GfK: high demand for appliances in the first six months of 2021

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According to GfK, the global market for small and large household appliances recorded an excellent first half of 2021, with sales of small appliances up 21 percent and large appliances up 31 percent compared to the same period last year, which was impacted by lockdowns. GfK expects total sales for 2021 to reach $362 billion, which represents an overall increase of 8 percent. Demand for small and large household appliances has been impressive in the first six months of 2021, even exceeding pre-Corona sales levels in comparison to 2019 period. However, due to the pandemic and the varying infection levels and associated restrictions, extreme fluctuations can be observed in the market. Compared to the same period last year, the large equipment market in India grew by 51 percent, in China by 38 percent, and in Western Europe by 32 percent in the first half of 2021. Small appliances recorded above-average growth of 27 percent in Europe.

Consumers focus on performance/capacity, high quality and top class
In 2021, people still spend a lot of time inside the home and their demands on household appliances will increase. When it comes to storage, food preparation, cooking, and even cleaning chores, consumers value performance/capacity, high quality, and top class. For example, high-capacity side-by-side refrigerators (+36 percent) or those with more than four doors (+33 percent) were particularly popular. Furthermore, products promising elevated hygiene also showed potential. Washing machines with a steam function sold almost twice as much as the year before, when the market was already worth around $5 billion. There is also an increased demand when it comes to the kitchen. Whether food processors or espresso machines, built-in appliances such as dishwashers or cooktops (preferably with integrated exhaust system), all these product segments grew significantly faster than the market for large and small appliances as a whole. While during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020, small cooking appliances were still in great demand, a year later, old familiar categories such as automatic espresso machines, but also styling appliances (e.g. straightening irons, hair styling tools) are again driving growth. When it comes to cleaning, many consumers focus on time-saving helpers. Robot vacuum cleaners grew by 50 percent, overtaking traditional cylinder vacuum cleaners in sales for the first time. They performed particularly well alongside handstick vacuum cleaners, which again grew by 19 percent in the first half of 2021.