13356 Mon, 12/17/2007 - 5:41pm
NPD: Stand Mixers Top Small Electrics Gift Lists
By David Gill
PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y.-Stand mixers and waffle irons finished numbers one and two, respectively, in a poll of consumers' 2007 gift purchases of small kitchen electrics, conducted by The NPD Group.
The remaining products in the top 10 were slow cookers, electric grills, food processors, espresso makers, electric skillets, rice cookers, hand mixers and deep fryers. NPD garnered the survey results from its regular consumer tracking poll, which gathers responses from 700,000 people and measured small electrics gift purchases from January to September.
The results reflect the fact that food preparation has become a popular activity for U.S. consumers, according to Peter Goldman, president of NPD's home industry sector. "Food preparation is well connected to entertaining and lifestyle components, and they, I believe, are driving a lot of kitchen electrics purchases," Goldman said in an interview with HFN.
Those lifestyle components include consumers' high desire for convenience, for multifunctional cooking products and for products that help them pursue a gourmet lifestyle. All of the products that finished in the top 10 "are involved in preparing food quickly and conveniently, and hit on consumers' growing interest in cooking," Goldman said.
Regarding stand mixers' place at the top of the list, he said, "Stand mixers are a perennial favorite. It's an exciting category now." Goldman added that espresso machines, number six, have also generated great interest. "A number of manufacturers are doing exciting things to make espresso makers more approachable to consumers," he said. "Great machines are available now that have made espresso brewing more convenient, and at very approachable price points."
Rice cookers, which finished at number eight, and two other products that just missed the top 10--juice extractors and coffee grinders--showed significant growth in gift sales. "The growing interest in healthy eating is making rice cookers and juice extractors very desirable products," Goldman said. "Any product that grinds coffee, whether it's a freestanding grinder or a grinder built into a coffeemaker, is highly desirable in today's market."
Other data yielded by the tracking survey revealed that sales of kitchen electrics priced at $100 and more and $20 and less grew significantly for the year to date through September; the former segment's sales were up 13 percent, while the latter posted a 19 percent increase. "Consumers, in spite of the economic problems going on now, still have an appetite for the premium end of this segment," Goldman said. "But the fact that the $20-and-less segment is up 19 percent year to date shows that many consumers are feeling the pinch."