A recipe for making the smart kitchen a reality 

By Philip Pantelides, Fresco

Whether it’s turning on your lights with the push of a button, or a single app that can close your blinds and set your thermostat to its energy-efficient state, the demand for smarter homes has taken hold in a big way.

The kitchen is no exception, with 78% of Americans planning to own a smart kitchen appliance by 2025.  Indeed, we’re experiencing a smart-kitchen revolution, where manufacturers can capitalize on increasing demand by leveraging emerging technology.

While brands have deepened their smart-kitchen investments and product offerings in recent years, industry-wide challenges like competing platforms have inhibited brands from delivering on the promise of a connected kitchen. 

At Fresco, our mission is to make perfect cooking simple and empower manufacturers to unlock the full value of their appliances through our technology. We believe in the benefits of connected cooking for home cooks and brands alike, and have designed an approach to help manufacturers win by bringing high-quality smart appliances to market, faster. 

A Taste for Connected Cooking

The ideal connected cooking experience is a simple and intuitive one, in which home cooks can easily control the features of their smart appliances, no matter the brand, and follow step-by-step cooking instructions. It’s all about using technology to create a delightful, hassle-free cooking experience that makes perfect cooking simple for home cooks.

For manufacturers, a better experience for customers leads to increased trust and brand loyalty. Furthermore, the more customers continue to use and love their products, the more opportunities smart appliances have to unlock data-driven insights that can inform product decisions and enhance consumer engagement and messaging. 

The Smart Kitchen’s No Cake Walk

Though the benefits of smart technology are undeniable, the path to kitchen intelligence isn’t always straightforward. In the fast-evolving realm of the smart home, staying relevant means more than simply integrating technology into a line of products. It’s a scramble as brands strive to serve up what consumers crave. One major roadblock? Fragmentation.

Many manufacturers have come up with their own proprietary smart-kitchen interface. This often results in a disjointed kitchen landscape, where a smartphone tap may start and stop a given appliance, but that’s about it. To unlock the true magic of a smart kitchen, there needs to be cross-brand harmony. Appliances should sync effortlessly and speak the same language. A pinch of intuition, a dash of quick pairing and voila: a seamless blend of smart appliances and brands.

The Matter standard is a promising step towards unity. But solving fragmentation won’t happen overnight. It demands industrywide teamwork, innovation and technical prowess. We’ve learned from our experience working with many different partners that it’s extremely challenging for a single brand to create the interconnected experience that home cooks need. This is often due to manufacturers not having the backend infrastructure and neutrality that enables cross-brand connectivity and control. 

Consumers are similarly still learning how to navigate the smart-kitchen landscape. Some shy away, intimidated by the digital evolution of their appliances. Privacy concerns cast shadows of doubt, sometimes causing avoidance of smart innovations altogether. Without guided recipes, one-touch presets, intuitive app experiences and transparent data policies, these products often gather dust, missing out on their true potential. For brands, this poses a double whammy — sales stumble, insights shrink, customer loyalty ebbs and the smart-kitchen dream dims. 

Bringing the Smart Kitchen Dream to Life 

In the dynamic world of smart kitchens, the journey can be daunting for both manufacturers and consumers. Fortunately, companies like Fresco can remove the guesswork, making connected cooking profitable for brands and deliciously rewarding for consumers. A cross-brand ecosystem such as Fresco’s, which is trusted by such vendors as GE Appliances, LG, Electrolux and Bosch, can transform appliances into smart kitchen marvels while curating top-tier connected recipes for home cooks.

The ability to deliver a seamless cooking experience while generating value throughout the lifecycle of smart appliances is a complex process. However, brands don’t have to enter this space alone. With the support of a flexible smart-kitchen platform such as Fresco’s KitchenOS, and the right experts, brands can accelerate their smart-kitchen journey and finally make the smart-kitchen vision a reality.

Philip Pantelides is vice president of product, consumer, at Dublin, Ireland-based Fresco, whose KitchenOS is the first brand-agnostic operating system for smart kitchens and their home-cook owners. For more information, click here.

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