What’s Cooking in the Kitchen of the Future Melanie Zanoza Bartelme | December 2015, Volume 69, No.12

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Consumers are also worried about security. The data that allow the smart home to function so effortlessly must be secured in order to elicit consumer trust; no one will be willing to sync their lives into the cloud if they are afraid the cloud is permeable. The kitchen has to be just as safe from hacking as it is from catching fire. And those consumers who don’t trust the security might also not be willing to learn how to use all of the functions these machines offer. Abbott, though, thinks those fears might be misplaced. In her observations of how consumers use kitchens, she’s seen that eventually home cooks figure out what their appliances are capable of—even if they continue to just use them for one thing, like buying a $700 Vitamix blender that can make hot soups and nut milks but only making smoothies in it.

Ultimately, customers have the final say when it comes to creating a kitchen that suits their needs, says Hartsmanngruber. “They have to be able to control the home, not be controlled by it,” he attests. With smart kitchen technology in its nascent stage, there is a true opportunity for food manufacturers to get into this game and collaborate with appliance makers to make sure that their ingredients and products continue to have a place in the kitchen of tomorrow. There are an astounding number of ways in which today’s technology might evolve, and food companies should be following these developments closely to focus on creating packaging, prepared foods, and meal components that consumers will find easy to pop into whatever heating element ends up in tomorrow’s kitchen.


Online Exclusive: Countertop Cooking
Read more about the devices offering today’s cooks convenience and control at ift.org/food-technology/current-issue.

 

Melanie Zanoza Bartelme is associate editor of Food Technology magazine (mbartelme@ift.org

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