Alongside cooling, washing machines have been instrumental in driving Total MDA value (+6%) and volume (+7%) growth in 2016. The shift towards built-in over the past few years has now been reversed, with built-in value declining by 2%, as freestanding climbed by 7%. With the bulk of promotional activity and new product launches centred on freestanding washers, this movement away from integrated products is bucking the trend seen across other home appliances sectors.
Both washers (+5%) and washer dryers (+11%) have increased value sales across the year, with consumers enticed by declining prices (£11 cheaper on average) at the lower end of the market and cutting-edge innovation in the premium segment. New product launches and demand are resulting in growth for larger capacity washing machines. With growth of 11%, sales of 8kg washing machines have now overtaken 7kg as the most valuable drum size whilst 9kg sales have increased by 71%.
Arguably the most impressive technological breakthroughs are being driven by smart technology, giving consumers options to add clothing mid-cycle, lower energy usage, optimise wash cycles and control cycles remotely. Such innovations have resulted in washing machines leading the way within smart appliances, with volume and value soaring by 518% and 485% respectively.
Stricter legislation and increased awareness of how ever-cheaper energy-efficient models are saving households money through improved technology and longevity has had a noticeable impact on A+++ rated models, with a 40% volume jump following the £23 reduction in average prices. Seeing as the legislation is EU-wide, the looming Brexit talks in Parliament add another layer of complexity to the future energy efficiency stance in the UK.