CHICAGO — So-called green consumers will grow in importance to the housewares market, said David Lockwood, director, U.S. research, Mintel International Group, here, during the International Home and Housewares show held here last week.
Relative to home goods, Lockwood reported that 12% of those surveyed regularly buy green products; 68% buy them sometimes — “usually when it's easy,” he said — and 20% never buy such items.
Noting that consumer research is sometimes skewed by people who exaggerate their level of purchases, Lockwood said this isn't the case with green consumers.
“The green consumer is a very committed consumer. They actually do buy what they say they buy.” As a result, research such as Mintel's “has a greater weight than you might think.”
Additionally, Lockwood told SN that supermarkets need to focus more on the design of housewares products than they have in the past. “It's always been price, price, price, which we know because the market has not been growing very quickly,” he said. But research shows “a fair degree of unhappiness” with these products.
Better and more creative design will help drive interest in housewares sold in supermarkets, Lockwood said. “There is always the price component, but we think there needs to be a little more attention paid to the design,” he said.
While recent developments in cookware and bakeware have been praised, small kitchen appliances are in need of a design breakthrough, Lockwood said.
Men are the consumers for supermarkets to target with housewares products, as they are convenience-oriented and often make impulse-driven purchases, Lockwood said. “Even though the female is the primary [supermarket] target, men are very actively shopping, and when it comes to housewares, [a sense of] fun will draw them. They need to think that the tool is fun. It could be techy, or it could be new, but they need to see something in addition to its function,” he said.
For instance, the group of purchasers of combination kitchen appliances skews younger, lower income and male, he reported. However, these consumers reported that they were not happy with their purchases, which indicates the products need more design work.