Britain’s gadget lovers spent £897m on small electricals in 2015

We are a nation of kitchen gadget lovers, according to new research from market research company Mintel.

Sales of small kitchen appliances (which Mintel defines as kettles, food preparation, hot beverages, electrical kitchen gadgets, toasters, health grills, slow cookers and fryers) are booming as Britain’s households are estimated to have chopped, whisked and blended their way through a record breaking £897m worth of the very latest electrical kitchen gadgets in 2015.

The sector is thriving, with sales of appliances such as kettles, blenders and juicers shooting up 41% in the past five years, rising from £635m in 2011. Mintel forecast sales to reach £976m in 2016.

Mintel’s research reveals that two in five (41%) Brits say they cook from scratch most days, allowing them to control levels of ingredients such as salt, fat and sugar. But proving that it’s not just the power of the appliance that matters, 30% of those who bought kitchen appliances in the year to September 2015 said they looked for a modern look when purchasing, and 29% said a design that co-ordinates with other appliances in their kitchen was important.

Jane Westgarth, senior retail analyst at Mintel, said: “High levels of prime time television exposure for cookery including ‘The Great British Bake Off’, ‘MasterChef’ and ‘The Hairy Bikers’, is creating interest in top of the range food preparation equipment. And healthy eating trends have helped drive demand for blenders, liquidisers and juicers.

“For many Brits, owning a small kitchen appliance is something of a status symbol, allowing consumers the pleasure of ownership, as well as a way to demonstrate that they have food and drink knowledge when inviting guests into the house. “Demand for stylish, added-value appliances is growing, and there’s plenty of evidence of growth at the premium end of the market.”

Within the small kitchen appliance sector, food preparation appliances such as liquidisers, juicers and blenders are proving to be star performers. Sales of these appliances have soared 145% over the past five years to reach an estimated £225m in 2015.

Meanwhile the popularity of healthy eating and a love of smoothies is driving sales of juicers, estimated to reach £22m. More than one in 10 (13%) Brits bought a juicer or smoothie maker in 2015, up from 6% in 2013. Additionally, sales of liquidisers are estimated to have grown by almost 50% in 2015 to reach £70m.

Mintel research also shows that health grills have made a comeback, increasing 30% up from £43m in 2011 to an estimated £56m in 2015. Sandwich makers and grilling machines overall have seen a jump in demand, with 15% of Brits in 2015 buying one compared with just 10% in 2013.

And it seems Britain’s growing coffee culture is driving the sales of the hot beverages market, as sales of these appliances grew 89% from £78m in 2011 to an estimated £148m in 2015. Some 13% of Brits bought a coffee capsule or pod drink maker in 2015, up from 8% in 2013. Meanwhile, 11% of Brits bought a filter coffee machine in 2015, up from 5% who did so in 2013.

Jane Westgarth added: “Consumers are willing to pay premium prices for small kitchen appliances that help them create the same kind of indulgent food and drinks they have become accustomed to in restaurants and coffee shops.

“This is driving demand for food preparation equipment, including specialist items like juicers and food mixers. Furthermore, falling prices have made coffee machines accessible to a wider audience, while special deals during key selling seasons have boosted volumes of coffee makers at discounted prices.”

The kettle remains the nation’s most popular kitchen appliance. More than two in five (42%) Brits bought a kettle in 2015, up from 36% in 2013. Sales of this kitchen staple amount to an estimated £198m – up 21% on 2011.

Toasters were the second most widely purchased appliance. Some 30% of Brits bought one in 2015 at an estimated market value of £91m.

Jane Westgarth concluded. “The majority of consumers are opting for low budget toasters and kettles, typically spending between £11-30 on kettles and £10-20 on toasters. This is a very competitive market place, but retailers can encourage consumers to trade up by arranging a ‘good, better, best’ range of prices, highlighting clear differences between the lower and higher-priced lines.”

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