Kitchens and Cooking Continue to Get Smarter
The 5th Annual Smart Kitchen Summit was held earlier this month in Seattle, attracting leaders throughout the kitchen design, food and cooking worlds to explore new technologies and provide the latest on the intersection of technology, food and kitchen design. Here are several of the major trends identified at the Summit.
Sustainability was one of the hot Summit topics. The Impossible Burger, made from plants, is not a fad and food made from plants is not limited to burgers. Plant-based foodstuffs continue to evolve and gain in popularity. Manufacturers are responding to this trend by creating appliances, applications and information resources that make plant-based eating easier and more readily available.
Healthier cooking and eating was another significant trend. We have found that homeowners the are interested in healthier the Upper Valley cooking for themselves and their families but find changing long-standing habits difficult, simply because most homeowners the Upper Valley do not have a lot of free time. According to Nancy Roman, CEO of the Partnership for Healthier America, the average time for preparing meals and cleaning up has dropped from 60 minutes in 2006 to 36 minutes in 2016.
The desire and demand for healthier foods and lifestyles are also expected to alter kitchen design. Anticipated trends include increased specification of glass cabinets that showcase fresh ingredients and hydroponic cabinets where consumers can grow their own vegetables, herbs and other items. Specification of cabinets, counter tops, tile, paint and other materials used to create new kitchens with low Volatile Organic Compounds that produce fewer hazardous gasses and byproducts and promote improved air quality will continue to gain in popularity as will the use of lighting that promotes more healthy lifestyles.
Efforts continue to expand to help reduce food waste. The FDA estimates 30-40% of the food supply is wasted annually or the equivalent of $161 billion of food every year. New natural coatings are being attached to fruit that can extend freshness by up to two weeks and other technological advances are being explored to help preserve food for longer time periods.
There were several cool products on display. FET featured a backsplash that doubles as a digital screen that consumers can use to watch on-demand and live cooking classes. The backsplash is voice activated, giving users an option to select classes based on cuisine, calories, diet, duration and a host of other options.
Another head-turning product was the HotSpot CookTop that can recognize pots, pans or food placed on the surface. If the food item does not have a uniform thickness, think of a salmon fillet, the HotSpot automatically applies more heat to the center than to the ends so that the item cooks evenly.
There was even a device that allows you to take cocoa beans and make your own chocolate in approximately two hours.
If you would like to know more about smart kitchen options, new technologies, ways to cook and eat healthier, give us a call at 603-448-9700 or visit our showroom at 105 Hanover Street, Lebanon, NH.