Haier Europe has studied the behaviour of its European consumers through its smart appliances, revealing that, during lockdown, Brits have changed their laundry and dish-washing behaviours.
Between March 24 and April 19, the weekly average number of laundry loads performed by Britons dropped to 8.3; down 6 per cent from the previous four weeks.
Dishwasher usage grew to a weekly average of 6.2 cycles, +21 per cent versus the previous four weeks (and +25 per cent versus the same period in 2019).
Traditionally the frequency of washing machine usage in the UK tends to be higher than in other countries – 8 to 9 loads per week versus 6 to 7 across Europe and there has been a significant transformation in the time of day the washing is done, too.
During lockdown, laundry loads have been largely concentrated in the mornings, whereas up until 23 March 2020, when the lockdown was announced, the UK registered two equivalent peaks in the mornings and evenings.
Whilst weekly washing machine usage has remained unaffected, with over 33 per cent running at the weekend, during the lockdown this has shifted from Sundays to Saturdays.
When it comes to dishwashers, Britons still prefer to ‘do the dishes’ at night and the 21 per cent increase in usage is being attributed to more people being at home.
The results are based on usage data from more than 70,000 Hoover and Candy-branded home appliances, transmitted by connected home appliances across Europe. The subject and focus of the analysis was usage data from January 2020, in order to analyse consumer behaviour following the intensification of COVID-19 and in particular from the beginning of the lockdown period (24 March in the UK).
The European picture
The main trends recorded at European level are a significant increase in the use of dishwashers, with a 24 per cent increase in the average frequency of cycles since the start of the lockdown.
Though there has been an 8 per cent increase in the use of steam programmes on washing machines across Europe, they are generally being used less than normal. The data reports a 1 per cent reduction in Europe versus a 6 per cent decrease in the UK.
Andrea Contri, head of the IOT ecosystem division of Haier Europe, the parent company of the Hoover Candy Group which carried out the study, said: “In this pandemic time, we are all experiencing sudden changes in our daily habits: it is essential to understand which behaviours are specific to this unusual period and which ones are more likely to persist over time.
“Thanks to the aggregated data that we receive from our connected appliances, we are able to monitor changes in their usage patterns, in order to design products and functionalities closer to evolving consumer needs.
“By examining and analysing this data, we can derive useful insights, for example imagining dishwashers equipped for more frequent use and detergent auto-reordering, or focusing on energy management optimisation to allow more frequent use during peak time slots.”
* European usage data based on 70,000 appliances from January 2020, in order to analyse consumer behaviour following the intensification of the Covid-19 emergency, and in particular from the beginning of the lockdown period (March 9th in Italy, March 17th in France and March 24th in the UK).