A global scale analysis

The cooking hob market


We range from sales in the proportion of one every 34 inhabitants of The Netherlands to those of Switzerland, where one every 47 people is sold. Certainly, anyway, the cooking hob is a typical appliance of the developed economies of Western Europe.

Benno Scharf

Today the cooking hob is an appliance separated from the cooker in the traditional sense: it consists of a set of stoves, electrical or gas, not integrated into the piece of furniture of the oven. This is not, however, a universally accepted definition and the terminology is often different in the various nations. In most cases these appliances are not anyway surveyed by sector statistics and are coupled with small cooking appliances, single stoves or mini-ovens and similar.
For this reason, it was possible to report statistical data in the table for 10 nations only: in some cases they are exact figures, in others, even if they are official evaluations, they are rounded to the nearest hundred thousand.


Sources: National Statistical Bodies, Trade Associations, Sector Press, Corporate Data

The cooking hob represents a typical appliance of the developed economies of Western Europe. The Netherlands are the nation with the most relevant sales in relation to the number of inhabitants: one appliance every 34 residents. For the other 5 nations of East Europe mentioned here, we range from one appliance every 41 inhabitants in France to one every 47 in Switzerland. The diffusion rate goes from 59% of Italy to 64% of Denmark. A situation, then, almost homogeneous with modest local differences. Only for the Netherlands official data distinguish between built-in and self-standing appliances. The first constitute here 48% of the total, the second 52%. An unofficial estimate reports the 55% incidence for built-in appliances in Germany, while in France it probably represents – according to indications however not yet confirmed – even 60%. There are no data about the adopted energy. Gas types seem anyway neatly dominant in almost all European nations. On the contrary in the United States of America, the only nation that distinguishes the two types, electrical cooking hobs represent 59% of the total.
The fundamental situation is anyway different in the various areas of the world. In the United States, even if there is a market of household appliances of great relevance, they sell one appliance every 55 inhabitants, while in the less wealthy Russia they reach one every 89. In the Far East we find one cooking hob sold every 134 inhabitants in Japan and even one every 270 in Indonesia. In these nations, nevertheless, there is a notable cultural difference, which generates relevant consequences for household appliances, too. As a matter of fact the main food here, like in China, too, is rice and therefore in houses, instead of the cooking hob, we find the rice cooker, a specific appliance for this purpose. In Japan, in the last surveyed year, they sold about 4.5 million pieces, in Indonesia around 6 millions, while in China, according to unofficial estimates, they exceed 25 millions of sold units.
Data about Latin America are not available: the few indications at disposal say that the appliance is still rare here and its presence is limited to the most modern houses of the richest classes. The remaining part of the cooker is of traditional kind or there may eventually be old gas or electrical stoves.

The cooking hob market seems essentially stable in Europe while in the least developed Countries the appliance is still scarcely known. The future obviously depends on the economic growth of these nations, in particular in Latin America Latina and in Eastern Europe. Here, thanks to the evolution of life standards, also the cooking hob will enter traditional cookers, replacing the old single stoves.
Different the situation of Central and Eastern Asia, where different cultural habits and the prevalence of the rice cooker constitute a notable barrier for the cooking hob.