In a year when the home truly was a haven for Americans looking to stay safe and healthy, technology became of paramount importance.
The NPD Group’s recent study What’s Inside America’s Kitchens found that consumers are acquiring and using new technologies to either access food and beverages or to ease the daily meal preparation process.
As more consumers sought alternatives to their customary weekly trip to the grocery store, digital ordering of groceries or takeout from local restaurants doubled from 2019, according to NPD. By the summer, 42% of adults in the U.S. said they shopped for groceries online at least once in the past 30 days, up 13% from the prior year.
During meal preparation, voice assistants were used by 55% of U.S. meal preparers who sought to get recipes, convert recipe measurements, keep time, order groceries or get help with an array of other kitchen duties.
“The COVID lockdowns forced consumers to suddenly rethink their food acquisition and preparation strategies, and convenience took on a whole new meaning as households dealt with the increased pressures in the home,” says Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst. “Technology came to the rescue and helped ease the stress of obtaining and preparing food, and it’s highly unlikely that consumers will stop using these technologies when the pandemic ends.”
An interesting side note relates to smart home technology. While most homes lack Wi-Fi enabled smart kitchen appliances, 42% of these households said they are interested in owning these devices.