Year In Review 2020: Health Concerns Propelled Wellness-Oriented Appliances

In a 2020 dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, comfort, wellness and beauty suppliers found their healthy living oriented appliances and smart devices in high demand for use in the home.

With more consumers sheltering at home throughout the year due to the pandemic, indoor air quality was top of mind, and air purifiers as well as other home comfort appliances saw increased product development and rising sales trends. With home appliances considered an essential product, many manufacturers remained open to meet the boost in consumer demand as consumers grew more concerned about their indoor air quality.

Public companies, such as Helen of Troy, Newell Brands and Spectrum Brands, reported a surge in demand for health and home related products, and all reported substantial gains during the year as a result.

In floor care, robotic vacuum cleaning saw increased product development, and suppliers also experienced a boost in demand as more consumers sought healthy home related products.

In addition, personal and beauty care suppliers witnessed strong demand in grooming, hair care, oral care and other at-home tools as the stay-at-home trend became prevalent across the country.

HomeWorld Business 2020_Year_In_Review

Moving & Shaking

  • In December 2019, home environment appliance company Lasko Operations named Ed Vlacich CEO.
  • Helen of Troy acquired Drybar Products, which includes the Drybar trademark and other intellectual property assets associated with Drybar’s products, as well as certain related production assets and working capital, for approximately $255 million.
  • iRobot appointed vp/finance Julie Zeiler as its next executive vice president and chief financial officer, effective May 4, 2020.
  • Dyson appointed Roland Krueger as its new CEO. Krueger succeeds Jim Rowan who, after almost eight years with Dyson, decided to step down.
  • Waterlogic, a global designer, manufacturer, distributor and service provider of purified drinking water dispensers, closed on the acquisition of a significant minority stake in the company by four institutional investors— BCI, Neuberger Berman, StepStone and Skandia.

Brand News

  • The companies of Shur-Line, Bulldog, and World and Main, which markets the Comfort Zone brand of home environment appliances, changed their name to H2 Brands Group, bringing together as one the offerings of the three divisions plus the new acquisition of Craig Electronics.
  • Dyson launched its first three-in-one purifying humidifying fan, the Dyson Pure Humidify+Cool. The new machine uses UV-C technology to hygienically humidify in winter, evaporatively cool in summer and efficiently purify all year round. Dyson also introduced the Dyson Corrale hair straightener, which features flexing plate technology.
  • After more than a decade of design innovation and industry-leading technology, as well as millions of devices sold, the Clarisonic skin care brand shut down.
  • Helen of Troy kicked off Pur Community, a new initiative from the company’s health and home division, which is designed to help municipalities experiencing water quality issues with immediate and cost-effective point-of-use filtration solutions.
  • Newell Brands’ Sunbeam collaborated with the U.S. Pain Foundation for September’s Pain Awareness Month to call attention to the real-life barriers chronic pain patients face in accessing proper pain treatment. The initiative will also offer perspective into pain management solutions, including heat therapy.
  • Lasko spotlighted an array of new portable fans utilizing new technology, including smart home models with Bluetooth capabilities and units featuring fresh air ionizer functionality. The company also debuted in the Indian market this year, with products in the premium tower fan category.
  • In addition, Lasko expanded its domestic production by launching U.S.-made Cyclonic Digital Ceramic Heaters. Sharp increases in consumer health and wellness concerns are spurring Lasko’s renewed emphasis on air purifiers, and the company debuted two collections this fall.
  • iRobot expanded its Roomba robot vacuum lineup with the launch of the new Roomba i3+, which features intelligent navigation, self-emptying capability with Clean Base automatic dirt disposal, and an expanded range of personalized cleaning features powered by the iRobot Genius Home Intelligence platform.
  • Drew Barrymore is continuing to expand her Flower home brand with the launch of Flower Hair tools, a new category within the company’s portfolio.
  • A South Korean small appliance manufacturer, Cuckoo Electronics, set its sights on the American market for kitchen electrics and home environment appliances, such as air purifiers.
  • Molekule signed its first major U.S. retail agreement with Best Buy. The company said its consumer line of air purification devices will be available through BestBuy.com and in about 350 retail stores. The company also launched the Molekule Air Pro, a professional-grade air purifier engineered for the demands of commercial spaces, and expanded distribution in India and Japan.
  • NuWave said that an independent study conducted by the University of Minnesota Department of Mechanical Engineering found that the company’s OxyPure Air Purifier reduces porcine respiratory coronavirus concentration in the air.
  • Eureka rolled out its new FloorRover Dash, Flash, Stylus and Groove vacuums, which are equipped for any type of spring cleaning. Eureka also expanded its lineup of vacuums with three new models available exclusively at The Home Depot. The new models include the AirSpeed upright vacuum, PowerSpeed CordRewind Pet upright vacuum and the Flash corded stick vacuum.
  • Blueair rolled out two new products, the Blue Pure Fan and Blue Pure 411+ air purifier, designed with allergy sufferers in mind. The company also launched HealthProtect, which the company said is its most advanced air purifier to-date. The new range of air purifiers combines three new state-of-the-art technologies— HEPASilent Ultra, GermShield and SpiralAir— to provide maximum performance and energy efficiency. The company also launched the Blue Pure Auto air purifiers, an extension of its Blue product line.
  • Cott Corporation completed the acquisition of Primo Water Corporation, a provider of water dispensers, purified bottled water, and self-service refill drinking water in the U.S. and Canada.

