Enduring shifts in consumer lifestyle will bolster the rebalancing period before broader shifts take hold

CHICAGO, March 14, 2024 — U.S. sales revenue for the home durables industry declined 5% in 2023, and unit sales fell 8%, but it remains one of few discretionary industries where unit demand has remained above pre-pandemic levels. While headwinds are expected to continue through this year and early 2025, bright spots from the past year will endure, with signs of broader industry growth on the horizon, according to the latest Future of Home report from Circana™, the leading advisor on the complexity of consumer behavior. 

“Home products continue to be challenged by a lack of innovation and the pull-forward effects of pandemic-driven growth, but there are opportunities ​to leverage the lifestyle changes that have stuck with the consumer since then,” said Joe Derochowski, home industry adviser for Circana. “Needs related to hybrid living, pet ownership, expanded entertaining and the desire to create experiences will continue for the foreseeable future and can fuel an undercurrent of growth.” 

Top growing home categories and behaviors from 2023

  • Cleaning, convenience, pets and creating calm spaces led home environment growth in 2023, with increased demand for products like deep carpet cleaners, stick vacuums and electric diffusers. 
  • Entertaining, carb acceptance and specialty coffee spurred growth in demand for slow cookers, rice cookers and espresso makers. 
  • Social media, portability and entertaining led the revenue growth in nonelectric housewares, particularly the strong gains in portable beverageware this past year, as well as baking-related items like decorating tools and bake, mix and measure products.​ 
  • Increases in beverage and frozen food consumption, as well as entertaining at home, made products like ice makers and freezers growth areas within major home appliances.
  • Interest in innovative ways to prepare food outside increased demand for horizontal smokers, portable grills and outdoor cooking.​
  • Oral care, innovation, hair removal and travel fueled top-performing personal care categories. 
  • After many bathroom remodels in the prior two years, 2023 brought a focus on fill-in solutions like bath towels and shower curtains.
  • Ambience and décor to accent in-home entertaining supported gains in categories like candles, vases and decorative shelving.
  • Increased demand related to lawn and garden and storage needs indicated a move outdoors when it came to home improvement projects.

“This year will begin a rebalancing for the home durables industry,” said Derochowski. “In order to grow at a more accelerated pace than the anticipated annual growth return in 2026, the home industry needs to infuse more innovation into the product, marketing and merchandising.” 

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