Appreciation for the kitchen is currently flying high: The kitchen is back in its central role as provider, but now also additionally fulfills social, emotional and representative functions. According to a trend study published by the Zukunftsinstitut on “Kitchen and household after coronavirus”, even cooking has become more important for 62% of Germans. The kitchen and well-being are closely linked especially among the trend-conscious cities: A high-quality kitchen gives 55% of the respondents a positive attitude toward life. The desire for design and intelligent solutions to manage everyday life is also on the rise, resulting in a much greater willingness to invest: 20% of the total population, despite, or specifically because of coronavirus, want to invest in their kitchen in the foreseeable future; the figure for the city dwellers surveyed is even 30%.
How has the attitude of Germans changed toward the kitchen, the household and home appliances since coronavirus? A new trend report by the Zukunftsinstitut for Siemens Home Appliances answers this question. In July 2020, 2048 Germans aged 18 and above were surveyed and the lifestyle of urban trendsetters compared with that of the total population.
The kitchen is an anchor in times of crisis
The city as a living space has changed much more in the last few months than life in the country. That’s because everyday life, shaped by high mobility and a host of culinary, cultural and sporting opportunities, came to a standstill. As a result, the value of home living and the kitchen has risen significantly. 67% of city dwellers say that the design of their home is important or very important since the coronavirus crisis; around half of the respondents in the total population agrees. The kitchen, which became a kind of anchor in times of crisis, benefits from this. More than half of the city dwellers say: “A high-quality kitchen improves my lifestyle”, and around a third of the total population sees it the same way (36%).
Cooking experiencing a new boom
Cooking was already an activity associated with creativity and happiness before coronavirus but is now experiencing a veritable boom. 62% of Germany say that it’s more important for them now to do their own cooking; 66% attach more importance to always having fresh produce at home, while at the same time the willingness to go shopping is in decline. That should favor the demand for large cooling appliances with functions to keep food fresh by those who have the necessary space.
Good design finds good solutions
The kitchen as a multifunctional space is also more in demand than ever. After all, 17% of city dwellers use the kitchen as their home office. It still also remains popular, however, for 47% as a place to meet for human interaction. That raises the demands on the design of the kitchen, which today no longer simply means “looking good”, but is also closely linked with high functionality and clever space solutions. In a time in which video conferences are part of everyday life, a tidy home and presentable kitchen are a must. More than a third (36%) say that they consider “esthetics and design especially important for home appliances”.
Problem solvers needed in the city
Especially in cities, home appliances must also pick up on and balance out much of what accompanies the living conditions there. For 40% of the respondents, space-saving home appliances that can be retracted or extended as needed should make up for the small living space; for 40% of the respondents, multifunctionality is also highly desirable, with an approval rate of 61%. But what’s even more important for the city dwellers is peace and quiet in their own four walls: Quiet home appliances are therefore especially important for 72%.
Digital is normal – also in the home
The survey proves that coronavirus has also speeded up the normalization of digital technologies in the home. Inhibitions have been removed, with connected offerings becoming increasingly accepted and recognized as a support. Compared with last year’s study, the authors reach the conclusion: “Always having the latest technology is important today for almost half of the respondents (44%), compared with 26% of the total population. This need has grown significantly: In 2019, the figures was only 29% even for the city dwellers.” In view of this, connected home appliances that have regular updates and will also adapt in future to individual needs are an attractive proposal.
Smart management of everyday life for tangible benefits
More than ever, consumers are looking for the real benefit behind smart and digital offerings. Around half would like it if intelligent technology leads to a visibly better washing result, or the cooktop automatically ensures that nothing boils over or burns. Efficiency, versatility and ease of use are at the top of the hit list of things in which urban trendsetters are mostly likely to invest. And the popularity of remote control, voice control and the connection of home appliances to delivery services also went up compared with 2019.
About the study
The trend study “Kitchen and household after coronavirus: the new normal – the changed significance of the kitchen, cooking and the household since the lockdown” was produced by the Zukunftsinstitut on behalf of Siemens Home Appliances. The data used is based on an online survey by YouGov Deutschland GmbH, in which 2,048 people took part between July 10 and 13, 2020. The results were weighted and are representative for the German population aged 18 and above. To ensure that the survey results can be compared with the trend report “Metropolitan Lifestyle”, the group of urban trendsetters was also looked at again in addition to the total population. It comprises people who live in cities with 500,000 and more inhabitants and are also distinguished by certain characteristic attitudes and value preferences. A representative number of 241 people was determined, comprising an almost equal spread of men and women from all age groups.