While we can’t tell you which appliances are the coolest among your neighbors, AHAM is the leading authority for major appliance shipping trends. That means we CAN tell you what styles and features you might see when you go shopping for new appliances. Here are a few of the trends we’re seeing in cooking, refrigerator/freezers, dishwashers and laundry:
Induction cooking is catching on: Consumers, perhaps attracted by its potential to deliver shorter heating times and more precise temperature control, continue to show interest in induction cooking. Last year, 16% of electric surface units shipped included at least one induction cooking unit, up from 8% in 2010. So far, the percentage is holding steady, as 15% of electric surface units shipped between January and July of 2016 had at least one induction unit.
Taking a shine to stainless steel: Seventy-six percent of bottom-mount refrigerators shipped in 2015 had a stainless steel finish. That number has been growing steadily since 2009, when just 44% of units shipped were stainless steel. The trend can also be seen in dishwashers, of which more than half shipped last year—57%—had a stainless steel finish, a trend that has been on an upward climb since 2007. AHAM’s shipping numbers also show growth in stainless steel being used as a tub material in dishwashers. Forty-four percent of units shipped in 2015 had a stainless steel tub, a number that has remained steady through the first six months of 2016.
Bottom-mount stays cool: Bottom-mount refrigerators, which have the freezer on the bottom, continue to gain popularity. Total shipments of bottom-mount models doubled between 2009 and 2015, while 2015 shipments of side-by-side models are similar to their 2015 numbers. AHAM’s shipping numbers also suggest that consumers want more doors in their refrigerators. Last year, 17% of bottom-mount refrigerators had four or more doors. That percentage has grown from 11% in 2012, when AHAM started tracking the shipments of four-door models.
Laundry on top: Top-load washers as a percentage of units shipped have been growing steadily since 2009. Top-load washers made up 76% of units shipped in 2015, up from 62% six years earlier. More consumers continue to be drawn to units without agitators. Fifty-two percent of units shipped between January and July of 2016 had no agitator, up from 47 percent last year.