Companies Unveil Latest In Home Appliances - So What Do Consumers Really Want?
Survey findings indicate American consumers want more efficiency, more functionality, more time from their home appliances
PR Newswire

BENTON HARBOR, Mich., Jan. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers got a look at the newest innovations in home appliance technology as three of the top industry shows wrapped in Las Vegas. The Consumer Electronics Show, Kitchen and Bath Industry Show and the International Builders' Show each featured thousands of new home appliances and now it's time for companies to figure out which of those products consumers will really want. Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE: WHR) recently conducted a survey to determine what technology is important to their United States consumers. The company found that consumers are looking for technology that's purposeful – not impractical.

In midst of information overload, consumers are primarily looking for technologies that cut through the noise. Generally, respondents were much less interested in certain novelty technologies, such as refrigerators that make phone calls or equipped with television screens.  Rather, they're interested in impact - technology that solves problems and saves time.  In a recent surveyi conducted by Braun Research on behalf of Whirlpool Corporation - 83% of those surveyed said they are always looking for ways to spend more quality time with family and half of homeowners (48%) said doing daily chores cuts into that time.

"We're at an exciting intersection in home appliance design," said Brett Dibkey, Vice President of Integrated Business Units at Whirlpool Corporation. "Consumers want technology that is both seamless and substantive and that means applying smart, thoughtful design to our home appliances from the inside out. Advanced sensor technology and connectivity allows consumers to perform daily tasks like laundry and washing dishes more efficiently. Smart product design allows them to do so at the touch of a button. It's really about creating appliances that will allow consumers to get back to doing what matters most -- spending time with family and friends."

According to the survey 79% of participants said technology can diminish personal relationships. That effect is not lost on the so-called "selfie" generation - 87% of millennials, younger Americans ages 18-34 and the tech savvy generation with a wealth of projected buying power, agree that technology can diminish relationships.

Survey findings include: 

  • On average, consumers can spend up to 11 hours combined each week on preparing meals, washing clothes and doing dishes.
  • Nearly all homeowners are interested in energy efficiency (95%) and easy to clean (93%) features in their home appliances.
  • Among the top appliance features that  consumers think would make their lives easier easy cleaning was a common theme – 39% of respondents are looking for cooktops that don't stain, 38% want clothes washers that dispense detergent based on the dirtiness of clothing and 33% are looking for ranges that are easy to clean.
  • Looking toward the future, around half of homeowners surveyed want the ability to pull up recipes from a countertop (50%), dry cleaning technology in the home (47%) and appliances that fold clothes (46%).

From the first electric wringer clothes washer in 1911 to the launch of today's connected appliances, Whirlpool Corporation has created more than a century of innovative solutions that matter to our consumers. Our purposeful technology is available right now, with precision dispense features on select Whirlpool and Maytag brand washers, easy to clean ceramic glass on select cooktops and time saving solutions like the new Swash™ 10 minute clothing care system from Proctor & Gamble and Whirlpool brand.

Innovation is part of everything we do. It's embedded throughout our company – and it starts with consumer understanding. Whirlpool Corporation's portfolio of brands offer purposeful technology and innovation and the possibilities for the future are endless.

About Whirlpool Corporation              
Whirlpool Corporation is the world's leading global manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of approximately $19 billion in 2013, 69,000 employees, and 59 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Consul, Bauknecht and other major brand names. We earn the trust of consumers in nearly every country by focusing on what matters most. Additional information about the company can be found at

i Survey findings are from a telephone survey of 1,003 American homeowners conducted by Braun Research on behalf of Whirlpool Corporation. The survey was conducted from November 6-10, 2014 and has a margin of error of +/-3.1%.

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SOURCE Whirlpool Corporation