Global sales of avalanche airbags are likely to total 132,400 units by the end of 2018, up from 129,273 units in 2017. This will represent a market valuation in the excess of US$ 80 million, according to a research study by Fact.MR.
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Gains will be driven by growing participation in skiing and snowboarding as recreational activities. Focus on safety measures and mainstream media coverage of avalanche mishaps is also driving adoption. According to Colorado Avalanche Information Center, 925 avalanche fatalities have been recorded in the US since 1950. In Europe, Austria has seen avalanche related fatalities toll rise to 37.
The study opines that avalanche airbags are increasingly gaining adoption as a safety equipment, however, challenges, especially uncertainties related to survival percentages is limiting growth.
The market intelligence study has tracked avalanche airbag sales through specialty stores, modern trade channels, sports variety stores, direct-to-consumer, and third-party online channels.
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According to the Fact.MR report, direct-to-consumer is the most lucrative sales channel for avalanche airbags, accounting for nearly 40% of all sales. Consumer familiarity, and availability of a wide range remain the key USPs of this sales channel. Specialty stores follow suit, accounting for nearly 35% sales share. These two sales channels collectively account for nearly two-third of all avalanche airbags sold globally.
The study finds that proliferation of e-retailers in avalanche airbags market is not as significant as in other FMCG. However, popularity is increasing at a brisk pace. “Avalanche airbag sales through online channels was unheard of a few years back. However, as e-commerce has permeated possibly every sphere of FMCG, avalanche airbags haven’t remained untouched. Today, a number of manufacturers have tied up with generic and specialty online sellers, and the trend is likely to gain ground in the future,” opines the author of the study on avalanche airbags.
Avalanche airbags are available in two variants – mono and dual – of which, the former remains the preferred choice. Dual avalanche airbags are steadily gaining popularity, but mono avalanche airbags account for the bulk of volume sold every year. Similar trend is witnessed in the dominance of canister/cartridge over electric fan variants.
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From a manufacturing perspective, the avalanche airbags market remains a consolidated landscape. The tier I manufacturers hold nearly half of the market share currently. “Avalanche airbags are safety equipment products, and considering the nature of the product, it has yet to witness the degree of fragmentation as other sports or recreational sports equipment markets. Although sports equipment manufacturers are likely to enter this market in the coming years, it is highly likely that a high level of fragmentation will not be witnessed in this market,” opine the authors of the study.
US, Canada, and Europe are among the most lucrative markets for avalanche airbags. Sales in North America (US & Canada) and Europe collectively surpassed 107,000 in 2017, and this is likely to increase to nearly 110,000 units in 2018. Opportunities are also emerging in Asia Pacific, however, from the majority of sales will remain concentrated in North America and Europe.
Fact.MR opines that global demand for avalanche airbags will grow at 2.6% during 2018-2028. This will be a notch higher than growth rate during 2012-2018.
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