NPD: Baking, Massagers Address Current Consumer Needs

Consumers in the U.S. are expanding purchasing beyond the essential needs of their families to incorporate more creature comforts into their extended stay-at-home living situations, according to weekly retail tracking data from The NPD Group.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to influence consumer behavior, significant growth has occurred in sales of hand mixers, stand mixers, bakeware and massaging appliances, demonstrating the consumer’s desire to indulge during otherwise trying times. While it’s hardly surprising to see something of a home cooking revival, the recent emphasis on baking brings it to another level. In the six weeks ending April 25, NPD noted, dollar sales of hand mixers nearly doubled versus the period a year earlier even as stand mixers sales grew 69%. When taking activity in that segment with an 18% dollar bakeware sales increase in the three weeks ending April 4, baking has seemed to become a more popular pastime.

At the same time, massaging appliances continue to grow in importance as source of relief for consumers who can’t visit a spa and who may be cramming themselves into makeshift workstations as they carry on business at home. Massaging appliance dollar sales increased 84% in the two weeks ending April 25, NPD noted.

“Consumers welcome anything that offers them a bit of an escape from otherwise mundane, stressful or hectic days,” said Joe Derochowski, NPD home industry advisor. “Beyond face-value product benefits, like baking a sweet treat or soothing tight muscles, many home products allow us to pass the time and reconnect with the simple joys of life.”

He added that the current circumstances consumers confront amplifies basic needs and desires, forcing everyone to “find new ways to address them. Home products have been particularly popular during the pandemic, but consumer focus continues to shift. To stay relevant, the industry needs to stay focused on the consumer’s needs and innovate new products and messaging to meet those needs.”