SEOUL, Sept. 5 (Korea Bizwire) – The demand for smaller refrigerators emphasizing function and design is on the rise.
Korea’s rapidly increasing number of single-person households, “value-spending” on higher-satisfaction products, and a rising consumer interest in kitchen interior design are among major factors contributing to the trend, says industry watchers.
The domestic market for smaller fridges is currently led by Dongbu Daewoo Electronics, but smaller companies like Dayou Winia and overseas brands like Smeg are swiftly entering the competition.
Dongbu Daewoo Electronics first released a 150-liter fridge called The Classic in 2013. Offered in ‘cream white’ and ‘mint’, The Classic is marked by its roundish, retro design with a silver door handle, distinguishing itself from the looks of conventional refrigerators.
After seeing strong demand for The Classic, Dongbu Daewoo launched additional models of the fridge in 120l and 80l sizes in 2014. As of 2016, there are seven different models of the The Classic, ranging from 80 to 150 liters.
These fridges are not cheap, however, costing approximately 30 percent more than their conventional counterparts. But driven by their popularity among younger single-person households in Korea, an average of 1,500 of Dongbu Daewoo’s fridges are sold every month, with total sales exceeding 30,000 thus far.
Dayou Winia’s latest model is the Praud S 118l. Release on August 11, it also targets smaller households, and emphasizes modern-retro design for consumers who place a high value on interior design. It offers improved consumer convenience with its high-efficiency compressor and plentiful storage space.
Smeg, an Italian manufacturer of home appliances, released last month a Korean version of a fridge from its 50s Style line – the FAB28. According to Smeg, the new version offers improved storage space and reduced overall noise levels, which should address the most common complaints related to its global editions. It also took into consideration environmental friendliness and boosted the fridge’s energy efficiency, reducing the burden of high electricity bills.
“The increasing number of single-person households, and the rising interest in interior design have led to a steady increase in demand for smaller fridges with unique designs and colors,” said a Dongbu Daewoo Electronics official.
Meanwhile, the percentage of single-person households has increased from 15.5 percent in 2000 to 27.1 percent in 2015, surpassing the rate for conventional four-person households. It is expected to reach 29.6 percent by 2020.
By Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)