Among the hottest topics at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is the Internet of Things (IoT). The use of sensors, connected devices, and broadband internet access to monitor and control an ever expanding number of devices and activities ranging from cars, cell phones, pet collars, TVs, lighting, household appliances, and wearable devices, to almost anything else you can think of.
With the kitchen being the most used area of a home, it’s not surprising to find numerous fast-moving tech start-ups and established household brands leveraging IoT digital technologies to develop products and services that promise to redefine family cooking journeys in the coming decade. These IoT tools will offer exciting new ways for home cooks to remotely control, monitor, and streamline grocery shopping, kitchen inventories, nutrition, and cooking.
Recently the Allrecipes team conducted research among more than 1,000 digitally connected U.S.-based home cooks to gather information regarding their attitudes and likely behaviors towards Smart Kitchen technology. Today, we share the first of a series blog posts with highlights from our research, including the demographic attributes of those most likely to adopt these new technologies, and the feature sets and benefits cooks are likely to find most compelling.
Millennials are the Future for “Internet of Things” Smart Kitchen Technologies
The first thing we looked at in our report was the type of cook likely to be most receptive to Smart Kitchen technologies. Not surprisingly, the most enthusiast age group is millennial cooks (ages 18-34 years). This group is clearly attracted to convenience, cooking confidence, creativity and ease, energy conservation and new technology curiosities. It over-indexes (compared with older cooks) in its level of interest for on-demand grocery delivery services, Smart Kitchen devices that automatically prepare meals and beverages, scales that measure and monitor ingredient quantities to guide meal preparation, and smart refrigerators that provide meal and shopping suggestions based on what’s inside.
Top 10 Smart Kitchen Gadgets and Services Appealing to Millennial Home Cooks
- Oven, slow cooker, grill or other cooking device controlled and monitored from a mobile device.
- Smart refrigerator that alerts me when products are about to expire or have expired.
- Device that tracks kitchen appliance energy consumption– and provides energy saving suggestions.
- Smart refrigerator that shares recipes that can be prepared based on on-hand ingredients.
- Countertop appliance that automatically makes drinks for you.
- Voice controlled device that tells me what I can make based on ingredients I have on hand.
- Device that tracks foods I am eating, and makes recommendations of foods to eat.
- Voice controlled app or device that that makes it easy to add products to digital shopping lists.
- Service that delivers groceries to my home based on a list I provide.
- Cooking pan that share temperature and cooking time so you know when dishes are done.
Manufactures seeking success among these shoppers will be smart to pay close attention to price; 4 of 5 millennial cooks say price is their biggest reason for not investing in new kitchen technologies. Additional barriers to purchase are space footprint and practicality: 2 of 5 millennial cooks say “not enough room in my kitchen,” and “fear I won’t use it” as key areas of concern.
The chart below displays purchase behavior attitudes among Allrecipes’ entire sample of home cooks (all age groups).
How soon these cooks will begin to snatch up these new Smart Kitchen devices is clear—90 percent say they plan to purchase new kitchen gadgets in the next year, and three-fourths plan to purchase new appliances in the next few years. In many ways, millennial cooks are already taking advantage of Smart Kitchen technologies. This group ranks highest among home cooks in its use of smartphones and tablets to find recipe ideas (78%), cook from recipes (75%), watch cooking videos (54%), create digital shopping lists (48%), seek grocery savings (49%), and order grocery delivery (12%).
For more information regarding our research, we encourage you to download the latest edition of Allrecipes Measuring Cup Trend Report featuring highlights from our 2016 Smart Kitchen Survey.