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Cool Treats, Beverage Appliances On The Rise

Cool treats and beverage makers are hot.

According to The NPD Group, Inc., dollar sales of small kitchen appliances often used to create cool foods and beverages grew 41% in the 12 months ending May 2013 (June 2012 – May 2013). Unplanned purchases of these products accounted for more than a quarter of total sales for the same time period.

“Consumers shopping on a hot day will find products that can help them beat the heat very appealing, whether those items were the reason for their shopping visit or not,” said Debra Mednick, executive director and home industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc.

The strong performance of small kitchen appliances that produce frozen treats is bolstered by purchases that were not planned, according to NPD. In countertop blenders, blender/mixer/chopper/systems, ice cream/yogurt makers, and ice shavers/sno cone makers, the increase in impulse spending is outpacing their overall performance.

Countertop blenders are the largest of these appliances at more than $726 million in sales between June 2012 and May 2013. They are also the least affected by impulse spending, with less than a quarter of dollars resulting from spontaneous purchases, according to NPD.

“Making sure you can blend up the most refreshing frozen beverage is on the checklist of many party planners, especially during the summer months. The multi-purpose functionality of blender/mixer/chopper systems makes them an attractive alternative to the traditional countertop blender,” said Mednick.

Ice shavers/snow cone makers are the most impulsive cool treat category, with unplanned purchases representing more than half of the $16.1 million total sales between June 2012 and May 2013, according to NPD. A third of the $67.7 million in ice cream/yogurt maker sales were not planned shopping cart additions.

“In both warm and cool months, appliances like ice cream makers or snow cone makers have a nostalgic appeal, bringing us back to childhood. The fun, emotional connection made by the treats these products create, combined with a customization factor that comes at an affordable price, is what makes them winners,” said Mednick.