IFA Celebrates 10 Years of Home Appliances

IFA 2017 will be the 10th year that manufacturers of major and small domestic appliances have exhibited products in Berlin

Appliance 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 timesaving features. With cooking appliances, the focus is on healthy food using fresh ingredients. Hans-Joachim Kamp, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH, said: “The markets for home appliances and consumer electronics products are converging. IFA is celebrating the 10th edition of Home Appliances @ IFA. IFA continues to be the leading platform for both market segments. “For many years major and small domestic appliances have been at the forefront of progress as regards sustainability, energyefficiency and energysaving, and these aspects continue to be a major topic.”


After a good year for major domestic appliances in 2016, GfK is expecting “moderate growth” in the global market. Natalia Andrievskaya, GfK’s Global Director, Major Domestic Appl iances, said: “There are some big, global growth drivers, like built-in appliances, for example. The freestanding market is so mature it’s barely growing anymore on a global scale, so the growth we see is coming from built-in mainly, especially from Europe, where share of built-in is the highest in the world, but also catching up is Asia and some other regions. Latin America and Africa remain freestanding markets for now. “Another global driver is online channel – not a new one as well – but still one of the most important. In some regions and product groups, online sales is the only growing part of the market. Almost one-fifth of MDA revenue is generated through that channel, and within more premium products, such as side-byside fridges, for example, it’s bigger than that.” People increasingly want their kitchen appliances to do more, including task delegation as well as saving them time, energy and money, and all with except ional level s of performance. Numerous television programmes have propelled cooking appliances into the spotlight and have inspired the consumer to fall in love with their kitchen appliances. Homeowners are now, more than ever, willing to invest in appliances that both impress guests and deliver professional cooking results.


Georg Walkenbach, Beurer’s Managing Director, highlighted that in the year to February 2017, 500 million units of MDA were sold globally. He said that, in that period, economic conditions and consumer conf idence improved in many countries and one of the biggest growth drivers was online shopping. In Europe, Mr Walkenbach said that 6% of MDA, by value, was sold online, while trends centred around cooking, convenience, energy efficiency, design and connectivity. Looking at the SDA market, Mr Walkenbach said that 14% of the European SDA market, by value, was sold online in the period. In the European market, he added that the product mix improved. Trends centred on wellbeing, floor care, personal care, coffee and, increasingly, connectivity.


The newest appliances are smart and are increasingly becoming a ‘normal’ feature in our homes and, this year in particular, the smart appliance market is what everyone is talking about. From televisions to sound systems, smart heating and security systems, smart kitchen appliances are simply the next step. Consumers are starting to understand the great benefits that connected appliances bring to their everyday lives, not only with regards to economy and resource savings, but also in terms of making their lives simpler. By delegating many tasks and options to the appliance, time and effort is reduced, as well as generating the next level of energy and resource saving. Integrated smart technology will offer a whole new level of advanced benefits and intuitiveness, for an even more effortless cooking experience. Although the ‘smart’ market is still in its infancy, it’s accelerating fast – simply select the type of food you want to cook and the preferred cooking method, such as steam, grill or fry, and the technology takes care of the pan’s temperature and advises you on the right steps to follow, whilst maintaining the exact temperature for faultless resultsThe kitchen is one of the most sociable areas of the home and, with the current popularity of open plan design, consumers are increasingly seeking a stylish and serene finish, free of clutter. Equally, the contemporary consumer is looking for ease of use and flexibility of function that fits neatly into both their kitchen and their lifestyle, opting for built-in, integrated or space-saving appliances to best meet these requirements. Cutting-edge technology, innovative cooking functions and an ultra-modern finish, built-in premium cooking appliances create a futuristic kitchen environment with a minimalist yet sophisticated design. Consumers are opting for designs that incorporate built-in appliances or those which offer a consistent profile, with appliance and kitchen units blended harmoniously to form clean lines across the entire kitchen silhouette. Appliance manufacturers have responded by developing styles and designs that blend impeccably across the kitchen and living area. Style is very important to the consumer, especially as the kitchen is increasingly becoming amalgamated with the living space in countless homes.


