During our 2018 visit to IFA Berlin, one thing was abundantly clear: mainstream appliance manufacturers are going all-in on the smart kitchen. Appliance giants such as Bosch and Siemens were on hand to introduce their latest innovations, such as Bosch's PAI projector. PAI projects a colour touchscreen directly onto your counter, eliminating the need for smartphones or tablets in the kitchen, enabling home cooks to follow recipes right on the countertop and placing recipes at the centre of the smart kitchen. While the concept of countertop projection might seem like a step up in smart kitchen innovation, embracing recipes as a vital part of the connected kitchen ecosystem is something Bosch has in common with its competitors.
LG announced a partnership with Drop at IFA, joining a growing number of smart appliance brands that have integrated the Drop recipe app into their connected appliances. Not only that, but LG and Google have teamed up with Innit to create a guided cooking experience on LG's Google Assistant-powered smart display. With the likes of Siemens, Philips, Electrolux and Kenwood already on board with recipe integration, it seems that our prediction that 2018 would be the year the recipe has merit.
Why are the giants of the appliance world placing such an emphasis on recipes, and why are they outsourcing recipe creation and supply? Here are three reasons appliance manufacturers are choosing this route.
Bosch PAI Projector
1. Recipes are expensive to create from scratch
Companies such as LG and Electrolux are global brands with the means to create their own recipe content, so why are they not doing so? Recipe development can be a difficult, long and costly process. Between employing chefs, building and running an in-house kitchen and months of testing, the numbers just don't add up. For smart appliance brands that require thousands of recipes on an ongoing basis to satisfy their customers, sourcing content from recipe content agencies and partnering with recipe apps is a much more cost-effective process. Why create the recipe content yourself when you can outsource? When you consider that 93% of millennials try new recipes monthly, and more than 80% of meals are cooked at home, sourcing recipe content at scale is vital to keeping consumers engaged.
2. 47% of UK consumers don’t see a use for smart appliances
In the smart home ecosystem, the smart kitchen is in its infancy. This is no surprise. Controlling your lights and thermostat via voice assistant can be a relatively inexpensive process. Replacing your existing kitchen appliances with connected appliances is not, and price remains the biggest barrier to mainstream smart appliance adoption. It came as surprise to us, however, to learn that 47% of UK consumers don't see a use for smart appliances. For smart appliance manufacturers, this is a major issue. The majority of consumers are capable of controlling their existing appliances without the need for a connected app. Research has shown, however, that home cooks struggle to find fresh recipe inspiration, and two-thirds of Americans don't know what they're having for dinner by 4 pm. Varied, trustworthy and personalised recipe suggestions add value to the connected kitchen. Leveraging customer data to understand individual preferences, and pairing this data with trustworthy outsourced recipe content, smart appliance manufacturers can create a seamless and personalised browsing, selecting and guided cooking experience that appeals to busy consumers.
Drop app and Home Connect app
3. Streamline the cooking process
Many aspects of our lives are streamlined. Smartphones function as cameras, guidebooks, wallets, light switches, TVs and more. Getting dinner on the table after a long workday can be stressful, so it makes sense to streamline to the cooking process in a similar way. Finding the right recipe, checking whether you have the required ingredients and going back and forth to your cookbook or tablet lengthens the cooking process. Smart appliance manufacturers are best placed to solve this issue and to streamline the cooking (and indeed grocery shopping) process. In the perfect smart kitchen, appliances work in harmony, keeping track of what you have in your fridge, suggesting relevant recipes and sending the information to the oven and hob. Connected apps such as Drop, Innit and Home Connect guide the cooking process, moving from step to step in real time, adjusting appliances as necessary and creating a stress-free cooking experience. By embracing recipes, smart appliance manufacturers are positioning themselves as experts, not just in appliances, but in getting the most out of appliances to create delicious food with ease and precision.
It's early days for smart appliance recipe integration, but with smart displays set to offer an entry-level introduction into the guided cooking experience, and sales of smart home appliances in Germany up by 50% in the first half of 2018, smart appliance brands that are doubling down on recipe integration efforts and expanding their recipe libraries are well placed to capture the interest of early adopters and in turn, mainstream attention.