Ding! The Microwave Is Done
Quartz looks at the fall of microwave sales
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2014 1:34 PM CDT
Ana Magdalena Melian, 91, uses her microwave oven in Las Guasimas,Cuba, Wednesday, March 26, 2008.   (AP Photo/Javier Galeano)

(Newser) – Microwave sales have tumbled, or remained static, for more than a decade since the peak sale days of 2004, reports Quartz, which, after diving into a bit of microwave history, comes to the conclusion that "America is tired of the microwave." Sure, the dip in sales could have something to do with the fact that 90% of American homes already have one—up from 20% in the '70s and 80% in the '90s—but that was still true for more than 10 years before sales showed trouble. The more likely story is that a shift in eating habits toward quality over convenience has left microwaves struggling, while substitutes, like toaster ovens, are flying off the shelves.

"Microwaves have sort of had their day," an industry analyst explains. "As people become more health conscious, and more interested in cooking 'fresh,' that's not helping microwaves." Sales of frozen meals are also taking a hit after nearly 60 years of sustained growth, and microwavable popcorn sales are slowing. Plus, with the small appliance market booming with crock pots, griddles, and rice makers, people aren't willing to take up valuable counter space with a bulky microwave they don't really use. So is the microwave dead? Not quite, since the more upscale, built-in microwaves are doing well. Rather, it could be beginning "a slow, drawn-out decline," Quartz notes.

View 1 more image
More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Ding! The Microwave Is Done is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 159 comments
Ezekiel 25:17
Mar 26, 2014 7:40 PM CDT
My dad traded our first family microwave oven for a TRS-80 Model 1 with tape drive and 300baud modem. I used it to connect to the Vax server at the local university to take computer lessons. They allocated me 16k, which was fine because the Trash 80 only had 4k of usable memory until I soldered in an upgrade kit to take it to 32k. Dad finally picked up a second microwave and proceeded to check it out by placing a raw egg in it, shell and all. About 1 minute later, he learned you needed a special carrier to actually cook an egg in it.
Mar 25, 2014 1:31 PM CDT
Is this actual Journalism? The kind you go to school for? An errant statistic and a paragraph really isn't much to make a statement about a trend. It also associates microwave with lax health standards. Is this coming from the toaster oven people who want us to spend zillions on cooking something with over priced electric current?
Mar 25, 2014 1:20 PM CDT
I like having a microwave oven. I like bacon. Microwave cooked bacon has considerable less fat in it that skillet fried bacon. I heat my frequent cups of hot tea in my microwave.