The impact of Millennials on the housewares industry continues to grow as the under-35 age group accounted for more than a quarter of total small kitchen appliance sales in 2014, according to a recent report by The NPD Group.
According to NPD, Millennials now account for 26% of sales in the segment, up from 21% in 2013, the only age group to see an increase in 2014. NPD estimates total kitchen electrics sales to be $6.2 billion.
“Much of the movement we’ve seen toward inspirational influence in the kitchen, from the aspirational attitude of recent years, can be attributed to the differences between the generations,” said Debra Mednick, executive director and home industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Boomers are the generation with more disposable income and a desire to splurge or trade-up for more premium products, but the sheer size of the Millennial generation, and their fundamental need for the essentials is what is moving the needle in many home-related categories.”
According to NPD’s National Eating Trends, Millennials consumed eight more meals at home over the last year, while all other generational groups decreased the number of meals consumed at home by one. Millennials indicated that the main reasons they cook at home are because it saves money, is healthier, tastes better, and they enjoy cooking and have the time to do so, according to NPD’s foodservice report, “Encouraging More Visits from Millennials.”
“Millennial consumers have a sensible involvement when it comes to their food preparation. Just like many others, they want to get out of the kitchen as soon as possible, but they also want to be able to call the food their own and bring more fresh ingredients to their dishes,” said Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst. “Today’s American consumer wants more ’control’ over the foods they eat. This strongly applies to Millennials, and they tend to take a hands-on and personalized approach to cooking.”
Mednick noted that the mindset of Millennials is just beginning to demonstrate its impact on the small kitchen electrics segment through their different approaches to food prep and at-home meals.
“Just as the times when Gen X and the Boomers came into their own, the home products industry as a whole needs to figure out how best to meet the needs and desires of the newest generation looking at their products, while also educating them, and learning how to grow and change with them,” she said.