Home Appliance Trends at IFA 2017

Resource saving and energy-efficiency, sustainability, as well as easy-to-use and programmable time-saving features… These are the key points of evolution at this year’s IFA show.

This is the tenth year that manufacturers of major and small domestic appliances will be exhibiting their many innovative products at IFA in Berlin.

From 1 to 6 September 2017 a wide range of products representing every type of appliance and highlighting everything the industry has to offer will again be on display to the retail trade and consumers. Trends include smart, connected appliances boasting all kinds of functions, including resource saving and energy-efficiency, sustainability, as well as easy-to-use and programmable time-saving features. As regards cooking appliances the focus is on healthy food using fresh ingredients. In addition to outstanding technical features major and small domestic appliances also boast excellent design and high-quality materials.

In both areas of the market developments have been positive for a number of years. The reason is the diversity and performance offered by products and the innovativeness shown by manufacturers. Major and small domestic appliances not only make household work easier, they also save resources, energy, water and time. They let people lead a healthier, and in many cases an easier and fuller life, ensuring positive experiences, fun, and well-being. Preparing and enjoying a meal alone or with friends and family is of great importance.

According to ZVEI* spokesman Georg Walkenbach, in Europe, the underlying trend is positive. Online shopping was up 6% for MDA. SDA is also very positive. Key drivers include health, wellbeing, floor care, personal care, and “coffee culture”.

Mr Walkenbach says it’s clear that global cross border trade is expanding steadily. “Open markets are a key for growth and prosperity”, said Mr Walkenbach at the recent IFA Global Press Conference.

For many years major and small domestic appliances have been at the forefront of progress as regards sustainability, energy-efficiency and energy-saving, and these aspects continue to be a major topic. Every new generation of appliances consumes less energy than the last, regardless of previous improvements and figures for lowest consumption of electricity, water and washing agents. In that respect customers reward manufacturers for their efforts. Besides offering new features and improved ease of operation electrical appliances pay the customer back within a short period of time due to the energy they save.

 

High-quality, elegant materials and an outstanding design, often in unusual colors, are now relegating the term ’white goods’, frequently applied to major and small domestic appliances, to the past. Examples of cutting-edge technology are innovative and wide-ranging functions, ease of operation, sometimes using virtual control panels and on some devices gesturing, voice control and personal assistants.

More and more large and small electrical appliances are connected and feature smart applications. These appliances are controlled by mobile devices and apps that can access their current program status, messages, as well as maintenance, repair and service information. Sensors can track user behaviour and suggest improvements via an app. Built-in cameras offer a remote view of the inside of an oven or fridge.

This opens up the way for even more new applications, functions and digital services offering fun and a quality experience. What’s more, they save time and effort and offer plenty of tips, for instance on how to save energy, do the washing or new recipes and ways of cooking. Connected appliances can also exchange information. This makes it possible to optimise laundry drying or control several appliances via a single control panel. These smart functions satisfy the users’ desire for appliances that can make intelligent decisions and make day-to-day work easier by offering improved operation, better safety and greater energy efficiency.

In major domestic appliances, the “shooting star” is to be found in the kitchen, according to ZVEI, with induction cooking (21% +), and cooking with steam +16%, ahead of washer-dryers +10%. Smart MDA saw a growth of +105% from 2015-2016.

In the SDA market, there’s still big growth in fully automatic coffee machines, along with robot vacuum cleaners, food preparation – smoothie makers, multi-cookers, and personal care. Re-chargable hand-stick vacs were up 35% in sales last year, connected personal scales +50%, electric toothbrushes +13 and robot vacs +16%.

  • ZVEI is the German industry association (Central Association of the Electrical Engineering and Electronics Industry)