“Did you predict the Air Fryer trend?”


In her latest blog series, Joanna Feeley Founder and CEO of TrendBible explains ‘the why’ behind the mass market adoption of the air fryer and that when it comes to trends, knowing when to act is crucial!

“Why do you think the air fryer trend has become so popular? I was asked this question by a journalist last week.”

2017 was the first year air fryers made a dent in the US market – and their success was compounded during the pandemic. It’s not difficult to see why the air fryer trend became so popular – they are quicker, use less fat to fry and so have a health benefit, and use less energy to operate. They are also portable so ‘Generation Rent‘ can take it with them. Plus you can access millions of air fryer recipes on TikTok for quick new meal ideas and novelty snacks (there are over 2.6 billion views for #airfryer). Pretty significant daily life improvements I’d say.

Identifying future opportunities

When you’re a brand or retailer doing a good job of trend forecasting, you’re scoping out future opportunities from a wider source pool than pinpointing one product.

Let’s be honest, pinpointing one product as your entire strategy for success would feel terrifying. It would be very high risk for most mainstream brands to use a black and white approach like that – given that their measure of success when it comes to trends is mass market adoption (by the way the air fryer still hasn’t reached this, but 36% of American households have an air fryer which puts the adoption approximately with an Early Majority audience).

Understand the catalysts for change

“The most successful brands and retailers I work with spend their time understanding the broader context of the change that’s coming.”

Companies that did well out of the air fryer trend in 2022 were – 4 years ago – already looking at trends coming to the US, UK and Europe from Japan and China around tabletop cooking appliances as a response to smaller kitchens that needed to flex. They were already looking at how fried food could be a healthier option. They had already acknowledged that householder attention spans had shrunk, influenced by how they were having their habits shaped by the rapid consumption of content on smart phones and social media. They had already thought about open plan living reaching its peak and what this would mean to be cooking in the same space you were relaxing (and potentially working) in.

A successful product sits atop a range of influences that hit the spot for the householder. Brands who use trends well synthesise these influences as a means of taking a measured risk on a new innovation or idea.

The underlying factors that sit behind the success of the air fryer aren’t going away, and so they’ll be catalysts for more table top innovations, quieter, prettier, greener, healthier, faster, stove alternative options, and many, many other things!

Why timing is everything

One last point – knowing about the change that is coming isn’t enough on its own – you have to act! Market leader, Ninja Air Fryers were searched 2386% more than the second most popular air fryer brand in December 2022. They stole the market, despite Philips owning the IP for the first air fryer from 2010.

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard this from brands – they owned the IP, they had game-changing technology, they were THE innovator – but missed out on the biggest chunk of the pie.

If it’s your job to identify the next set of opportunities for kitchen, appliances – or home more generally, our 2025 Macro Trend Report is now live.

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