U.S. dollar sales of small appliances grew nearly 8% over the week ending March 14, 2020, compared to the same period in 2019, The NPD Group reported.
According to weekly retail tracking data from The NPD Group, sales of home environment products like water filtration devices and air purifiers drove more than half of the small appliance incremental dollar growth as consumers increased their focus on survival needs and healthy home living during the COVID-19 crisis.
“Our environment began to change dramatically in early March, and many U.S. consumers embarked on a new home-focused reality,” said Joe Derochowski, home industry advisor at NPD. “As we prepared to work from home and practice social distancing, our behavior as consumers began to change as well.”
Core needs come to the forefront. Triple-digit sales increases of water filtration devices, replacement filters, and soda machines reflected concerns around water. Consumers also focused on keeping a healthier living environment, more than doubling dollar sales of handheld specialty cleaning appliances and nearly doubling air purifier sales compared to the same period last year.
A shift in thinking around food preservation also became apparent with vacuum sealers driving growth within small kitchen electrics. More triple-digit dollar gains in breadmakers and electric skillets, and growth in sales of sandwich makers, electric pasta makers, citrus juicers, rice cookers, and waffle irons point to a return of carbs and creative cooking as kids are spending more time at home.
“Our primary focus right now is on staying healthy, and staying home is playing a critical role in that effort,” added Derochowski. “While desires are secondary for the moment, they are already part of the consideration set related to keeping our families both happy and healthy during our increased time at home— a mindset that will be critical to watch over the coming weeks as we find routine in our new lifestyle.”