Technological advancements in devices, such as IoT-enabled appliances, sensors for pre-defined cook time, and digital menu enabled devices, have played a pivotal role in shaping the market growth.
Smart appliances used for preparing food are anticipated to enhance the household cooking experience. The modern day Internet and Bluetooth-connected accessories and devices aim at providing more comfort to users than before. Products such as the Crock-Pot, ActiFry Smart, and LG ThinQ cooker can be operated directly from mobile phones. The devices can automatically adjust to preset time frames and temperature and also provide video instructions to users to cook specific recipes. Smart kitchen devices have made precision cooking possible even without being present at home.
Connected cooking, which involves the inter-connection of kitchen appliances through the Internet of Things (IoT), facilitates cooking with minimal intervention by controlling these appliances remotely. For instance, the Bailey Weber Kitchens thermometer uses Bluetooth connectivity to keep a check on the set temperature and alerts when the dish reaches its ideal temperature. June Life Inc.’s intelligent oven can detect the type of dishes inside the oven using its built-in camera, automatically controlling and setting up the temperature and time required for cooking.
There has been rising demand for advanced kitchen electronics that can help reduce cooking time and minimize hassles in the food preparation process. This demand arises from hectic schedules of the urban working-class population across developing and developed countries. The scenario is likely to lead to a notable increase in demand for advanced kitchen appliances.
Smart kitchen devices are being used widely in developed countries such as U.S., Canada, Germany, and Japan. Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and IoT to control and access multiple smart kitchen appliances through a remote or mobile device is gaining increased popularity. To benefit from this scenario, a number of companies are introducing smart kitchen equipment in their portfolios. For instance, in August 2018, Electrolux expanded its partnership with Google Inc. in the European market for integrating connected kitchen products with Google Assistant, allowing consumers to control products using voice commands. Such advancements are expected to bolster the global market in the next few years.
The household cooking appliances industry has witnessed a paradigm shift over the last few years, with advanced connectivity features integrated with kitchen appliances and growing emphasis on use of energy-efficient products to comply with emission norms becoming commonplace worldwide.
Another determining factor for the market is the price and life span of the product. The lifespan of cooktops depends on its usage and quality, which directly impacts sales. The quality has a bearing on the pricing of such equipment, which varies as per the budget of a buyer. Single students, bachelors or lower-middle-class families often prefer less expensive or economical products that can last up to two to three years. Expensive and premier cooking appliances, on the other hand, are preferred by upper middle class and upper-class families.
Apart from leading to technological advancements and innovations, changing consumer preferences and trends have also compelled manufacturers to experiment with product design, allowing them to expand their portfolios and more effectively cater to the demands of their customers. The product expansion strategy allows them to acquire a larger customer base and increase their market share. For instance, Klove, an IoT-enabled stove knob can be replaced by the knob of a common gas oven or stove. It is connected to the internet and has sensors to monitor what is cooking. Klove’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered app can parse through recipes and can also use Amazon’s Alexa for voice interaction with users.
Key players invest heavily in Research & Development (R&D) in an attempt to develop advanced control features, which would serve as a parameter to distinguish their product from their competitors’ products. There is a low threat of new entrants as the market is identified by big international brands along with some smaller regional players.
Seasoned manufacturers, such as LG Electronics, Electrolux AB, Robert Bosch GmbH, and Samsung, have emphasized on the development of smart kitchen appliances is a bid to maintain their competitiveness. Enhanced IoT features enable monitoring devices with the help of smartphone applications.
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