Global small appliance trend forecaster names key categories to focus on for Christmas 2015 and into 2016

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Sales in small appliances like the Kenwood kCook, with guided cooking programs and multiple functions, are forecasted to surge in 2015.

Sales in small appliances like the Kenwood kCook, with guided cooking programs and multiple functions, are forecasted to surge in 2015.

This author is on Twitter: @Patrickavenell

What will be the significant small appliances for Christmas 2015? Although Santa Claus’ annual visit is still seven months away, GfK Retail & Technology’s global director of Small Domestic Appliances Udo Jansen has provided Appliance Retailer with an overview of where growth will be focused in retail small appliance sales through the rest of the year.

Before getting to the actual categories, a quick overview of the market. Jansen forecasts that between US $66.4 billion and $68.4 billion will be spent globally on small appliances. This will mean a 3-to-6 per cent increase in sales value on the year prior, following 4 per cent (2013) and 5 per cent (2014) increases in previous years.

In the kitchen, Jansen said retailers should be making space for Liquidisers, Juicers, Kitchen Machines, Low Oil Deep Fryers and Fully Automatic Espresso Machines. In the living room, growth is expected in Handstick and Robot vacuum cleaners, Dehumidifiers and Air Cleaners. In the bathroom, sales will surge in Men’s Shavers, Female Depilation and Electric Toothbrushes.

Home Connectivity will be a major driver of consumer interest in new appliances and pre-Christmas sales growth. Appliances that can communicate with each other directly to enhance performance or with a smartphone app to improve ease of use will be winners. Examples include toothbrushes that include app-based instructions and gameplay, bathroom scales that sync with fitness programs, multicookers with upgradeable recipe books, coffee machines with touchscreen interfaces and robot vacuum cleaners.

In addition to these small appliances with connectivity built in, there are more and more products becoming available to transform ‘dumb’ appliances in to Smart Appliances. Take, for example, Belkin’s brand new WeMo Maker (RRP $149), which can connect to low-voltage electronics devices to enable interaction via smartphone and tablet apps.

“We believe that WeMo is the ‘on-ramp’ to the Internet of Things, and will play a key role in connecting consumers to the Internet of Things, and delivering what might otherwise be a complex or daunting situation in a very approachable and cost-effective experience,” said senior product marketing manager Andrea Bruno. “WeMo Maker allows almost anything to be ‘WeMoed’, from a pet feeder or motorised windows to garden sprinkler systems or pool pumps. It brings the Internet of Things to practically any device you can think of, without having to know how to code.”

Also available is the WeMo Insight Switch (RRP $99.95), an adaptor that connects between an appliance and the power outlet, giving users remote control of their irons, lights, kettles and fans, among many other things.

WeMo is an Internet of Things innovator owned by Belkin. Here you can see otherwise 'dumb' appliances have been smartened up and can now be controlled via smartphones. WeMo is an Internet of Things innovator owned by Belkin. Here you can see otherwise 'dumb' appliances have been smartened up and can now be controlled via smartphones.

WeMo is an Internet of Things innovator owned by Belkin. Here you can see otherwise ‘dumb’ appliances have been smartened up and can now be controlled via smartphones.

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