United States microwaves market: $2.5 billion industry in 2012

Press Release   •   Feb 19, 2013 16:35 GMT

Whilst General Electric (GE) maintained its position as the leader in the United States microwaves market in volume terms in 2012, its share dropped to 22%, which was a slight decrease compared with the previous year. Sharp Electronics was slightly behind GE with an 18% share of volume sales. Many small foreign brands, positioned as "others" within company share data, are taking share from some of the large corporate giants such as GE and Sharp. The relatively low manufacturing costs, and the lack of need for highly innovative microwaves, helped position these unknown international companies in the low-end, budget-friendly microwaves segment. The Panasonic brand increased its share of volume sales to maintain third position, with a little more than a 10% share of microwaves.

Freestanding microwaves fared slightly better than built-in microwaves, maintaining flat volume growth in 2012 to reach 6.9 million units. Value sales of freestanding microwaves grew by 2% in current terms to reach US$807 million. Replacement cycles are the biggest driver for freestanding microwaves, which occur approximately every nine years. In looking at the pattern of declining volume growth for freestanding microwaves, the decline has been steady over the course of seven to eight years, signalling a replacement period on the horizon.

Microwaves is expected to recover in the forecast period, with volume growth increasing to a CAGR of 3% through to 2017. Value sales are also expected to demonstrate moderate growth, with a constant value CAGR of 4% in the forecast period. The replacement cycle is expected to bolster the growth of freestanding microwaves in the forecast period, with a CAGR of 3%.

Key Headlines

- Microwaves sees fairly static volume sales in 2012, maintaining sales of 9.5 million units. Current value growth is also static, at US$2.5 billion
- Built-in microwaves experiences a small 2% decline in volume terms in 2012, due to the tepid recovery in new dwellings
- Freestanding microwaves remains static in 2012, despite a less than promising economic recovery
- Current unit prices remain fairly steady in 2012, with the average unit price of microwaves reaching US$261
- General Electric continues to be the leader in microwaves in the US in 2012; however, it sees a slight decline in share compared with the previous year, accounting for a 22% share of volume sales
- Microwaves is expected to see modest recovery in the forecast period, growing by a CAGR of 3% in volume terms to 2017

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