Air fryers have maintained their spot as far and away the most popular kitchen gadget for Britons this year, while breadmakers and the tablecloth are disappearing from mealtimes, according to a report.
Annual sales figures from Lakeland show sales of air fryers were up 1,175% on last year – when they were already soaring in popularity – as households continue their efforts to save energy on standard ovens.
The retailer said: “In previous years, their popularity could be attributed to consumers seeking healthier cooking options and fast cooking times.
“However, with the cost-of-living crisis continuing, air fryers have a renewed appeal as an efficient alternative to oven cooking.”
Two other products that “shaped the year” were heated airers – with sales up 51% – and heated textiles, such as heated throws and ponchos, Lakeland said, again as households brought in gadgets as an alternative to expensive dryers and central and electric heaters.
The retailer’s Trends Report 2023 said: “Heating the human and not the home has been the mantra for many of us this year.
“As people sought out more energy-efficient and cost-effective ways of keeping warm this winter, sales of heated textiles – particularly throws – soared.
“With running costs from as little as 5p per hour, our product range offers consumers a budget-friendly alternative to using central heating.”
Meanwhile, sales of traditional ovenware fell by 14% as households moved away from oven-based meals, and slow cooker sales saw a slight 3% dip as consumers invested in air fryers over most other appliances.
More significantly, breadmaker sales took a significant 37% tumble after a surge during the pandemic.
“As routines normalise and households move past lockdown hobbies, sourdough starters have been left neglected and breadmakers have lost ground,” the report said.
“Additionally, with the multifunctional air fryer going from strength to strength, customers may be using these devices to bake instead.”
Sales of tablecloths fell by 24% year on year, which Lakeland put down to “more casual dining being the norm, and as the cost-of-living crisis rolls on, consumers are prioritising their spending on essential kitchenware and home goods”.