Technology push vs consumer centric
The IFA is about consumer electronics, companies that showcase at the fair are often more technology driven than consumer focused. With a Television I can understand that buyers of the newest gadgets are excited about a thinner flat screen, or connective devices that control everything that happens in your house, but what about cooking appliances? Do we want to cook on a screen or rather stay more physically in touch with the ingredients? The answer probably lies somewhere in the middle, to define solutions it will be good to understand which user scenarios would benefit from a sensor or a connection to for example your tablet or smartphone.
Do brands know their target group?
A challenge for cooking brands is that the coolest features are implemented in their most expensive products. The target group for high-end appliances that can actually afford these products is probably 45+. Younger generations that actually grew up with screens might be interested in for example Grundig's worktop projection that can display (Instagram) recipes, but they might not have the budget, yet... The generation with money to build in a kitchen from an expensive brand might still struggle with understanding what moist features can do for the recipes they are used to cook at home. I see a mismatch there.
Final thoughts about IFA this year
I have my doubts about connected devices and intuitive use. I personally get the greatest pleasure from cooking if I really get in touch with the material and I mean the ingredients. Seeing, smelling, chopping, tasting… I want to think for myself and judge by seeing and smelling, not by looking at a screen, not a sensor that tells me when to add another ingredient, or when I have to flip over a steak. Sure there are scenarios where I just want to throw some ingredients into a device and come back later when the dish has finished itself, but then a simple soup from an inexpensive soup maker will do fine.
One thing is sure: There are interesting dilemma's around connectivity and cooking, intuitive use and programs that take over… I believe that companies need to really look at their target group well and have a good overview of user scenarios to judge if certain connectivity or other smart features are really an improvement for the cooking experience.