Under 35s now account for 37 per cent of range cooker sales, almost as many as the 35-54 age group at 40 per cent, new research has revealed.
A survey of 2,000 UK consumers by appliance manufacturer Glen Dimplex Home Appliances (GDHA) found that the use of range cookers in the home has resulted in some new demographics, which include the multi-meal jugglers, bold bakers, homepreneurs, show-off chefs and reluctant cooks.
More than half of ‘multi-meal jugglers’ (59 per cent) said they had purchased a range cooker to alleviate the challenges of living in a multi-meal household. More than a quarter of these (27 per cent) said they regularly had to cook separate meals for fussy family members, while 17 per cent said that they were challenged by living with a vegetarian or vegan. Nine per cent described themselves as living with somebody with a serious food allergy, while a further seven per cent said their household contained at least one person following a special diet.
Of the ‘bold bakers’, 35 per cent of range cooker owners described themselves as “keen amateur bakers”, with capacity (26 per cent) voted the most valued feature of a range cooker, closely followed by the multi-function oven options.
GDHA’s research also showed that range cookers are becoming increasingly popular with home-based business owners running kitchen table businesses. Of those who purchased a range cooker, 15 per cent described themselves as a professional chef or somebody running a home-based food business.
A third (34 per cent) of ‘show-off chefs’ claimed to love using their range cooker for regular entertaining with 12 per cent describing their cooking style as ‘experimental’.
Style and appearance of the cooker was cited as the factor most likely to make them purchase (40 per cent), and almost a quarter opting for a more striking colour over the traditional black, stainless steel and cream options.
The ‘reluctant cook’ uses their range cooker everyday but a quarter admitted that this is more of a necessity, rather than enjoyment. A further 14 per cent claimed they are not confident cooks and always follow a recipe.
The research also explored the ways people shop for a range cooker and found that almost two-thirds (65 per cent) researched them online before purchasing. This was followed by 62 per cent who visited a physical retailer, with almost half (49.5 per cent) going on to buy in-store. A further 17 per cent admitted that they visited several stores – both high street and independents – before making their purchase.
Steve Dickson, head of category for range cooking at GDHA, said: “We felt it was time to conduct some new research into who the range cooker customer is in 2016. We’ve just invested £1.5 million into our range cooker production line because we recognise that it’s an increasingly important part of the white goods market. Despite it being a growing sector, peoples’ attitudes to, and understanding of range cooker consumers have remained unchanged for years. Just 12 per cent of the range cooker owners we surveyed belonged to the affluent ABC1 demographic traditionally considered to be the target market for range cookers. The audience for this product has stretched considerably and we hope that this research will allow retailers to gain some insight into how the market has changed.”