What are brown goods? Definition and examples

Brown Goods are relatively light electronic appliances such as computers, radios, audio equipment, and televisions. Digital media players and game consoles are also in the brown goods category. We sometimes refer to these products as Consumer Electronics or Light Consumer Electronic Durables.

Advancements in technology have seen many of these brown goods becoming increasingly multifunctional, integrating features that transcend their original purposes.

Brown goods image 43999944

Durable goods or durables are those that last a long time; they do not wear out quickly. Computers, for example, usually last several years. Durables contrast with non-durables or non-durable goods. Light bulbs, paper products, and food products are non-durables.

Cambridge Dictionary has the following definition of the term: “Small electrical goods, such as televisions, radios, phones, and computers.”

Light consumer electronic durables used to be packed in wooden and bakelite cases (brown in color). Hence the term ‘Brown Goods.’

Brown goods vs. white goods

White goods are large household appliances such as freezers, refrigerators, washing machines, stoves (UK: cookers), and dishwashers. Tumble driers are also white goods. We find most of them in the kitchen. Many years ago, these products were available nearly exclusively in white; hence, the term.

Unlike brown goods, white goods are large and not portable, i.e., you cannot carry them. We can carry most brown goods, apart from some TVs and sound systems.

Both brown and white goods use electricity. They also make our lives easier, more comfortable, and help us do things more efficiently.

The Internet of Things

Both white and brown goods are gradually becoming more inter-networked. Networked goods gather and exchange data through the Internet.

Internet of Things image 676867676868Most household goods will soon become part of the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT is a global infrastructure for the information society. It enables the virtual and physical interconnection of ‘things.’

When, for example, a brown good is part of the Internet of Things, i.e., when it has Internet connection, we refer to it as a ‘Smart’ device.

Smart TVs, for example, are televisions with an Internet connection. You can watch YouTube videos and Netflix or Amazon Prime movies and series on a smart TV. A smart fridge also has an online connection.

This connectivity not only provides convenience but also allows for remote diagnostics and software updates, enhancing the functionality and lifespan of these devices.

Specialized vocabulary and example sentences

There are many terms that are closely related in meaning to brown goods, especially compound nouns. Compound nouns are terms that contain at least two words. Let’s have a look at six of them, their meanings, and how we can use them in a sentence:

  • Brown Goods Market

The commercial environment or sector involving the sale and distribution of brown goods.
Example: “The brown goods market has been expanding rapidly with the rise of smart home technology.”

  • Brown Goods Manufacturing

The process of creating and assembling brown goods.
Example: “The company’s focus on brown goods manufacturing has led to significant advancements in personal computing devices.”

  • Brown Goods Retailer

A store or business that specializes in selling brown goods.
Example: “After its renovation, the electronics shop became the leading brown goods retailer in the area.”

  • Brown Goods Industry

The collective group of businesses involved in the production, distribution, and sale of brown goods.
Example: “The brown goods industry is highly competitive, with constant innovation being a key factor for success.”

  • Brown Goods Repair

The service of fixing or restoring brown goods.
Example: “He runs a local business that offers brown goods repair, specializing in vintage radios and turntables.”

  • Brown Goods Innovation

The process of creating new and improved brown goods through research and development.
Example: “The company’s commitment to brown goods innovation has positioned it as a market leader in home entertainment systems.”

Two Educational Videos

Below are two videos from our sister channel in YouTube – Market Business News. One is about “Brown Goods” and the other explains what “White Goods” are. They both use easy-to-understand language and examples.

  • What are Brown Goods?

  • What are White Goods?