Driven by the growth of healthy eating, channel sales of electric food prep items saw a 1.1% increase in 2018, according to respondents of the State Of The Industry survey. However, while dollar sales of beverage electrics were up last year, driven in part by the craft coffee trend, sales of that segment dropped for the independent housewares channel this year, decreasing to $12.9 million to $13.9 million.
The kitchen electrics category been a challenge for retailers in the past, as competition, high price points and dedicated space has caused the trifecta for retailers. However, those who have done well with the category, and continue to do well with the category, have made the commitment to merchandising the products as well as taking the time to demonstrate the goods.
Being able to show off the newest kitchen electrics with an attractive display piques the interest of consumers. Independent gourmet housewares retailers continue to capitalize on their ability to dedicate time to educate consumers on complicated and pricey kitchen electrics, and the ability to demonstrate the product gives would-be purchasers the confidence to make the decision to buy.
Cooking classes that use kitchen electrics, too, have helped with the increase in sales, especially on the food prep side, industry insiders said. Being able to see how kitchen electrics work up close and allowing people to try them out and see results has been one way to increase sales of the category, especially when it comes to tools like sous vide, pressure cookers and multi-cookers.
For next year, however, 39.6% of retailers who responded to the survey said they are planning to scale back on the kitchen electrics category, while 52.1% said they would be leaving the category as-is in their stores. Only 8% said they are looking to grow kitchen electrics offerings during 2019.