Bread machines were once a popular kitchen appliance, with nearly one in four American households owning one by 1999. But nearly two decades later, bread machines have all but disappeared.
What happened to bread machines? In a word, convenience. In the early days of bread machines, they were one of the only ways to get a fresh loaf of bread without having to go to a bakery. But as supermarkets and bakeries increasingly began offering fresh bread, and as home ovens became more advanced, the need for a bread machine diminished.
There are still a few bread machine enthusiasts out there who see the benefits of a breadmaker, but for the most part, these appliances have been consigned to the dustbin of history.
This is a tough question to answer definitively, as popularity can be measured in several ways. However, if we look at sales figures, it seems that the peak of bread machine popularity was in the mid-1990s. After a few years of steady growth in the early 1990s, bread machine sales exploded in 1994, reaching nearly 2 million units sold in the United States alone.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that bread machine sales have always been relatively low in comparison to other kitchen appliances. So while the mid-1990s may have been the peak in absolute terms, it’s possible that bread machines were actually more popular in earlier years when they represented a larger proportion of total kitchen appliance sales.
Bread machines were all the rage in the late 1990s. According to a 1999 survey, nearly one in four American households owned a bread machine. That’s a lot of households making their own bread!
The popularity of bread machines began to decline in the early 2000s, as more and more people began to purchase pre-made bread from the grocery store. Today, only about 10% of American households own a bread machine.
While bread machines may not be as popular as they once were, there are still many other appliances that have become obsolete. Iceboxes, for example, have been replaced by refrigerators, while open hearth cooking has given way to kitchen stoves, ovens, and barbecue grills. Even the humble toasting fork has been replaced by the toaster and toaster oven.
Author: Scott Sanders
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