Best of Best Sellers 2018

As 2018 draws to a close, Housewares Magazine tots up a year’s worth of Best Sellers responses from readers to find out how suppliers - and their products - fared in our exclusive annual Best of Best Sellers survey. Retail consultant Caroline Rowell casts her expert eye over the findings.

it’s selling well. We then add up the number of ‘hits’ for each supplier. The company that gets the most citations is declared the overall winner. So, who dominated the list this year? Kitchen

Craft was the number one company for 2018, followed by Horwood, Le Creuset, CKS, Dexam, Eddingtons, Robert Welch Designs, Sophie Allport, Joseph Joseph and Forma House.

Retail consultant Caroline Rowell comments: ‘Breaking the numbers down into some of the key categories, bakeware received 4% of total product hits. KitchenCraft (with its MasterClass range) came out joint top with Silverwood, followed by Prestige - all demonstrating that an encouraging level of quality product is still in demand. Cookware accounted for 11% of the products mentioned this year, with Horwood and Le Creuset at number one and two respectively. Horwood’s Stellar Rocktanium range scored very well, backed up with strong mentions of Stellar sets. And it’s interesting to see that Le Creuset is now seen as a multi-substrate cookware supplier and not just one of cast iron; its ranges of Cast Iron, Toughened Non Stick and 3 Ply all performed equally well. For kitchen knives, which accounted for 6% of all

Housewares Magazine’s regular Best Sellers feature is not a definitive guide to the best- selling housewares products in the UK. But we believe it’s a pretty good indicator of what made your tills ring in 2018. Unlike much of the data from major retail analysts, we’ve sourced our statistics from our core readership of independent retailers of housewares products. And while we don’t claim that stocking any of the nominated lines is the silver bullet to your business, we think that the repetitive mention of these products justifies our claim that they are best sellers. We should also point out that the Best of Best


Sellers league does not refer to either volume or value sales but is simply produced by asking retailers (chosen at random from across the UK) a simple question: “What are your top 12 best sellers?” There is no further prompting and responses can range from high ticket small electricals to humble items such as potato peelers and can openers. We publish the answers, listing each product, its supplier, price and the reason why the retailer thinks

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s we approach the end of the year, it seems pertinent to review the Best of Best Sellers. This exclusive survey of

products nominated, it’s again encouraging to see that customers are seeking out quality tools, with Robert Welch Designs leading the field, followed by Grunwerg and then Taylor’s Eye Witness. The performance of the small electricals sector,

which received 6% of hits, was clear evidence of how this product area has become a style leader for customers who want appliances in their kitchen to reflect their style, colour and aspirations, with Smeg appliances showing a strong lead. Tabletop is a large category and as whole accounted for 24% of the mentions this year. Most commonly cited best sellers included five ranges of tableware in particular: Bliss Home’s Rick Stein Coves of Cornwall, Churchill’s Hookers Fruit, Rosenthal’s Thomas Loft, Royal Doulton’s Pacific and Sophie Conran for Portmeirion. But it was serveware and accessory pieces that

scored more repetitively. It seems that nowadays, if people are eating at a table, they are not looking for matching dinnerware collections but instead are expressing themselves with standalone pieces of serveware in materials such as ceramic, wood and slate.

All such items are fantastic gifting lines, and by including mugs, teapots and cafetieres, the tabletop category becomes one for all year round gift purchases. Cutlery, with 3% of overall nominations, remains a

promotional purchase with 63% of mentions going to competitive sets. And glassware, at 5.4%, can be summed up in one word: GIN! In fact, Tradestock’s Durobor Alternato ladies’ & gentlemen’s gin glasses was voted the number one best-selling product of the year. Tools & gadgets is a fascinating category,

accounting for 16% of mentions, and one in which independent retailers can excel, as many multiples will not be able to carry such small or (perceived) tertiary products. Obviously perennial favourites such as wooden spoons and peelers have their place, but it’s fun to see items like scrubbers making into the top 10 products of 2018, (namely CKS EuroScrubby multi-purpose scrubbers and Kuhn Rikon Stay Clean scrubbers) just as it is somewhat of a relief to see only one mention of spiralizers, which proved such a runaway success back in 2015! But can we dig deeper and find any trends within these numbers? Whilst reiterating that this poll is not scientific, I think there are some conclusions to be drawn as to market trends and/or directions.


Having been a noticeably huge story at the International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago over five years ago - and the focus of the ‘A Marketplace for Hydration’ feature which hosted 60 exhibitors of hydration and hydration-related items at the 2018 event - it’s exciting to see how this product area has

Robert Welch Designs Signature knives • December 2018

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