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Niche to necessity: how the cost of living crisis is giving brands the opportunity to transform

Air fryers have been around for over a decade and interest increased during the pandemic with more people investing time in cooking. At the time there was lots of social media coverage with TikTok recipes for crunchy corn ribs, popcorn cauliflower and crispy soy chicken each racking up millions of views. But while there was a lot of chat there wasn’t a lot of action. What has really made a difference to air fryer sales is the cost of living crisis which has shone a light on another benefit of using an air fryer – energy efficiency.

Since August 2022 there has been a sharp increase in Google searches for air fryers and sales - at one point, Argos reported selling 1.6 air fryers every minute!

In our Closeness sessions we are seeing the cost of living crisis shifting previously niche items into the centre of household living. It’s not just air fryers - heated air dryers and humidifiers are other examples of niche to necessity shifts as people move away from tumble dryers and once, they get these habits they appear to be happy to stick with them.

Because saving money is important to everyone, consumers are talking about these changes… accelerating the pace of adoption. They are sharing innovations such as TSB’s Aptap (which helps you spot subscriptions that you can cull) and these are getting much more airtime and adoption than they would have done previously.

Can your product or service help with cost of living management or energy efficiency?

Right now, it’s a great way of getting traction with customers.


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