Product Pipeline

  • Kaz, the home environment division of Helen of Troy, introduced two new Honeywell Heaters that feature customizable heat settings and wide area oscillation.
  • Hamilton Beach Brands launched Brightline, a new personal care brand. Brightline’s ADA-approved electric toothbrushes use sonic technology.
  • Pretika spotlighted its SonicLift 2.0 Micro-Current Facial Toning Device with connected skin care technology, a handheld micro-current anti-aging/wrinkle reduction device featuring a built-in digital camera.
  • Airfree added a new air cleaner to its home comfort assortment, the Babyair air purifier, which is designed specifically for the nursery or child’s room.
  • Air Wick launched the Air Wick Essential Mist Smart Diffuser with Bluetooth technology. The diffuser is compatible with the Air Wick Essential Mist nature-inspired range as well as with a new line of aroma-inspired fragrances.
  • Crane USA focused on improving indoor air quality with its new Crane Top Fill Cool Mist Humidifier, an easy-to-clean, filter-free, top fill, one-gallon cool mist humidifier with aroma diffuser.
  • Simplehuman introduced its latest cosmetic mirror design, the Sensor Mirror Trio Max. The company said it is targeting the personal care and beauty market for growth.
  • Source Pro Direct rolled out Westinghouse branded air purifiers and accessories, such as a new portable NCCO air purifier.
  • Best Accessory Group unveiled a complete range of personal care appliances, trimmers and groomers under its Westinghouse brand license.
  • Geek Technology, a division of Home Easy, highlighted rechargeable smart fans and heaters as well as a new personal ceramic heater that also offers humidification.
  • Wahl presented several new men’s grooming tools that have launched at retail, including the Groomsman Pro All in One groomer and the Lifeproof clipper.
  • Tacony showcased its new Simplicity vacuum assortment, including several new bagless, cordless and canister vacuum models.
  • Cleva North America, manufacturers of Kenmore and Kenmore Elite brand vacuums and accessories, took aim at allergies and pet hair with its new floor care products.
  • Midea aimed to enhance the overall user experience with Midea U, a u-shaped inverter air conditioner. The innovative design enables users to easily install the unit, as well as freely open and close the window when it is in place.
  • CDN introduced a Non-Contact Forehead Thermometer. The new medical-grade model uses infrared technology to measure forehead or surface temperature, with a 1-second response time.
  • With recent attention paid to at-home disinfection, Coral UV introduced the Coral UV 3-in-1 sanitizer, a compact, UV-C sanitizer that provides an easy and chemical free solution for sanitizing everyday items.
  • Emerson Quiet Kool, a division of Home Easy, introduced its first light weight outdoor portable air conditioner. It is designed to cool up to 100 square feet, and is ideal for camping grounds, job sites, mini offices or wherever cooling is needed for tight spaces.
  • Finishing Touch Flawless, the personal care brand now owned by Church & Dwight, introduced its newest hair removal device, the Flawless Nu Razor.
  • Kärcher introduced two new floor care and cleaning products to the American market: the new FC 3 Cordless Hard Floor Cleaner and FC 5 Cordless Hard Floor Cleaner.
