I am an unabashed fan of Kai Ryssdal, host of the public radio show Marketplace. If you’re a listener or follow him on Twitter, you know he’s been saying the trade war President Trump is engaged in with China is actually going to be paid for by American consumers. And this week, we got evidence of that when we learned the tariffs will soon impact the prices of connected kitchen appliances.
Today, June announced that starting July 1, it is raising the price of its smart oven to $699, a $100 increase. In a statement emailed to The Spoon, June CEO, Matt VanHorn said:
As you may have heard, the US recently increased tariffs on imported products manufactured in China. Unfortunately this affects us and we have had to raise our prices by $100, to $699 for the June Oven and $899 for the Gourmet Package. This will take effect on July 1, 2019. We absorbed the first tariff increase last year to minimize customer impact, but for this second increase, we have had to pass along some of this cost to customers.
June’s price increase comes just days after Corelle Brands said that tariffs would force it to raise the price of the wildly popular Instant Pot multi-cooker, from $38 to $187.44. (Though to be fair, I’m not sure there’s a person left in the U.S. who doesn’t have one.)
We had heard off-the-record talk of price increases from food tech execs last year. Now, with no end in site for the tariff tantrum, it looks like those high prices are now a reality.
In addition to established companies, one has to wonder how this could impact the fulfillment of Kickstarter projects, many of whom manufacture their goods in China. Crowdfunded hardware projects have a hard enough time getting to market, and this could be yet another hurdle for those that didn’t budget appropriately.
We’ll be on the lookout for more fallout from the trade war with food tech companies (when we aren’t listening to Marketplace). Drop us a line if you notice tariff-induced price increases, and if you were interested in a June oven, you, uhh, may want to get that order in this weekend.