SEOUL, July 19 (Korea Bizwire) — Many companies within the home appliances industry are expanding their product lines to include more kitchen appliances, as family activities and lifestyle patterns have evolved to take place more in the kitchen rather than in the living room.
According to an industry official, the kitchen has transformed to become more functional than it has been in the past, and that change is leading companies to develop products to serve more purposes besides cooking or other related chores.
A survey conducted on American women in their 30s, 40s and 50s revealed that they spend an average of 2 hours and 10 minutes – 40 percent of their housework time – in the kitchen.
“The typical family used to gather in the living room and watch TV together, but smartphones and tablets are replacing TV as entertainment gadgets. As such, the kitchen is becoming a place for people to communicate and spend more time together,” said an industry official.
To follow the latest trend, kitchens are expanding in size and taking up a larger space to become ‘cultural complex spaces’ in which interior designers are focusing on creating ‘living-dining-kitchen’ (LDK) type houses as well.
LG Electronics, under its home appliances division, has a designated business unit tasked with manufacturing kitchen appliances including gas ovens, electric ovens, and microwaves.
A new LG Electronics refrigerator that was launched last year, Dios Orchestra, can play music or the radio through a built-in speaker wirelessly connected to a mobile phone. The idea came from the fact that homemakers spend more than four hours a day in the kitchen, and many of them listen to music or radio while they work.
One of LG’s latest devices, the LG Smart ThinQ Hub, also centers on activities completed in the kitchen. The hub, which features a built-in speaker, communicates using all of the common smart home networking protocols, and displays the working status of home appliances on its 3.5-inch LCD display.
Samsung Electronics, too, released its Family Hub refrigerator this year – a new smart fridge with a touchscreen, speakers, and IoT functions to allow users to enjoy music, videos, and even shopping.
According to American market research company BMR, the home appliance market is expected to grow 6.4 percent annually until 2020. Researchers predict rapid growth in the kitchen appliances market due to increasing demand to reflect lifestyle changes and innovative product development.
By Nonnie Kim (firstname.lastname@example.org)