From Bidets to Blenders: The Pandemic-Induced Rise of Portable Appliances
The quarantine essentials we don't want to leave at home — and now don't have to
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According to various market reports, the future is portable. Despite a year of staying at home, portable appliances from bidets to even washing machines are seeing significant growth and high demand from consumers, all of which could be a byproduct of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Surely you can recall this time last year, when supermarket shelves were barren and toilet paper was hard to come by. Frustrating for most of us toilet paper users but lucrative for bidet businesses.
An emphasis on hygiene and the environmental impacts of toilet paper have been leading factors in the rise of bidet sales in the United States (a country that consumes more toilet paper than any other globally) even pre-pandemic. In 2019, USA Today reported that the then-$106-million U.S. bidet market was expected to grow over 15 percent through 2021, but with the COVID-19 outbreak, consumers have become even more conscious of hygiene and potential TP deficits.
“TUSHY bidet sales have definitely been up since the start of the pandemic. Almost immediately, our sales jumped, and next thing we knew, our revenues were 10 times our normal figures and we had our first million-dollar sales day last March,” Miki Agrawal, the founder of bidet brand TUSHY, tells InsideHook.
With so many consumers becoming accustomed to a cleaner, more environmentally friendly way to clean their asses at home, it makes sense that portable bidets are now seeing notable growth as more users and travelers want that same spotless lifestyle on-the-go.
Agrawal mentions the brand has sold out of the TUSHY Travel a few times since last year. “It’s a hot item,” she adds.
The brand’s travel bidet, which has over three hundred 5-star user reviews, is an accordion-like bottle with a spray nozzle that requires no batteries or charging. You simply fill it up, angle it to your needs and manually squeeze to produce a stream of cleansing water. The slim, collapsible design makes for discreet, easy travel, but it’s not solely for hiking and camping trips. As vaccines start to roll out and we prepare to get back to some level of normalcy, Agrawal believes consumers will want a way to adapt their new routines no matter where they are.
“Our TUSHY Travel is not just for travel — it’s also a compact ‘on-the-go’ bidet. As people become accustomed to the TUSHY lifestyle with our bidet attachment on their home toilets, they seek the same level of effectiveness and cleanliness when they’re not at home. So as people start to venture out to their office, their friends’ homes or wherever, they want to carry the TUSHY Travel with them,” she says.
The same might be true for portable blenders which, according to a report by Grand View Research, is a global market expected to reach $225.1 million by 2027. The rising demand for on-the-go smoothies, juices and healthier drink options as a way of keeping healthy and getting in shape, as well as travel needs, are key factors driving the surge, the report notes.
“Portable battery-powered products saw substantial growth in 2020 and we don’t see this trend slowing down,” Justin Giouzepis, Chief Marketing Officer at Capital Brands, tells InsideHook. “It was important for us to create a portable, cordless blender to meet the changing needs of our consumer.”
This past January, Capital Brands launched the NutriBullet GO, a lightweight, cordless blender in addition to a line of ready-to-blend superfood smoothies made for convenience. “Many people commute to work or just don’t have enough counter space for a traditional blender, so portable blenders give consumers more flexibility to make a delicious smoothie without the restrictions of being in the kitchen. The NutriBullet GO offers less clean-up and a more simplified meal process,” adds Giouzepis.
Portable blenders are just a standout item in the growing small kitchen appliance market, which has also seen a significant increase during the pandemic due to more people cooking meals at home. The convenience portable blenders in particular offer, though, might also help combat that “cooking fatigue” many Americans are experiencing in the pandemic, which makes a space-saving, easy-to-clean appliance delivering healthy, effortless meals so appealing.
The pandemic also saw a spike in sales of one arguably odd portable appliance: washing machines. Though I suppose it makes sense: for people who don’t have an in-home washer and dryer, doing laundry can be a pain in the ass even when there’s not a global pandemic. But in order to stay away from laundromats and communal laundry rooms, consumers have turned to apartment-friendly portable washers.
The Laundry Alternative, a company that specializes in portable washer-dryers, told Rolling Stone in February that their warehouse had a tough time keeping product in stock. “We’ve been in business for many years,and have never heard anyone say they like going to laundromats,” Corey Tournet, owner of The Laundry Alternative, said. “However, the pandemic was the last straw, especially when it hit New York City. At that time, you could sell as much as you had. Our entire warehouse got cleaned out, several months of supply, in under a week.”
While portable washers are not a total substitute for full-size, high-powered laundry appliances, many still include wash settings, load sizes and various spin cycles, plus they offer that one thing many consumers seem to want right now: convenience. Ideal for smaller loads, portable washers hook up to a water source, often a sink, or use buckets of water to clean clothes and come in both electric and manual models, making them suitable for apartments, RVs, tiny homes and even camping trips.
As predicted by market reports, the demand for portable appliances will likely continue to grow, especially as we emerge from our cocoons in the coming months. So if you’re looking to get in on the growing trend and make your life a helluva lot easier now or in the future, here are a few portable appliances that might help you accomplish that.
Brondell GoSpa Travel Bidet
Hygienna Solo™ Personal Travel Bidet
Hamilton Beach Personal Blender
Hotsch Portable Blender
NutriBullet® GO Cordless Blender
Magic Chef Topload Compact Washer
Ninja Portable Mini Centrifugal Spin Clothes Dryer
Black + Decker Portable Washer
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