Whirlpool sees coronavirus boost as people rediscover baking, CEO says

As most U.S. citizens follow strict stay-at-home mandates amid the coronavirus pandemic, consumers are starting to embrace their inner chef.

And according to Whirlpool Corporation (WHR), which beat Wall Street’s expectations in the first quarter, it means one product in particular is getting a decisive boost.

“Stand mixers actually have probably, right now, the strongest sales growth of all our products,” Marc Bitzer, Whirlpool’s CEO told Yahoo Finance in an interview on Friday, explaining how the pop in sales was icing on the proverbial cake for the appliance giant.

“And not just baking. I mean, as you know, you can use a stand mixer for many other things,” Bitzer told The First Trade. “All of a sudden, people are baking again,” he added, admitting that the sales surge took the company by surprise.

“We, at the outset of the crisis, we weren’t quite sure what stand mixers would do throughout the crisis. And we actually, even inside our company heard some voices, well, you know, who needs a stand mixer?” Bitzer asked.

A freshly-baked loaf of white bread cools off on a wire rack at a home in London. With millions of people across the globe working at home due to lockdown measures imposed during the coronavirus pandemic, many people are choosing to make their own bread, rather than venturing to the local store to buy their weekly fix. (Matt Kemp via AP)

However, the CEO believes consumer baking is a rediscovered skill that might be here to stay.

“A stand mixer is actually a really strong, very strong performance. And people are using it. And hopefully even more going forward.”

Brooke DiPalma is a producer for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @BrookeDiPalma.


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