Built-in major domestic appliances (MDAs) like built-in hobs, cookers/stoves, dish washers, freezers, microwaves, tumble dryers and washing machines were the pacemaker in global sales growth in the market in 2016. Taking almost $1 of every $4 spent, sales of built-in MDAs increased 3.6%. Without the contribution of built-in, the global MDA market would not have grown at all in 2016. And we see continued momentum for built-in in 2017.
What is making the built-in market so attractive? Compared to freestanding products, built-in often trades at a substantial premium. Built-in refrigerators, for example, can retail at $764 as a global average, some 50% more than a freestanding refrigerator. Built-in dishwashers are selling at a 20% premium, compared to their freestanding counterparts. Built-in MDAs are a compelling business opportunity that manufacturers won’t want to miss.
Europe is still the key market
The key market is Western Europe, where built-in appliances enjoy 39% share of sales value. The countries in which built-in is most popular are Germany and The Netherlands (see table below). Central East Europe is now picking up, with Poland taking the lead, showing double-digit annual value growth rates. Outside Europe, built-in MDAs enjoy their highest share in China, followed by Australia and the US. While European, US and Australian built-in markets are already highly developed, China still focuses mainly on hobs and hoods. Apart from China, Turkey is one of the most dynamic geographic markets for built-in products. In Latin America, where built-in is still comparatively underdeveloped, Columbia is the star.
The momentum of built-in has continued and a highlight of the first quarter of 2017 is the clear strength of Turkey.
Built-in share value of overall MDA sales (January – April 2017)
 In value (local currency)
 Source: MDA World Market Estimation (forecast 2017)
Growth in Europe is due to technology and economy
Built-in appliances are benefiting from high consumer spending in the face of historically low interest rates. In this environment, premium segments currently gain significant momentum. Forces driving the market include demand for a healthier lifestyle. One example is cooking with steam.
Consumer demand for convenience and time-saving has led to a strong performance of pyrolytic ovens and induction hobs. New form-factors like hobs with integrated hoods are also driving the market. Other growth factors are energy efficiency and environmental motivations such as the ability to cut down on the use of water or electricity. Today’s Connected Consumer is also looking for smart built-in products such as hoods that communicate with the cooker to ensure optimal power use.
Market size and growth of key built-in markets in West Europe3 (January – April 2017)
 Source: GfK Point of Sales, data for 14 countries in Western Europe
Middle-class demand drives Chinese built-in market
And outside Europe? The main factor is the rising middle class – especially in China. In this market, affluent urban tastes mean the consumer trend is for a kitchen finish in the contemporary Western style.
We expect the excitement around built-in appliances to continue and look forward to seeing the growth figures for all of 2017.
Natalia Andrievskaya is the Global Director of Major Domestic Appliances. For more information or to share your thoughts, please email Natalia.Andrievskaya@gfk.com.