What’s Hot in Home Appliances at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair

We’ve already covered what’s hot and what’s not in digital products at the 2013 Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition) and now it is time to put the Home Appliances market under the microscope.

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HOT

Sous Vide

There are only a handful of suppliers of Sous Vide in the Australian market but that is definitely changing as we spotted several Australian importers running the rule over the myriad shapes and styles in this growing category. Going hand in hand with Sous Vide is vacuum sealing and it was interesting to see Chinese factories offering both as a bundle; expect to see more gift with purchase deals in this space in the lead-up to Mother’s Day next year.

Air Purifying and Dehumidifying

A well-placed insider said these markets are expected to grow ten-fold in the coming years as more and more Australians are diagnosed with asthma and start looking at ways to keep their environs clean of allergens. We’ve already seen floorcare and washing machine manufacturers target this market; now these dedicated appliances, a very mature market in China, are set to claim of lot of catalogue real estate.

Thermomix-style Cookers

It’s hard to walk straight in the home appliances halls without bumping into a CookMix or a ThermoCook or a CookoMix or a MixoTherm – you get the idea. The monopoly currently being exploited by Thermomix, which is sold through the personal demonstration channel, will surely be tested in 2014 when these various models arrive in the market. Interestingly, importers complained to me that these are not cheap to source and will be around the same price as Thermomix (~$1,900) when they hit shelves.

Robot Vacs

This has become a high growth category in Australia since Samsung and LG released some well-marketed, high-end models to complement Roomba’s long-standing mindshare. However, it risks becoming a commodity if retailers and entry-level suppliers start bringing in one of the many different types of robot cleaners on display. I spotted circles, squares and even triangles in my tour of the show.

Dyson Ripoffs

I hope the clever folk in the Dyson development studios are working on some pencil sharpeners because its lawyers are going to need a lot of graphite to get through all the bladeless fans, hand dryers, cyclonic canisters and stick vacs that look exactly like the real thing.

Waffle Makers

When Breville launched its new waffle maker, I was told that ‘waffles are the new banana bread’ and that message must have reached China because they had waffle makers in hundreds of varieties. I never knew I wanted a heart-shaped waffle until I saw it earlier today!

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