kb-network    Guest Blog 11 Sep 2017

Hoover’s Steve Macdonald discusses the impact of the connected kitchen

Whilst the launch of the UK’s first complete family of WiFi-enabled kitchen appliances in June 2015 isn’t that long ago in the grand scheme of things, technology and functionality has moved on apace since then.

Being able to control an appliance with a smart device may have been a pipe dream even a decade ago, but now, you can talk to your appliance – and some can even talk back!

According to Mintel; “Few consumer sectors enjoy the pace of innovation and change that characterises the market for major domestic appliances”, so this begs the question, where are we going to end up and how are we going to get there?

Consumer spend on Major Domestic Appliances is expected to grow by 28% in five years* and people are keen to get the most ‘bangs for their bucks’ to ensure that their new purchase will not only meet but exceed expectations, so it’s important to know exactly what they are.

UK households will grow by 4.7% in the next four years*, so whilst capacity is obviously important, so are features that will save people time. Whether it’s a washing machine that can detect fabrics being loaded and set the programme accordingly or an oven that doubles up as a smart device or a tumble dryer that can check the weather forecast and action programmes accordingly, any technical innovations that make people’s lives easier will be key.

What we do know is that opinions and requirements remain key. Both the retailer and manufacturer need to listen to consumer needs and react accordingly. Purchasers need to be aware of the technology available to them and manufacturers need to ensure that they are retailers with the information they need to effectively sell to the customer.

As fluctuations in the housing market continue to make people cautious about moving, the kitchen remains the hub of the home. Increasingly consumers are spending wisely to make the room more of a destination, rather than a function and minimalist products with maximum functions are certainly a way to achieve this.

* Mintel Major Domestic Appliances – UK – April 2017

Hoover | hoover.co.uk