While cooking has been an essential life skill for centuries, global interest in baking as a hobby has noticeably skyrocketed in recent years. It seems that everyone is sharing their newfound love for baking on TikTok and Instagram.
The popularity of shows like The Great British Bake Off, Extreme Cake Makers, Cake Boss or School of Chocolate have undoubtedly had a role to play in introducing many into the wonderful world of baking over the last few years.
Thanks to the recent global events, that saw many of us restricted to our homes, the number of foodies putting down the TV remote and picking up a wooden spoon has grown exponentially. It seems that absolutely everyone has tried their hand at making a loaf of banana bread in the last 12 months.
In the last couple of years alone, millions around the world have joined the ranks of budding bakers. While it is wonderful to see so many people enjoying baking, this has had a knock-on effect. Ingredients, baking kits, and equipment have flown off the shelves and have become near-impossible to get your hands on.
If you have been looking to acquire some baking tools, especially hand mixers and stand mixers, the chances are you’ve probably seen your fair share of out-of-stock signs in retail stores and online shops.
KitchenAid stand mixers are some of the most popular electric mixers money can buy, so it’s hardly surprising that these machines have become exceptionally difficult to buy.
Why are KitchenAid mixers out of stock?
I have been doing some digging into this issue – KitchenAid out of stock everywhere – and can offer a few suggestions why I think KitchenAid mixers are so hard to come to buy.
From my research, I have concluded that there are two main reasons for this KitchenAid mixer shortage.
Demand has outstripped supply
With more people baking, the demand for KitchenAid stand mixers has skyrocketed.
But this was not always the case.
While hobbyists, home and professional bakers ensured there was enough demand for baking products and appliances, it was a niche market of sorts. The sales up until 2016 were steady, or even declining, for some products like baking mixes and ingredients.
Something changed around the pandemic. According to market researcher Mintel Group, sales of stand mixers started to boom, and increase by 25% in 2020 to $8.3 billion and have remained popular purchases even now.
Here’s a chart highlighting the Google search trends for ‘KitchenAid’ over the last 5 years:
The evidence is everywhere that baking tools and equipment have risen in demand since the start of the pandemic. The Hershey Company discovered that 34% of consumers used baking as a form of self-care during the early months of the pandemic. It wasn’t that long ago that getting a bag of flour was a real challenge. Businesses like General Mills and King Arthur increased their sale of flour and baking mixes by 50-75% during the American lockdown.
With increased consumer demand for stand mixers, manufacturers are facing the pressure of restocking inventory with distributors and retailers in shorter cycles. In fact, they along with their supply chains have been struggling to keep up.
We all know how popular KitchenAid stand mixers are and how many people are waiting to snag one. Even KitchenAid has seen stocks selling out faster than they can replenish.
While most companies are hoping this demand from newer customers becomes the norm, this has presently thrown their production and distribution plans out of sync.
Supply chains are struggling
The global pandemic has thrown supply chains into disarray the world over. This has caused labor shortages, disrupted supply lines, and reduced raw material availability, not to mention increased transportation costs and chip shortages for smart appliances.
KitchenAid certainly isn’t alone in experiencing supply chain issues. Other kitchen brands like Electrolux, auto makers, and mobile companies, even the textile and gaming industry have faced this. At big retailer stores like Home Depot, some appliances are back-ordered more than three months ahead.
Some of you who bought their stand mixers before the pandemic would probably be shocked at this out-of-stock scenario becoming commonplace. We’ve had shelves being empty, but these were short spells often coinciding with holiday sales or disaster episodes.
If you are really interested in this supply chain problem, here’s a great TED talk you should take a look at.
The stand mixer shortage was first experienced in 2020 as many brands were struggling to get materials and parts from their suppliers. This caused a domino effect on every business that depends upon other vendors and their components to produce and assemble their final product (stand mixers in our case).
The pandemic has also seen a rise in online shopping. This has created a knock-off effect on courier and delivery businesses. Every firm, big and small, is getting bogged down under this avalanche of demand and scarcity of material, labor and transport.
Will this labor and materials crunch be around for a while? I don’t know the answer. According to experts, these issues will get better in a year or two.
But one thing is certain. If you hope to get a new stand mixer in the current situation, you don’t have many options.
How to get a mixer during the KitchenAid shortage
Although KitchenAid’s online store might be running low on stocks, you can still get your dream stand mixer. Here are a few suggestions to capitalize on your chances:
Buy from Amazon
Whether you like it or not, Amazon is the biggest online marketplace. Their warehouses still carry tons of inventory. If you fail to find a stand mixer here, it’s less likely you will find it elsewhere.
On the flip side, this marketplace isn’t totally immune to shortages. You may not find the mixer with the exact color and features you want or at a discount.
Pop into your Costco or Walmart
Now is a good time as any to pop into your brick-and-mortar store and see if they have your favorite model. You may not get a discounted piece but the stand mixer you’ve been waiting to buy for months will finally be yours.
Add yourself to the back-order list or keep track of stocks through their newsletters and messages.
Find a second hand one on eBay and Craigslist
If you’ve exhausted these two options, then look out for auctions for second hand stand mixers on eBay or second-hand sale on Craigslist.
In addition to settling for a used appliance, these places come with added risks of being scammed or ending with a worn-out device, so be on the alert.
Ready to find your mixer?
While KitchenAid stand mixers make a worthy investment, global product shortages have made them difficult to come by.
From heavy demand to supply chain disruptions, many factors have contributed to low-to-zero stock at both online and physical stores.
Supplies will eventually return to normal and you can wait it out. But if you’re in a hurry and need a stand mixer like yesterday, check out the options I’ve mentioned above.
Good luck, and happy baking!