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The future of kitchens: Smart Appliances

In the month of October, as celebrates all things to do with the kitchen, we want to look not only to kitchens of the present, but also the future of kitchens. How will kitchens change over the next five years? Where will lifestyle trends take this busiest of all rooms? What impact will the shrinking home sizes have on how kitchens are used?

For answers to these questions, enlisted the help of a diverse panel of experts: Best Buy Canada, Breville, Kohler, AyA Kitchens and Baths, and our resident dietitian Andy DeSantis RD MPH. Each panel representative looked at the future of kitchens through the lens of their respective areas of  expertise; allowing  for a closer look at the future of kitchen technology, kitchen design, cooking, and nutrition.

Kitchen Technology

In the last few years we’ve seen kitchen technology take some big leaps forward. with things like smart refrigerators, barcode scanning garbage cans, and residential hands-free faucets. Behind these trends there appears to be a singular need for greater convenience.

The Gen Xers at the younger end of the spectrum and older Millennials, who are running Canadian households at this time, likely grew up in homes where busyness was seen as a cultural virtue. Whether this need for constant doing was related to career, involved housekeeping, social engagements, or even civic-minded engagements, it had a tendency to detract from more authentic, meaningful family time. This is something that this younger generation of parents does not want, and why advanced technology in the kitchen is a high priority.

Christine Tam, the External Communications Manager for Best Buy Canada agrees that convenience is the big influencer behind technological advancements in the kitchen.

“Being able to tell your fridge to make more ice using voice commands or being able to control your oven from your phone, simply put, makes life easier so you can spend more time with your loved ones,” says Tam. “I believe that’s the main driver for consumers.”

the future of kitchens smart appliances

Source: Nielsen

In fact a recent Nielsen study showed that 18.4% of Canadian consumers are willing to pay a premium price for connected appliances, compared to only 16.3% who would pay a premium for smart home security.

The Game Changer

The appearance of the smart refrigerator really seems to have opened the eyes of Canadian consumers. It has helped put a real life, in-your-face example of how technologies previously only seen in movies are in fact a part of today’s reality.

“Many new fridge designs allow you to look inside without opening the doors – either through a window, from internal cameras or both — which saves on your energy bills and allows you to check if your milk has expired from the grocery store,” say Tam.

Prior to the big, mainstream introduction of these refrigerators via home shows and more aggressive advertising, over the last year or so, only 58% of consumers were familiar with smart appliances. Now, they may be the gateway that normalizes things like smart countertops equipped with induction cooking technology and touchscreens, or Wi-Fi connected dishwashers.

Looking Forward

There is a nearly palpable feeling that society is on the cusp of a major technological shift in the home. In a 2016 study conducted by Nielsen, it was reported that 46% of Canadian consumers would own or plan to purchase some sort of connected home device within the next two years.  Some experts point to the popularity of smart thermostats and smart home speakers, like Google Home, as a possible catalyst that sparks further interest in the value of smart home solutions.

“Many companies are now ensuring their appliances work with voice assistant devices, such as Google Home,” says Tam. “Added wireless connectivity allows you to control your suite of appliances through an app, which means you can brew a latte from the comfort of your bedroom or turn off the oven while you’re gardening outside.”

Tam also says that she can foresee a time when updating your refrigerator could be as easy as updating your smartphone.

“While brands are constantly evolving, innovating and improving, they are still building appliances that are meant to last a long time. You’ll have the ability to update the software in the same way you update your phone so your appliances stay current.”

Prioritized Accessibility

Convenience is not the only influence behind a desire for more connected kitchens. Further the benefit of having a refrigerator that can remind you to pick up milk, is a connected kitchen that provides greater accessibility for those with physical challenges.

“The accessibility factor of smart homes is a growing trend in technology because voice-controlled devices allow people with various levels of mobility to control their home using just their voice or their phone.”


Special thanks to Christine Tam and Best Buy for offering their thoughts on the future of kitchens. You can visit your local Best Buy location or even book a consultation with Geek Squad to learn more about smart kitchen and home products.

Be sure to keep an eye out for our next articles in this series on the Future of Kitchen, where we’ll discuss the future of kitchen design, as well as future cooking and eating trends. is Canada’s most reliable, up-to-date resource for home renovation, interior décor, and home maintenance information. Be sure to browse our extensive library of articles or connect with a local home improvement professional through our listing.


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