The categories of dishwashing, floorcare and home laundry are all showing positive signs of growth, says GfK
In the washing machine sector, size definitely matters for consumers when considering making a purchase.
Capacity is a long-term driver of all major markets, which has translated into increasingly larger loading capacities in washing machines. Sales of washing machines with 9kg or more capacity grew by 24% in the first six months of 2019 according to GfK. Reducing the time needed to carry out household chores is of particular value for consumers, and, as a result, smart appliances are growing in popularity. With 13% percent turnover growth in 2019, washer/dryers are a prime example of this trend.
A more recent and substantial trend is steam-supported appliances which generate multiple use cases, from improved drying in dishwashers to fewer creases in laundry. Globally, steam-assisted products – across cooking, dishwashing and laundry, jumped to a growth rate of 41% in the first half of 2019.
The promise of simplification very positively impacts sales. Wash-dryers are a prime example of a multifunctional appliance succeeding in the markets for quite some years now. There are also more recent and substantial trends including the trend towards steam supported washing machines which grow globally by 64%. Fewer wrinkles, less ironing as well as more hygiene and fewer allergens makes steam functions attractive in 2019. This segment already accounts for 12% of the total market value. GfK reports that China and India are embracing this trend, which promises future growth.
Smart appliances are usually equated with the benefit of simplification. GfK reported that all regions revealed strong growth in sales of smart appliances, in the first six months of 2019, with one exception – China. Looking at the global picture, excluding China, smart appliances grew by 18% in turnover.
In the small domestic appliances (SDA) market, more than 23% of global growth, in the first six months of 2019, came from the vacuum cleaners. Product categories that grew in the period included cordless handstick vacuum cleaners (+27%) and robotic vacuum cleaners (+18%).
In floor cleaning, cordless handstick vacuum cleaners are at the top of the product lifecycle curve. At present, the focus is on performance over simplicity to differentiate in the sector. The sales growth trajectory of cordless vacuum cleaners is slowly plateauing after massive growth in 2018. Sales volume is now over €2.3bn (+27%).
Robots are yet another segment contributing to vacuum cleaner category growth. The sale of robot vacuum cleaners grew (+18 percent), and nearly 70% of these are smart devices. Convenience segments like wet and dry vacuum cleaners, which make additional wet wiping redundant, are also growing (+13%) globally. The most important markets for this new type of wet cleaner are China (€39.6m), followed by Germany (€22.1m), France (€21.8m) and Brazil (€19.4m).
Rise in sales of washing machines with capacities of 9kg or more, in the first six months of 2019
Cordless vacuum cleaner category’s proportion of the total vacuums market in the first half of 2019
Global growth, in the first six months of 2019, from vacuum cleaners category