Are Microwaves Losing Popularity in Homes?

Microwaves have lost popularity in homes in the US, with annual sales of the appliances declining 40% from 2004 to 2014. About 90% of American households owned a microwave as of early 2014. This high number of microwave owners is thought to have contributed to the reduced number of new purchases, because microwave technology did not significantly change during this time period, so there was little incentive to upgrade to a new appliance. Microwaves are thought to be losing popularity also as a result of a movement toward more fresh foods and higher-quality foods instead of processed convenience foods.

More about microwaves:

  • The microwave was invented in 1945 after engineer Percy Spencer was experimenting with radar and found that it melted a chocolate bar in his pocket.

  • The first microwave sold to consumers was released in 1955 and retailed for about $1,300 US Dollars (USD). By 1967, the average price had been reduced to $500 USD, and ownership became more widespread.

  • Although microwaves have declined in popularity, the popularity of other appliances, such as slow cookers, toaster ovens and rice cookers, increased by 50% from 2000 to 2014.
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Discussion Comments


A toaster oven would do the same job without the radiation.


I love my microwave also. I use it for hot water and to warm my food.


I love my microwave. It is great for warming leftovers, and I am including foods that are not processed convenience foods. It is also great for hot water. I couldn't live without my microwave. I love it.

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