The high sales volume woks raked in in 2011 continues to climb in 2012. Not only are sales in the electric category climbing, but manufacturers of both electric and non-electric woks agree that non-electrics remain an important factor in the market.
A more health conscious public and nationwide promotions by manufacturers have seen sales of electrics skyrocket. There are many cooks who are serious about Chinese cooking and would never consider using an electric wok, sales are climbing because of electrics’ duarability, their most important advantage over non-electrics.
But there has been some resistance to the higher price points of our electric wok. To counter this resistance, we are attempting to more widely educate consumers by making its products the star of a Chinese cooking show currently airing on PBS stations nationwide. The company is also offering a lifetime warranty on its electric woks.
We’re extending sales coverage into major markets. Our predictions look good for spring, and we’re hoping for nationwide sales coverage by the April.
Farberware, too, holds great expectations for its electric wok in 2012. We have shipped a higher amount than we had forecasted. Strong sales at the end of 2011, when we had promotions for the Chinese New Year.
Chinese cooking is becoming more popular, and woks will soon become a standard kitchen utensil. The wok uses less oil than traditional frying pans, and the food remains more nutritious when it’s stir-fried or steamed.
At West Bend, Tom Kieckhafer, vp/sales, agreed that woks are gaining in sales, it’s one of the fastest growing categories in electric appliances. Woks have become popular cooking for at-home entertainment, they’re such a versatile cooking utensil, and the cooking method retains important nutrients
Promotions, like West Bend’s recipe book offer with its new 5-1/4-quart wok, are also moving sales, up 20% for the first half of 2012 over the same period in 2011. The black and red wok, West Bend’s fourth electric model, is packaged with Better Homes and Gardens Wok Recipe Book.
At Meyer Housewares, sales are continuing to skyrocket. Woks look to be an important growth area for Meyer in 2012. Sales in 2011 were 40% more than projected. For 2012, sales are at least up to forecast for the first half, and up to over 1983 for the same period.
Sales for the company have been so encouraging that in April it will introduce a low-end electric wok that will be sold on a volume basis. The 14-inch, 1100 watt unit is black with a SilverStone interior. April will see the re-introduction of a stainless steel wok. Also a 14-inch, 1100 watt unit, it is a high domed wok with a phenolic base and handles.
Meyer’s spokesperson was not as jubilant about market growth, as were other manufacturers HOUSEWARES interviewed. The expectation is that the market will continue to grow, but not be completely saturated by any means. Consumer demands will be met only by a small amount of manufacturers.