Tech-enabled connectivity. Energy efficiency and automation. Wellness-enhancing features.
These are just a few of the concepts behind some of the main trends influencing the market for large kitchen appliances in 2023. These trends provide insight into what customers are looking for in terms of product features as well as insight into how and where they’re shopping.
Latest Trends in Residential Kitchen Appliances
When it comes to shopping for large kitchen appliances, consumer trends are driven by varying lifestyles, priorities, and price concerns. Staying on top of these trends and understanding what influences them can help ensure you are developing and marketing materials that align with customers’ needs and preferences.
Here is a look at some of the current consumer trends impacting the residential kitchen appliance market:
1. Consumer sentiment is shifting regarding size of project
The residential remodeling and renovation industry has been experiencing steady growth—after an abnormally high spike from 2020 to 2021—and kitchens have been a favored space for upgrades because of the central role they take in most families’ lives.
As consumer purchasing power shrinks from inflation, price sensitivity is increasing and consumers are spending less on large ticket home improvement items.
With the emerging consumer shift in 2023 towards repair and remodel focused projects, discretionary purchases of appliances may be put on hold, or result in trading down, but necessary replacement of appliances will continue.
According to findings from our DIY and DIFM Home Improvement Monthly Tracker, just under half report positive sentiments towards starting a home improvement project under $5,000; 1 in 3 respondents reported neutral sentiment and roughly 1 in 4 reported negative sentiment throughout Q1 of 2023.
Sentiment is negative regarding projects over $5,000 with over half (54%) of respondents holding a negative view towards starting a large home improvement project in March of 2023; 1 in 4 respondents reported neutral sentiment and 1 in 4 reported positive sentiment.
Further, when we asked DIY and DIFM homeowners, "How have home improvement product prices affected you in the last 30 days,"
- 20% purchased less than planned
- 18% canceled or postponed the project
- 14% purchased a cheaper brand or product
We are seeing homeowners respond by making trade-offs in what they purchase and how much they purchase. The full set of data suggests that many homeowners still seek to start new projects, but are making purchase decisions based on price sensitivity.
2. Refrigerators comprise the largest segment of market
Refrigerators make up the largest segment when it comes to major kitchen appliances. This trend is expected to continue for a couple of reasons.
First, there are new technologies in refrigeration that attract residential customers to search for upgrades.
Additionally, as housing mobility decreases, existing homeowners will continue looking to introduce lifestyle improvements into their existing space.
3. Kitchen Appliance consumers prefer in-store purchases
Although online shopping continues to grow in popularity, many people still prefer purchasing their large home appliances from physical stores. While they might do research for home improvement products online, they rely on sales representatives at household appliance stores to explain product features and help them weigh their options. Individuals want to fully understand a product’s features and visualize how it will fit into their kitchen before making such a significant investment. Often, customers are also looking for discounts or waiting for big sales to make these kinds of major purchases.
4. Demand for built-in appliances continues to rise
Another trend is the steady demand for built-in cooking appliances that allow for more advanced electronic features and also help save space—especially for customers living in compact houses.
Individuals enjoy the seamless integration of built-in kitchen appliances and how they enhance the function and aesthetics of a cooking area. This also highlights the need for auto-cleaning systems to aid in maintenance and represents opportunities to invest in product development efforts.
5. Demand is rising for smart home appliances
In some ways, smart household appliances go hand in hand with energy efficiency, and it’s another area where we’re witnessing growing demand. Smart kitchen technology bolsters connectivity, convenience and comfort, easing various household chores, such as cooking and cleaning.
With kitchen appliances that are connected to your smart device, you can open doors hands-free; remotely set oven temperature and cooking times; and monitor the temperature of your fridge. For individuals with mobility or health challenges, these conveniences can lead to more independence and a better sense of well-being.
6. Accessibility is an emerging issue
With a significant portion of the population in the United States advancing in age, more and more people are living with some type of physical limitation or health condition.
Home appliance manufacturers must keep accessibility in mind to meet their unique needs. Homeowners are looking for products that can be used by individuals of varying ages and ability levels.
A few examples of in-demand features include side-opening ovens, redundant alerts, the integration of LED lighting, and lower dishwasher drawers—all of which boost safety and convenience.
7. Consumers are looking for wellness-enhancing features
For various reasons, including the COVID-19 pandemic, homeowners and renters are becoming more wellness-centric when it comes to their large kitchen appliances. This includes a heightened awareness and demand for improved cooking ventilation; steam ovens; sous vide capabilities; induction cooktops and ranges; stainless steel interiors; and an easy-to-use sanitization cycle on dishwashers. Features that help improve indoor air quality are also in demand when it comes to healthy home trends.
8. Energy efficient appliances see increasing adoption
There are also some new government regulations at play that have the potential to impact how certain appliances are manufactured and incentivize consumers to purchase more energy efficient models.
This is not a new trend, but continues to impact consumer preferences. In light of government policies and changes in consumers’ personal beliefs homeowners are increasingly in search of eco-friendly and sustainable household solutions, which drives certain choices in kitchen appliance purchases.
Download The Farnsworth Group’s Healthy Home Report for the latest findings on purchase drivers regarding energy efficiency.
Changes in Government Regulations
The large kitchen appliance market continues to be influenced by some long-term trends, including rising demand for smart technology, convenience and accessibility, and energy efficiency. However, the market is constantly evolving in response to other external impacts, which creates a less certain future for both consumers and large household appliance manufacturers.
For example, in February, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) proposed new standards for the Appliance and Equipment Standards Program in regards to refrigerators and freezers—along with clothes washers. The proposed standards are designed to increase energy efficiency and deliver cost savings to homeowners as a result. They also are meant to help mitigate carbon pollution.
The standards, which may go into effect in 2027 if adopted, will continue to influence how refrigeration products are manufactured and what technologies are used in order to increase energy efficiency. The incorporation of better-performing technologies should result in long-term cost savings on utility bills. The DOE is estimating $60 billion over 30 years.
Additionally, these new government regulations, to be implemented by the Building Technologies Office (BTO), are expected to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
For consumers, these rule changes should expand their options when it comes to purchasing more energy efficient refrigerators and freezers in the future. What remains unknown is whether models that integrate better technologies will remain at a price point that is accessible to the majority of residential consumers, incentivizing them to make the investment for long-term energy savings.
Diving Deeper into Large Kitchen Appliance Trends
When trying to analyze trends related to consumer behaviors and market sizes for large kitchen appliances, it’s empowering to have access to highly targeted data that gives you the most powerful insights.
The Farnsworth Group uses various means to help you conduct custom research for the home improvement and construction industries, so you can collect the data you need to make strategic decisions to increase market share.