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30 Jun, 14

Dishwashers can offer a valuable addition to a sale, particularly as the trend is towards built-in

Of all the household appliances, dishwashers have probably been the most maligned, considered a luxury and a water and electricity guzzler. Of course that couldn’t be further from the truth. But it’s probably the reason why penetration is so low compared to mainland Europe and the USA, with only four in ten households owning a model.

Boost for built-in

Yet dishwasher sales have recently shown signs of growth. Although the majority of dishwasher sales are for freestanding models, the best news for kitchen designers, is the largest growth has been in the built-in dishwasher market. And at the top of the popularity list for dishwashers is the 600mm model, which offers consumers a 14-place setting. But to further widen sales opportunities, manufacturers have worked to create slimline 450mm models, to fit spaces which can’t accommodate a full-sized dishwasher.

 Consumers demand efficiency

It’s easy for consumers to see the benefit of owning a dishwasher, as they offer the ultimate convenience freeing them from washing dirty pots and pans. However, what they may not understand is dishwashers are more energy and water efficient than washing by hand too. Although industry experts believe eco is becoming more of a purchase consideration for consumers. In fact, according to Gfk, dishwashers with A+ energy rating now account for a third for all sales, which is 37% higher than 2012 (January- November 2013 vs 2012).

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Move to mid-range

All of which points to one of the key factors to encourage trade-up, as more energy efficient models are more expensive. Top-end models can consume the least water and energy, recycling water from a previous wash, using sensors to detect dirt and adjust the wash accordingly. These functions, combined with larger capacities of up to 15 place settings, meaning more can be washed in one wash, sees efficiency in water and energy use, as well as one of the most valuable resources for most consumers – time!

Benefit from new build

Alike all appliances, dishwashers benefit from the new build market and with the housebuilding market improving, it is sure to bolster sales. With the latest Building Regulations and Code for Sustainable Homes driving down water use, dishwashers are going to become even more of a must-have. And as first-time buyers resurface in the housing market, with a generation of people used to having a dishwasher, sales will grow further. But we mustn’t forget the replacement of defunct dishwashers or complete kitchen refurbishments which will also see the increase of mid-range priced appliances up to the higher-end price tag.

The full article appears in the June 2014 issue of Kitchens & Bathrooms News.