Can kitchen design help us eat more sustainable, plant-friendly diets?
Swedish appliance manufacturer Electrolux thinks the answer is yes and to that end has launched an ambitious new kitchen system concept to help us get there.
Called GRO, the new system is made up of a collection of interconnected modules that use sensors and AI to provide personalized food and nutrition recommendations. According to the company, the system was designed around insights from behavioral science research and aims to encourage more sustainable eating behavior based on recommendations from the EAT-Lancet report for planetary health. The company will showcase the new system at this week’s EuroCucina conference.
“How can a thoughtful kitchen slowly nudge you toward more sustainable choices,” asks Tove Chevally, Electrolux Innovation Hub Manager, in a video introductory to the GRO system. “To make the most of what you have, to shop smarter and eat more diverse?
The GRO is a modular system that can be adapted to user preferences. Some of the GRO system modules include:
- The Plant Gallery: A glass showcase for fruits and vegetables.
- Pulses and Grains Library: A transparent storage system for beans and cereals.
- Fermentation pantry: A thermoregulated household fermentation cellar.
- Nordic smokehouse: a counter kitchen smoker.
- Steam oven and grill drawer: A household appliance garage.
The system will also have a touchscreen with a digital system called “GRO Coach” to provide the user with personalized food recommendations, goal setting, dietary and cooking advice, and measurement of progress over time. The system will also provide visualization of the user’s eating habits and their impact on the planet. The system will also optionally include a consumer’s food inventory, making recommendations based on what’s already in the refrigerator.
Something I might expect from another Swedish IKEA company, the GRO system is unlike anything I’ve seen from an appliance maker. It’s less a new device or even a series of devices, but more of a fairly detailed vision of the future of home cooking. And not just a vision of space design, but in many ways of how consumers should live and eat in the future.
All of this is, in some ways, a real honor for Electrolux. It’s not often that a company makes such a statement of values when introducing a new product, especially one like an appliance or kitchen cabinet system. It is also, in my opinion, a vision that will probably play out better in Europe than in other regions, given typical Europeans (and especially north Europe) higher level of awareness and concern about climate change.
At this time, Electrolux has not announced when the GRO system will be available to consumers. I suspect this may take a bit of time to roll out, given that it’s a brand new concept and may need to tap homebuilder channels quite extensively (it’s a complete kitchen system, after all, not just a single appliance upgrade).
Regardless of the release date, I’m interested to see how the industry and consumer react to Electrolux’s future kitchen vision.
You can see a concept video of the GRO below: