In the U.S., 2006 saw consumer demand for high-end appliances grow continue to grow. Stainless steel is synonymous with the image of the premium appliance in the minds of many buyers, and stainless hasn't peaked yet, as Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) shipment and research data illustrates.
AHAM reports especially big gains in stainless steel cooking appliances. In slide-in, single-oven ranges, the percentage of stainless steel units went from 9 percent for those purchased more than 5 years ago to 24 percent for units purchased in the last 4 years. Built-in single ovens went from 7 percent stainless steel to 29 percent stainless steel; built-in double ovens went from 11 percent to 40 percent. Also showing substantial increases: bottom-freezer and side-by-side refrigerators, double-oven ranges, even trash compactors and compact refrigerators.
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