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The Social Kitchen: Dinner at 7:00; We eat at 8:00

By Frank von Holzhausen on Tuesday February 25th, 2014


The “Social Kitchen” concept is among the more intriguing of our observations from The International Builders Show and the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show earlier this month. If the concept does find footing through focused new product development where among Housewares categories would these most likely come from?…

The Social Kitchen: Dinner at 7:00; We eat at 8:00

The convergence of our observation at the recent KBIS/IBS show and mention in the annual HomeWorld Business Housewares Census gives rise to additional thought around an especially intriguing observation – the “Social” Kitchen.

You may recall our observation at KBIS of developments in kitchen space and cooking tools to incorporate meal preparation as an integral part of an evenings’ entertainment or a family meal. The “Social Kitchen” at its base is built around incorporating meal prep and cooking as part of the agenda and conversation space as opposed to a host toiling alone in a kitchen apart from guests or family. This concept could extend to having guests actively participate in the cooking by virtue of innovative kitchen configurations,
cooking appliances, tools etc.

There have been sporadic product development forays into this space, from the Electrolux MotherSpoon concept to others that skew towards luxe lifestyles, oversized kitchens and frequent entertaining with items such as The Galley Sink.

It remains unclear if and how the Social Kitchen concept plays out but as one reviews the HomeWorld Census there are may be a few categories that might lend themselves to “socialization” in some respects. Indoor and outdoor grills, blenders/juicers, ice cream makers and innovations in kitchen use and configuration may prove to be rich areas of exploration for developing socializing threads.

So perhaps “what should I bring?” becomes “We’ll be there at 7:00 to get the meal ready for 8:00” changing the engagement beyond waiting for dinner to emerge into a more dynamic cooking and gastronomic experience with opportunities to incorporate guests’ knowledge of different foods, flavors and preparations.

The Housewares Show is up next in March, it will be interesting to see if anybody is active in this space.

Frank von Holzhausen is President & Chief Design Officer of Group 4, a Research, Innovation & Design firm he founded in 1972

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