Glen Dimplex Home Appliances (GDHA) has conducted one of the largest surveys of range cookers users in recent times to discover more about them, their cooking habits and how they choose and buy their appliance.
GDHA surveyed 2,000 consumers across the UK who had recently bought a range cooker to help it identify changing customer demographics for the range cooking sector.
And, in a challenge to the accepted norm that range cooker users are usually older, the survey has revealed that the under 35s now account for almost as many sales (37%) as the 35-54 age group (40%).
The research also revealed that the use of range cookers has created some unexpected new demographics:
More than half of those surveyed – a massive 59% – said they had purchased a range cooker to alleviate the challenges of living in a ‘multi-meal’ household. These consumers said they were being forced to create multiple dishes to cater for the daily demands of their families and households. More than a quarter (27%) of Multi-meal Jugglers said they regularly had to cook separate meals for fussy family members, whilst 17% said they were challenged by living with a vegetarian or vegan. Nine per cent described themselves as living with somebody with a serious food allergy, whilst a further seven per cent said their household contained at least one person following a specialist diet. Perhaps unsurprisingly, when asked what three functions or features of their range cooker they valued the most, Multi-meals jugglers voted overwhelmingly for the multiple oven cavities, separate grill and larger hob space.
GDHA head of category for range Steve Dickson said: “Family life is very different today from 20 years ago and that is reflected in how and what we eat. Juggling different diets, preferences and even mealtimes can mean cooker clashes in a busy household, so a range cooker can solve many of these problems by providing the extra capacity and opportunity to use separate cavities.”
Inspired by TV shows such as The Great British Bake Off, 35% of range cooker owners described themselves as keen amateur bakers. Amongst this group, capacity was voted the most valued feature of a range cooker (26%), closely followed by the multi-function oven options. Steve added: “Capacity and range cooking are intrinsically linked and the research shows that 90cm range cookers are extremely popular, especially with Bold Bakers who love the tall oven which is so good for large batch bakes.”
GDHA’s research showed that range cookers are growing in popularity with home-based business owners running kitchen table businesses. Fifteen per cent of those who had purchased a range cooker described themselves as a professional chef or somebody running a home-based food business. Steve said: “Dual fuel ranges, which feature gas hobs with electric ovens, are certainly the more popular format for UK households, but professionals usually prefer gas because of its responsive temperature control and versatility. Gas offers a heat source that can be seen in the form of a flame, so many chefs say it makes it easier for them to control – helping them to find that perfect simmer.”
Traditionally range cookers have been seen as a centrepiece of a kitchen and that continues to be reflected with the emergence of Show-off Chefs – accounting for 34% of respondents who claim they love to use their range cooker for regular entertaining and 12% describing their cooking style as experimental. The style and appearance of the range cooker is crucial, with 40% saying it was the factor most likely to make them purchase, with almost 25% choosing a more striking colour – moving away from traditional black, stainless steel and cream options.
The Reluctant Cook:
The Reluctant Cook uses their range cooker every day but 25% admitted this is out necessity, rather than enjoyment. A further 14% claim they are not confident cooks and always follow a recipe. Steve noted: “This is one of the more surprising groups to appear out of the research. I think there has always been an assumption that range cookers are for foodies. However, there are clearly a growing number of people for whom range cookers are simply a tool to make family life and cooking for a family, easier and more convenient.”
GDHA’s research also explored the way people shop for range cookers and found that almost two thirds of all consumers (65%) researched range cookers online before purchase. Demonstrating the continued importance of showrooms and being able to touch and feel a product, 62% said they visited a physical retailer, with almost half (49.5%) going on to buy in-store. Seventeen per cent admitted that they visited a number of stores – both high street and independents –before making their purchase.
The survey also revealed some interesting differences between the genders. Asked to name the three most important factors when purchasing a range cooker, men rated build quality most important, closely followed by price and capacity. In contrast, women put price first, followed by style and appearance and number of functions. Women also placed more importance on online reviews, with 15% of women saying they would influence their purchase, versus just 5% of men.
Steve concluded: “We felt it was time to conduct some new research into who the range cooker customer is in 2016. We’ve just invested £1.5m 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 twelve 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.”
Those interested in receiving a full copy of the report can contact: firstname.lastname@example.org