One particular technology trending in ovens currently is pyrolytic technology, which is the fastest growing technology in the ovens market, with Euromonitor International reporting 35% value growth. Pyrolyt ic technology ensures simple and impressive cleaning results, at the touch of a button, and is very popular with consumers who are looking to impress guests when entertaining. Due to its incredible ease of use, and time-saving benefits, it is increasingly becoming the must-have technology in the kitchen. No one has time to clean and consumers are looking for appliances that no only take care of the inside but the outside too.


Induction cooking continues to be popular this year as the benefits become even clearer to the consumer. As the induction hob generates heat directly within the saucepan, through an oscillating magnetic field, creating heat via electromagnetic energy, only the exact amount of heat and energy required is used with no wastage. Manufacturers are continuing to invest in the development of induction hobs to provide further efficiency and flexibility, heightened and accelerated by the up and coming smart home technology and appliance integration. A smarter and savvier consumer demands more from their appliances as energy bills, more than ever before, place a huge strain on household finances. Appliances which not only provide exceptional results, but also ensure maximum energy efficiency will also be a key market driver for growth. Now is a good time for the retailer to get on board, honing their knowledge and skills, while introducing and engaging their audience with the new technology now available.


Udo Jansen, GfK’s Global Director, Small Domestic Appliances, said that in 2016, the global SDA marked reached US$60.5 billion, up 5% on sales in 2015. According to GfK data, the two biggest growth territories were Africa and Asia Pacific, up 10% and 8% respectively. Singling out a couple of product categories, Mr Jansen said that strong growth rates in the robotic vacuum cleaner market were driven mainly by China; in the electric kettles market, which grew 11% year-on-year, China accounted for 22.7% of sales, with sales worth $313 million.


SDA global trends, Mr Jansen said, include trading up, innovation and new market segments, energy efficiency, connectivity and smart home and the growth of the internet as a sales channel. There is no doubt that we are living in a golden age for small, single-purpose appliances and the statistics back up my thoughts on this exciting category. Mr Jansen pointed out that around 10% of the current SDA market didn’t exist five years ago. He added: “It is another year of good growth and the important message here is that it is quite a healthy sustainable growth that we can track in the market – there is a lot of strong growth momentum, with positive results from all regions that we track.”


One of the key drivers in the SDA market is that floorcare is getting more and more cordless. In the last year, there has been massive growth in the cordless rechargeable hand stick vacuum cleaner category. The rising appeal of cordless cleaners can be attributed mostly to their lightness and convenience. Being able to grab your vac from its wall mount and zip around without changing plug sockets is perfect for tight schedules, quick clean ups and the chore-averse. In the robotic vacuum cleaner market , for example, these were not available in China in 2014, but they have exploded since and now account for almost a third of the total vacuum market value in the country. The same goes for connected toothbrushes and bathroom scales, both of which allow users to track progress through related smartphone apps. At a time when other categories are either struggling or experiencing decline, the SDA offers retailers the perfect excuse to focus on all things ‘kitchen’.


The premium end of the market continues to grow as consumers are happy to spend money on products that offer true innovation and improve their quality of life in the home. The success of TV cooking shows such as The Great British Bake Off in the UK; Das Große Backen in Germany and Le Meilleur Pâtissier in France have driven sales of kitchen appliances total, not just major domestic appliances. In fact, you could argue that on TV shows, multiple SDAs are used, while just one or two ovens are used. Consumers are increasingly looking for professional level products for the home more than ever, thanks to the popularity of cooking and baking programmes. The SDA market is a fantastic way to build a long-lasting relationship with customers. SDAs are often positioned as a fantastic point of access to brands. There is no doubt that SDAs are an ideal way to accessorise a kitchen and complement your existing scheme – they sit pretty and compact on your worktop and provide an eye-catching focal point for visitors.