A recent study from the Freedonia Group predicted steady growth in the battery category — around 2% each year — through 2012. It’s clear, however, that this growth isn’t coming from the food and drug channels. Unit and dollar sales were both down for a second straight year, indicating that consumers bought fewer batteries during the recession, and bought low-price varieties when they did.
The industry’s shift toward high-performance batteries that also carry a higher price point seems to have contributed to the sales drop, as well. Keep in mind, though, that all those digital devices have to run on something, so as demand for these gadgets increases so should battery usage. One subcategory did actually show impressive growth over the past year: zinc-air batteries. These are relatively new to the market, but they last up to three times as long as lithium-ion batteries and are relatively inexpensive.