“The overall kitchen appliance market is in a healthy place at present,” says Guest Blogger Steve Macdonald, “rising year-on-year in both washing (8%) and cooling (3%) according to AMDEA. In certain areas of the market in particular we are witnessing exceptional growth. One such sector is large capacity products. Indeed, the sharp rise in sales of 8kg-plus capacity washing machines alone has played a significant part in the annual growth at Hoover.
“When it comes to appliances, in most cases, bigger is indeed better. In recent years there has been a notable trend towards the purchase of larger capacity laundry appliances. Generally, the bigger the drum, the better the wash performance as the laundry has more space to move around which helps maximise cleaning results. Even if you don’t have sufficient laundry to fill the drum of one of the larger capacity models, you don’t have to worry about wasting energy and water because the latest models only use the correct amount of water and electricity required for the wash – whatever the load size.
“Conversely, when a smaller drum is overloaded with laundry, the clothes are not cleaned or dried as evenly or efficiently. For a larger family a smaller drum capacity also means the added chore of extra laundry sorting as well as more frequent washes.
“The latest generation of washing machines, like our 13kg DWT L413AIW3 Wizard Wi-Fi model with All In One Wash technology, can clean an entire full load of mixed fabrics of whites and colours; without the risk of colours running and in just 59 minutes.
The shift towards larger capacity models is also evident in the cooling market. One of the drawbacks of the large American-style fridge freezers, which have been popular with consumers over the last ten years, is that they offered a surprisingly limited internal storage space.
“Consumers looking to replace these models are opting for separate, tall larder fridges and matching freezers or – if kitchen floor space is limited – tall, large capacity fridge freezer combinations that provide more usable storage space. At Hoover we have a range of products up to 195cm high, some of which are available with five freezer drawers and an optional water dispenser.
“It’s worth reminding retailers that a larger capacity machine is not necessarily more expensive to run, particularly when it has intuitive functions that automatically save water and electricity. Manufacturers can help get their message across with eye-catching POS or videos that explain the real benefits of large capacity models, like how many shirts or towels will fit into a fully loaded machine – a 13kg machine for example is capable of handling up to 65 shirts. Training is really important too and display machines with demo programmes can help retailers bring the product to life when they are talking to customers in store
“In conclusion, large capacity washers have been in a growth phase for several years now, with the 9kg and over category taking just short of 25 per cent of the market in washing machines. Overall, the continual growth of large capacity appliances is most definitely an opportunity for retailers, where they can easily trade-up on washers and coolers. This trend looks set to continue into 2016 and 2017.”
Steve Macdonald is the marketing director of freestanding division Hoover Candy UK