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Automatic cooking, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, smart sensors, and diagnostics – these are just some of the technologies that will shape kitchen appliance trends in 2021. The focus in recent times has been on appliances that make cooking easier, faster, and more efficient. In 2021 and beyond, manufacturers are looking to add new features, including multifunctionality, seamless connectivity, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and gentler and healthier food preparation.
Here are some of the key kitchen appliance trends for 2021:
With consumers looking to get more things done in less time in their busy schedules, modern manufacturers are focused on innovative solutions. Multifunction ovens are one of the innovations that are set to be a major trend in 2021 and beyond. A multifunctional appliance that combines the functions of an oven, double boiler, and microwave not only saves space and the need to buy different appliances but may save more energy. Ovens are also getting “smart” features such as independently measuring the internal oven temperature and adjusting cooking time. With no time required for warming up or preheating, foods can be prepared faster while using less energy.
Appliances that make cooking efficient, easier while using less energy have been in vogue in the recent past. Gentle methods of food preparation and appliances that have these functions are gaining in popularity. In line with this trend, cooking with steam may become more of a mainstream choice when it comes to ovens in 2021. Convection steam ovens combine dry and wet cooking with an added advantage of even distribution of heat. Convection-steam ovens ensure crispiness while adding moisture to retain a desirable texture of foods. With less oil required and even heat distribution, it is possible to retain the minerals and vitamins in foods, ensuring foods are healthier and lower in calories. While the circulation of hot air enables consistent heating as well as browning of foods, the steam adds moisture in precise amounts and at the right times, which results in delicious meals. Any food that is prepared in the traditional oven or microwave can be cooked in the convection steam oven; however, the combination of functions in the steam oven offers home chefs more control over the outcome.
Reputed manufacturers, including Siemens and Bosch, are not only making kitchen appliances smarter but are focused on the visual elements and design. A key kitchen appliance design trend for 2021 relates to classic colors that enable the devices to blend seamlessly into contemporary grey, black or bright kitchens.
Ovens are also getting smarter and faster as compared to traditional ovens and have the ability to recognize over hundred foods. The smart ovens can determine the ideal settings required for cooking specific foods. With a smartphone app, users can control the oven’s operations through Alexa. One of the smart features that may trend in 2021 is the connectivity to supermarkets such as Whole Foods. Chef-developed programs in the smart oven can automatically prepare foods from ingredients that are available in Whole Foods.
One-touch coffee brewing
Coffee brewers connected to iPhone or Android via Bluetooth have been in the spotlight in recent times. The Nespresso Prodigio, ‘Smarter Coffee’ and Bruvelo are some examples of smart coffee brewers that can be connected to iPhone or Android smartphone via Bluetooth. Users can control the time and process of brewing without the need to be physically present in the same room. Keeping the water tank filled and replacing Nespresso coffee capsules are the only things the consumer needs to do. The year 2021 may well remove the hassles of coffee brewing by going a step further by giving the user complete remote control of the appliance. Apart from one-touch coffee making, the coffee machine servicing can also be called automatically via the smartphone application. With the mobile app, consumers can control various settings to brew the perfect cup of coffee, including pre-soak time, current altitude, custom brew options, and brewing temperature.
These smarter brewers work with Dash replenishment service and Amazon Alexa, which means users can just ask Alexa to prepare their favorite coffee. The appliance can also place an order for coffee beans by sensing the low levels of beans in the appliance.
Refrigerators that adapt to the needs of the customer and distinguish climatic zones ideal for different products will take center stage in 2021.
Energy-efficient LED lamps inside the refrigerator mimic sunlight’s natural spectrum to boost food safety. Here are the major upgrades that refrigerators are set to feature in 2021.
These smarter refrigerators go beyond being food storage appliances. Users can set expiration notifications to ensure the food does not spoil, plan a meal with available ingredients while being able to see the fridge’s contents from anywhere. Apart from syncing calendars and photos on the screen, homeowners can use voice commands to control other appliances such as doorbells, thermostats, and lights.
Here are some of the features and functionalities of smart refrigerators that are likely to take center stage in 2021 and beyond:
• Climate zones
Refrigerators are also set to get major design upgrades in 2021 while becoming more versatile. Some expected upgrades include glass panels for doors and drawers and a mix of food zones that compartmentalize various foods stored. While some food zones are specifically tailored for particular food ingredients, others will be flexible. For instance, meat and fish are stored in the section with dry air while fruits and vegetables in a slightly humid section.
Refrigerator handles may also become a thing of the past in 2021, with smart technology becoming more prevalent. Auto assist feature helps streamline kitchen processes. Ice makers are also expected to get upgrades in 2021, with manufacturers adding filtration functions as well. This ensures the water for ice gets filtered and purified.
• Artificial intelligence
Reputed appliance manufacturers such as Bosch, Samsung, and LG are exploring AI-powered refrigerators as the next innovation. Internal cameras track various foodstuffs that enter and exit the fridge, allowing the appliance to maintain an inventory. Users can get an alert when a food item or ingredient is about to get spoilt or reaches its expiry date. These smart refrigerators also suggest recipes depending on what is in stock while generating shopping lists.
• Safety features and diagnostics
More safety features may also get added, such as smart diagnostics that can pinpoint issues before they worsen or sending a text message to the user when the door is not fully shut.
Kitchens of today are increasingly becoming a central gathering place. They are a haven for not only cooking meals but to socialize, bond with family members, do homework, or pay bills. Consequently, kitchen appliances are integrating digital touchscreens that enable multitasking. For instance, the latest refrigerators feature a family screen hub that helps family members share photos and messages while maintaining an active calendar. They also remind users when they are low on inventory.
Induction hobs get new features
The induction has continued to become increasingly prevalent when it comes to hobs. Manufacturers are adding new features and bringing out innovative appliances to attract consumers. As per a Technavio market research report, the growth in the induction hobs market during 2020 and 2024 is slated to reach $3.51 billion. The market is expected to experience positive growth owing to the growing demand for smarter, more convenient appliances that fit changing lifestyles.
New features such as faster cooling-down and heating, power levels, temperature controls, security panels, timer, and child lock were added to induction hobs in 2020. In 2021, more convenient features such as intuitive hob touchscreen assisted cooking programs and sensors are expected to be added. The latest induction hob can identify and sustain an even temperature all across the cooking pan surface, resulting in better outcomes. Sensors automatically detect the pan temperature to ensure optimal cooking of food. Whether it is a small saucepot or a large roasting pan, the fields identify the size of the cookware and heat them precisely.
Another feature that induction hobs will see in 2021 relates to interconnectivity. The fields of the hobs can be connected with larger cooking zones. The focus will also be on making hobs more user-friendly. For instance, new hobs feature a special print below the glass-ceramic to facilitate the easy and quiet movement of cooking utensils.
Food processors are indispensable elements of modern kitchens. The latest food processors go beyond mixing the ingredients for the dish to take over most of the workload and save significant cooking time. Crock-pots already have the feature of independently selecting the right temperature for cooking and “serve” the food at the precise, appointed time.
The key kitchen appliances trends for 2021 can be categorized into functionality, intelligence, technology integration, convenience, comfort, remote control, and energy-efficient. The factors that will shape innovation in kitchen appliances in 2021 include a growing health consciousness among consumers, changing lifestyles, the focus on sustainable energy sources, and ease of cooking. Interconnected ‘smart’ appliances that use AI, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth to enable voice-controlled functions may continue to become more mainstream. The year 2021 will revolutionize the way consumers communicate with their modern kitchen appliances. Integrated technology will enable users to control everything in the kitchen from the comfort of their smartphone.