Is the Netherlands ready for the smart kitchen?

Rotterdam, September 13, 2019 - On average, consumers are paying more and more for their kitchen. Although 85 percent of consumers now choose for efficiency rather than luxury, consumers are willing to invest more in their kitchen. We unknowingly choose for more luxurious kitchens with more innovative functions. Smart devices are also becoming a bigger concept in the purchase of kitchens. It is predicted that 56 percent of Dutch households will have smart products in their house by 2025. USP’s Kitchen Monitor survey shows that the proportion of consumers interested in a smart kitchen has also increased compared to last year. However, this share remains below 25 percent at this moment. Is the Netherlands ready for the smart kitchen?

Luxury is not yet decisive in the purchasing process

A luxury kitchen is different for everyone, but in general, luxury kitchens have the following characteristics: it is equipped with high-quality equipment, there is enormous freedom of choice in terms of kitchen design, they are often somewhat more expensive, and they meet the latest developments and trends (Source: Tielemankeukens.nl). Although the research of USP shows that 85 percent of consumers prefer efficiency rather than luxury (see Figure 1), this seems to be changing.

The expectation is that the kitchens will become more luxurious in the coming years. This is, among other things, based on the fact that the average price per kitchen has risen by 29 percent since 2014 (source: USP Kitchen Monitor). Consumers seem willing to pay more for a kitchen, and seem willing to pay a higher price for the ease and comfort that a more luxurious kitchen offers. They are often not primarily concerned with the device, but with the need that the device fulfills (Vhelan, 2018). For example, they are interested in a dishwasher that adjusts its water use and energy consumption to the amount of dishes (source: Smarthomemagazine.nl).

Figure 1, for example, shows that six out of ten consumers consider quality more important than price and that nearly three quarters of consumers say they prefer built-in devices rather than free-standing devices. Kitchens are therefore increasingly supplied with built-in devices. Take, for example, the dishwasher; Now 96 percent of the diswashers are built in, compared to 93 percent in 2018.

Smart products are entering the kitchen

The Netherlands is a leader in the use of smart products in comparison with other countries in Europe. Whereas in the Netherlands about 27 percent of the population already use smart home products compared to 11 percent in Europe, it is predicted that this will be 56 percent in the Netherlands in 2025 compared to 29 percent in Europe (Source: Statista Global consumer survey).

The expectation is that the use and turnover of smart devices in the Netherlands will also increase in the coming years. Where turnover is now 198 million euros, it is expected that this will be 534 million euros in 2025. This is an increase of almost 170 percent. The kitchen market will also benefit from this. Think of a refrigerator that warns when food is running out, a stove that thinks along with you as a chef or, as mentioned earlier, a dishwasher that can adjust its energy and water consumption to the amount of dishes (source: Smarthomemagazine.nl).

Smart devices are also becoming increasingly important in the kitchen. In 2018, only 4 percent of consumers indicated that innovative functions were a decision criterion for a kitchen. In 2019, this increased to 7 percent.

Completely in line with expectations, Table 1 shows that in 2019, people are also more interested in a smart kitchen compared to 2018. 

Conclusion and prospect

The use of smart devices in the kitchen is still in its infancy in the Netherlands, but it seems that smart devices are becoming more important in the Dutch kitchen. Consumers are spending more and more money on their kitchen, and compared to previous years, smart devices are also found more interesting. In addition, it is predicted that the turnover of smart equipment will increase a lot in the coming years. It is important that producers of kitchens keep up with the times. With the Netherlands as the leader in the application of smart equipment, now is, and the upcoming years are, the time to introduce smart devices in kitchens more often. 

About the Kitchen Monitor

USP has been researching the kitchen market for years with the USP Kitchen Monitor. Two times a year, a gross panel of around 100,000 homeowners and tenants is asked online whether they have bought or are planning to buy a completely new kitchen, kitchen devices or kitchen parts to replace. They are also asked about the orientation that preceded the purchase of a kitchen or parts.

In this way, USP provides an up-to-date, reliable and detailed picture of developments in the Dutch kitchen market, which is immensely important because the consumer market is constantly changing. Preferences for certain products, brands and type of store (channels) change and spending is carefully considered. In addition, many providers compete for consumers' money. In order to properly estimate your own market position and to be able to make timely adjustments, a grip on market developments and insight into orientation and purchasing behaviour is essential.