  • TTI Floor Care North America unveiled an enhanced version of its Hoover SmartWash automatic carpet cleaner. The new Pet version offers easy-to-use, deep-cleaning technology with new features to tackle carpet and upholstery cleaning needs of households with pets.
  • LG Electronics introduced new cord-free cleaning products with new mopping capabilities: the LG CordZero ThinQ A9 Stick Vacuum and the CordZero ThinQ Robotic Mop. The company also expanded its portfolio of energy-efficient residential air care products to include the LG PuriCare 50-pint dehumidifier with drain pump.
  • LG Electronics also released its next-generation vacuum model, the LG CordZero cordless stick vacuum featuring Kompressor technology; and launched the LG PuriCare Mini, the company’s first personal air purifier designed to deliver cleaner, fresher air to users on the go.
  • JMATEK, the exclusive licensee and manufacturer of Honeywell evaporative coolers, launched Zeta, a personal air cooler.
  • Miele launched the TriFlex HX1, the brand’s first cordless stick vacuum. With a three-in-one design, the TriFlex vacuum allows users to switch between three different configurations for maximum flexibility and performance.
  • Tineco expanded into the beauty category by launching its next generation smart hair dryer, the Moda One.
  • Andis introduced its Andis Women Wet/Dry Shaver, the first item in the company’s new women’s personal trimming line. Andis also introduced its Women’s Trimmer Kit, which adjusts to four different trimming lengths, offering women more options to handle their hair.
  • Colgate introduced hum by Colgate, a new smart electric toothbrush that is said to guide consumers to brush better and to build healthier habits.
  • Black+Decker introduced the Spillbuster Cordless Spill + Spot Cleaner. The cleaner is said to provide performance for untouchable messes by picking up wet and chunky messes.
  • Hot Tools, a Helen of Troy brand, said that its Professional 24K Gold One Step Pro Blowout Styler was named a winner in Allure’s 2020 Best of Beauty Awards as best “Hot Tools: Brush Dryer” within the Best of Tools Category.
  • Neato Robotics launched its newest models for its premium robotic vacuum lineup— the Neato D10, D9 and D8.
  • Coway launched the Airmega 150, the most compact smart air purifier unit yet in its collection. The new, minimalist model is designed to fit into small living spaces and complement home decor with color options in sage green and dove white.
  • Bissell rolled out the new SpinWave robotic vacuum, which features two-in-one capabilities, using spinning mop pads to wash floors with the ability to also dry vacuum. Pet owners can now reach for the new Bissell Cordless Pet Stain Eraser PowerBrush portable carpet cleaner to tackle pet messes anywhere in the house.
  • Garmin released the Index S2 smart scale with a new weight trend graph feature, enhanced accuracy, and a variety of biometric data for both serious athletes and health-minded customers.
  • Dorel Juvenile, a subsidiary of Dorel Industries, launched the Stay Clean Humidifier, an ultrasonic humidifier under the Safety 1st brand.
  • Ecovacs launched the Deebot Ozmo T8 and T8+, the company’s first robotic vacuum cleaners powered by its TrueDetect 3D Technology. Ecovacs also launched its Deebot U2 series, its most advanced entry-level robotic vacuum and mop. The Deebot U2 and U2 Pro systematically vacuum and mop hard floors, unlike most random-pattern entry-level vacuum-only robots on the market, the company said.