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Rising sophistication of Malaysian consumers fuel demand for premium small domestic appliances: GfK
Higher-end coffee machines, irons and vacuum cleaners register huge increase in take-up this year

19 September, 2013, KUALA LUMPUR – Advancing economy over the years has brought about increasing consumer sophistication and spending power, effectively stimulating the premium segment of the appliances market in Malaysia. According to latest findings from GfK, the robust 21 percent value growth in the USD111 million Small Domestic Appliance sector (SDA) in the first seven months of the year was contributed by the surge in demand for more high-end models.

GfK Malaysia currently tracks 17 product categories in SDA. Although still a very small segment in Malaysia, popularity of premium appliances in their respective categories; such as espresso machines, steam ironing systems and robotic vacuum cleaners* have been on the rise since the beginning of the year, garnering volume sales surges of up to 162 percent compared to the same period last year.

“The small household appliances market has seen dynamic growth over the recent years, with products being equipped with increasingly sophisticated functions to meet consumers growing needs for convenience,” commented Selinna Chin, Managing Director for GfK in Malaysia. “Increasing modernization has also been fuelling the willingness of consumers to trade up for more sophisticated appliances to move along with the times.”

Within SDA, coffee machines reflected the highest growth in demand, registering 89 and 47 percent in sales volume and value. In the first seven months of the year, consumers in Malaysia spent over USD 1.5 million on nearly 27,000 coffee machines, averaging at 3,500 units purchased per month.

“In spite of filtered coffee machines dominating in sales volume, it is the espresso machine that is generating the bulk of dollar sales, contributing to 60 percent of total market value,” highlighted Chin. “Even though the portioned espresso machines, also known as the ‘capsule type’, is priced around seven to eight times more than the normal filtered coffee machines, the more premium models which can cost as much as USD500 is becoming increasingly sought after.”


More consumers are also choosing to buy higher priced irons which come with the additional special functions over the basic models which are significantly lower priced. For instance, the Steam Ironing System (SIS) is one of the most expensive in the linen care range and retails at an average of USD 506, but it is the fastest growing segment in iron, expanding by 150 percent in sales units and 162 in sales value, bringing the product’s total market worth in the country to USD532,000.


Similarly, premium vacuum cleaner segments such as the stick and robot types both reported robust double digit growth in sales unit and value, with the robotic models selling nearly 50 percent more than a year ago. In particular, GfK findings indicated that the adoption of vacuum cleaners priced above RM500 (approximately USD152) is not only seen in the Central regions of Malaysia, but also in regions outside Central Malaysia. These other regions saw a total growth of 56 percent in sales value, compared to the Central region which only grew by 37 percent.


“As the population in the country continues to modernize and transform to become savvier, the add-ons or extra features in the high-end appliances will soon become basic requirements in households,” said Chin. “Looking at recent trends, it is evident that the market for premium appliances is growing, and we are positive that the premium segment will only continue to progress upwards,” Chin concluded.


About GfK

GfK is one of the world’s largest research companies, around 13,000 experts working to discover new insights into the way people live, think and shop, in over 100 markets, every day. GfK is constantly innovating and using the latest technologies and the smartest methodologies to give its clients the clearest understanding of the most important people in the world: their customers. In 2012, GfK’s sales amounted to €1.51 billion.

To find out more, visit or follow GfK on Twitter:


Survey period

-        Year on year comparison: Jan – July 2013 VS Jan – July 2012

-        Above mentioned ‘premium’ products contribute between 3% and 5% in sales value in their respective categories with the exception of Espresso Machines which contributes 60% in value sales to the entire Hot Beverage Maker product group.

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