The ongoing popularity of smoothies with American consumers is doing little to drive sales of home blending systems, according to a recent report from The NPD Group.
According to NPD, dollar sales of blender/mixer/chopper systems for the 12-month period ending May of 2016 were down 10% with unit sales down 6%. Ironically, the drop in retail sales of home blending systems come at a time when sales of smoothies at food service outlets are up 11%, NPD said.
While market saturation and small declines in retail distribution are possible contributors to the drop in sales, the potential of being a fading fad is a concern worth examining, NPD officials noted. A positive note for suppliers of blending systems is the continued growth in the healthy living trend and the inclusion of smoothies by many as part of a healthy diet regimen.
“Blending systems may be feeling a burnout effect as consumers begin to look for more variety in their dietary routines, following a period of submerging themselves in the smoothie trend,” said Joe Derochowski, executive director and home industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Brands need to reposition themselves, emphasizing their multi-functionality, expanding the product’s audience to those interested in preparing more than just smoothies, and figure out creative new ways to engage in new applications and environments.”
He noted the challenge facing manufacturers of blending systems is engaging with Millennials and Baby Boomers as spending rates for blenders among shoppers within these consumer groups have declined year-over-year. In addition, planned purchases of blending systems are down double-digits, with replacement of old or broken products currently driving sales, NPD said.
“Flexibility, innovation, and interaction are the keys to bringing blender/mixer/chopper sales back on the upswing,” added Derochowski. “Manufacturers need to find new ways to get consumers engaged with their products by addressing competing consumer needs and demonstrating the ways these products can contribute to a healthy lifestyle.”