Business Irish

Wednesday 29 March 2017

Dishwashers pushed to the limit in recession

Harry Leech

IF you want a fitting analogy for the state of Ireland's economy, you need look no further than the humble dishwasher.

While dishwasher sales in the major EU economies grew by a disappointing 1.2 per cent this year, sales in Ireland have fallen off a cliff. Industry figures show that Irish sales have fallen by 11 per cent in the past 12 months alone. But despite this crash, manufacturers of dishwasher tablets are cleaning up -- a spike in sales has seen the category increase in value by 5.6 per cent during 2011.

And in the past four years Finish, the market leader, has jumped from 77th place to 60th place in Nielsen's league table of Ireland's Top 100 brands.

According to William Villiers-Tuthill, category manager for household products at Reckitt Benckiser, the reason for the puzzling trend is simple: while the dishwasher held a semi-ornamental status during the Celtic Tiger era "people are eating out less and cooking at home more -- Irish dishwashers have never seen as much action".

It seems the Irish are still too posh to wash their dishes by hand, however. Despite this renaissance in eating in, sales of washing-up liquid have fallen, slumping to 79th place in Nielsen's rankings.

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