japan, not to mention Indonesia where they neither reach 1 kg per head annually or India, where the 2 kg per head are indicated as the target to be reached.
The toaster, however, finds its specific use when they prefer sliced bread and first of all in Northern America: United States and Canada are the first world references with an appliance sold respectively every 20 and every 21 inhabitants in 2016. In West Europe, we range from one appliance sold every 37 inhabitants in Germany and in Denmark to one every 50 in Spain. Here, too, it is worth highlighting that in central north Europe the sliced bread, or anyway to be sliced, is much more frequent than in the Mediterranean area.
The situation is radically different in developing Countries like Brazil or in the Central-East Asia. In the latter area, the main food is rice and the market of small appliances addresses it, offering consumers a specific appliance: the rice cooker. The sales of such household appliance– almost unknown in Europe – score 5 million units yearly in Japan and 70 million units in China. In these Countries, the toaster is spreading thanks to the ever-growing westernization and to the success of bread as replacement of rice.
Among West Europe Countries, only in Germany and in Spain, in the 2014-2016 biennium, the toaster sales registered slight growths. In all others, the trend is negative, affected by saturated markets but also by polemics on a hypothetical dangerousness of the appliance, hypothesis anyway denied by experts.
On the contrary, the trend is decisively positive in Americas and Far East, thanks to the growing diffusion of bread as food.
The toaster scores its highest popularity degree in the Countries where a strong bread consumption is also characterized by the preference of ready-made bread types already sliced. The best examples of that are Usa and Canada.
However, while sales go on growing, even if modestly, in the two mentioned North American nations, European markets show instead clear signs of saturation, with slightly decreasing sales.
Therefore, future developments for this appliance will come only from new markets: China, India, Japan and in general the entire Third World, which precisely in food habits shows a clear tendency to imitate western behaviour models.
Sales and diffusion of the toaster in various countries in the world in 2016
2014 (1000 units).
|Sales 2016 (1000 units)||Diffusion (%)||Populations (Millions)||Inhabitants per sold appliance|
Sources: Trade Associations, Sector Press. Population: National Statistical Bodies