The outlook is very good for the second half and beyond. Manufacturers of microwave ovens are appealing to a whole new set of consumers, with smaller, less expensive units.
Anchor Hocking sees very healthy growth in 1984 and for two or three years out. And, though some companies may be tempted to enter the market, we expect the same three or four companies to remain dominant.
In the second half, we expect the new Micro Wave Supreme to provide significant gains for Ancho Hocking. Commitments from retailers are well beyond the projections we’d made before the April show. We also continue to evaluate the prospects for coated microwave cookware and could potentially have a line ready for the October show. We’re certainly looking at it. Of course, our basic MicroWare will continue to pull its weight this fall, giving us solid increases.
Everyone should show very nice gains in 1984. Oven sales were tremendous in ’83 and it appears they’ll be as good or better in ’84.
Nordic Ware had projected a 22 percent gain in 1984. We think it will be considerably higher, now that we’ll have a SilverStone line. We think those 19 SKUs will outsell our other passive accessories by four-to-one.
There are other areas that should be very strong. Active accessories will be dynamite. We should get the greatest percentage increases from browning skillets. And, while Micro-Go-Round unit sales increased 40 percent last year, ther’s still incredible growth potential.
In passive accessories, we see sets as an exploding business. It was hard to sell sets until 18 months ago. And I have to credit Rubbermaid with moving the industry away from open stock toward sets. Our set business is 25 times larger than it was at this point in 1983.
Microwave cookware should be extremely strong in the second half. Sales picked up momentum in 1983, and we think that will continue through 1984. Oven penetration is rising and cookware sales are following.
Corning is projecting significant gains in the second half. Pyrex Single Servings, introduced in the second half of 1983, should provide strong growth. And visions, also introduced last year, is microwave-compatible and we’re finding consumers are using it in their ovens. Visions is selling way beyond our forecasts.
We also see some established lines doing very well. In the fourth quarter, we’ll be promoting sets, for Christmas gift-giving, as well as browners. Additionally, we expect Little Dishes and other single serving Corning Ware to show good increases. While consumer demand is getting stronger, we see that retailers are thinking twice before adding microwave cookware SKUs. It’s definitely not a seller’s market.
We’re optimistic, though, because of our new Single Serv Multi-Oven Cookware. We’re aggressively going after an underdeveloped market segment–single servings–with that line. And we’re finding buyers are open to new products that have a point of difference.
The line featuring jine SKUs is endorsed by Jimmy Connors, who will promote it in our fourth quarter TV ads. We predict the 10-piece set will be the best-seller. We think Single Serv will supplant our basic, Micro One line, and dramatically boost our second-half volume.
- First, my feeling is there’s been an over-proliferation of companies in the category and that the size of the category has been terribly hyped.
- Second, my feeling is that category is beginning to develop more realistic potential. Microwave cookware is becoming a basic, well-established category, nationally rather than regionally. And consumers are looking at the microwave oven as a cooking unit rather than a warming-up unit.
I think 1984 will be stronger than 1983, for us and for the industry. AT the October show, we’ll have a couple of new specialty items, serious new packaging and new display racks, Also, we’ll continue to do well with basics like the bacon rack, muffin-egg cooker, three-section covered tray, corn popper and casseroles.
The growth potential of microwave cookware is very strong. Although I can’t speak for the industry, I know that our sales are running 30 percent ahead so far this year. I’d expect that kind of growth to continue through the rest of the year.
We’re doing very well with large-capacity items, including a bacon rack, bowl, casserole and cover. Our best-seller, though, is probably our three-piece set that includes the larger cover, bacon rack and casserole.
The outlook is absolutely tremendous. Ovens are selling extremely well. More retailers are recognizing microwave cookware as a category. And SilverStone is being applied to the cookware.
The second half will be substantially better in 1984 than it was in 1983, both for the industry and for us.
This fall, regal will have a wider variety of products and prices to choose from. We’re adding SilverStone to the Imperial line, which will be a real plus. Also we’re offering Raytheon’s assortment under a new name, Imperial Quick Chefs, and concentrating on what the items do, not how they work. We’ll focus on the fact that Imperial Quick Chefs offer conventional oven results, quickly and conveniently. Wolf Schmitt president, home products division Rubbermaid.
Looking at the microwave market, we project cookware will grow at a significantly faster rate than ovens in 1984. While the primary opportunity is to sell cookware to those who have just purchased ovens, there also is a replacement market emerging.
While price is the important consideration in first-time purchases, features become more important in replacement purchases. Rubbermaid is well-positioned for the replacement market with Rubbermaid Microwave Cookware, which focuses on sets that can be used to prepare full meals. We think this is the market that offers the greatest future growth.
In the second half, though, we think our new Heatables and Cookables will offer the greatest growth. They are priced competitively but offer first-time purchasers material benefits. We anticipate greater unit volume from Heatables, since it offers items like plates, mugs and bowls that tend to be purchased in multiples. That’s not the case with Cookables, since it offers items like popcorn poppers and bacon racks.
Overall, we expect a stronger second half in 1984 based on our new products, consumer promotions and heavy advertising. The potential this fall and beyond is rather fantastic for anyone who’s offering quality products at reasonable prices. That’s because the outlook for microwave ovens is so good; first quarter shipments were up 98 percent.
On a general basis, microwave cookware sales could rise 25 to 40 percent in 1984, compared with 10 to 15 percent in 1983. Our company won’t have the greatest increases, because we’re not a leader. We’ll blend in with the average.
There are some new areas that will be important contributors to our growth this fall. We have new packaging and a new vanilla color, which should immediately attract a new customer. Also we have a new corn popper that can retail under $5 on promotion. It should be sensational.
Our outlook is very, very aggressive. Oven sales are increasing at a faster and faster rate; shipments were up 98 percent in the first quarter. And oven penetration is picking up in parts of the country where it was lagging.
Also we see that retailers are taking microwave cookware seriously. They’re jumping on board for the fall, with new or enlarged departments. Tara will have a better year than we did in 1983, with items like our covered bacon rack, Tara Wrap and thermometer doing expectionally well. Sets will continue to be strong for us.” Wally Siegel director, accessories Litton Microwave Cooking Products.
We’re projecting industry sales will increase 15 percent in 1984 compared with 11 percent in 1983. Microwave cookware will do better because microwave ovens will do better.
Litton does 60 percent of its sales volume in the second half, and we’re forecasting a tremendous year. WE’re bullish about the seven-piece starter set and three-piece cook, roast and store set introduced at the April show. That’s because Litton has had tremendous success with sets this year. Also we’re entering the Canadian market with a 10-SKU line with multi-lingual packaging.