Kitchen electrics had a tough year in the independent gourmet housewares segment, according to those responding to the State Of The Industry survey.
While the healthy eating trend grew electric food prep sales in 2018, consumers did not return to make additional purchases through 2019. This, combined with increased competition, high price points and amount of dedicated space, brought sales down 9% on the food prep side of the category.
Craft coffee and tea are still trending in the market, however, consumers have turned to French press and pour-over methods in order to brew their beans and leaves. Hydration bottles with built in French presses, too, have taken share away from coffee makers. Those environmentally conscious consumers who are concerned about their carbon footprint have shied away from coffee machines as well, whether cup-to-bean or pod-based, because of water usage and waste. Some manufacturers have also developed cocktail-based beverage electrics, which have lost share as consumers are preferring to mix their own cocktails as opposed to pre-mixed and measured beverages. These contributing factors helped the gourmet channel dollar sales of beverage electrics drop 11.6% year-over-year.
Additionally, kitchen electrics are both a hefty monetary and time investment for gourmet housewares retailers. Not only do high-end kitchen electrics tie up credit and cash flow, but gourmet housewares retailers need to make an effort to walk interested customers through all of the features of kitchen electrics. Those retailers who have had success with this category have the made the commitment to merchandising and demonstrating while in-store and troubleshooting post-purchase.
According to respondents, high-end coffee machines and stand mixers are still money makers for retailers, but it generally does not create return purchases in the short-term. More than 38% of those who responded said they would be scaling back kitchen electrics going into 2020. Only 9% said they would be looking to add to their assortment.