Multi-Function Oven Usage Habits in China

Goals

Identify how and why Chinese consumers use multi-function ovens in their homes.
  • Identify what types of food Chinese consumers typically cook at home, particularly in multi-function ovens.
  • Determine whether oven roasting and braising are more often used by Chinese consumers for experimentation and novelty items such as baking.
  • Determine how Chinese consumers would most likely utilize a multi-function oven in their homes, including possibly as a food warmer or steamer.
  • Identify what types of foods Chinese consumers would most likely prepare with a multi-function oven.
  • Identify which demographic of Chinese consumers would most likely purchase and use a multi-function oven.
  • Multi-function ovens have baking, roasting, steaming, and microwave features.
  • Prioritize middle class and affluent consumers in the Chinese market.

Early Findings

Data Availability

The initial round of research indicates that data availability is adequate regarding Chinese consumer interest in multi-function ovens, but limited surrounding at-home cooking habits.


Popularity of Multi-Function Ovens

  • According to a 2020 market analysis from HKTDC Research, consumers in mainland China are increasingly interested in using their kitchen spaces more efficiently, thus driving demand for multi-function cookers.
  • The China Center for Information Industry Development of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology released a report in late 2020 indicating that there was a "robust growth in sales" during the COVID-19 pandemic of air fryers, electric ovens, and other small kitchen appliances.
  • Si Zhenming, brand director of Joyoung, explained in an interview with China Daily that, "Chinese consumers are increasingly cooking at home and like small home appliance with multiple functions and attractive appearances."

Chinese Consumers Cooking at Home

  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, Nielsen data found that 67% of Chinese consumers were purchasing fresh foods for at-home consumption more than twice a week, and 80% planned to focus on eating healthier at home post-pandemic.
  • The most searched for items for online at-home grocery deliver in China during the COVID-19 pandemic were:
  • A 2019 study from Kitchen Stories conducted in China and published by Statista shows households in China cook for their families the following number of times on a weekly basis:
  • Before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, McKinsey data shows that Chinese consumers were purchasing grains, ready-to-cook items, packaged food, and snacks for at-home consumption.

Kitchen Appliance Purchase Considerations

  • According to a 2019 study from Research Global Group, the most important factors Chinese consumers consider when purchasing a small kitchen appliance are:
    • Good quality (safe/reliable): 92%
    • Healthy (no oil/smoke): 89%
    • Functional (multiple applications): 88%
    • Energy-saving (low power): 85%
    • Multi-purpose ("rich and powerful functions"): 81%
    • Smart (touch screen, personalized recommendation, etc.): 80%
    • Well-designed (elegant appearance): 70%


Summary

  • Within our first hour of research, we were able to locate a number of industry research studies and surveys that provide an indication of what Chinese consumers are looking for in kitchen appliances and why. We were also able to locate data from pre-COVID and during the pandemic that show the major categories of food Chinese consumers purchase for at-home consumption.
  • Although we searched for data depicting the types of meals and methods Chinese consumers use to cook at home, we were unable to locate any recent publications that contained any trustworthy data on which meals are most popular to make at home, and how. There were many articles from food magazines and news publications that offered a list of the "most popular" dishes in China, but no indication was provided to show that the meals stated were actually ones Chinese consumers cook on a regular basis at home. As a result of this, we did not include these lists in our early findings.
  • We were able to find multiple industry reports that provide an analysis of the growing popularity of multi-function kitchen gadgets, including multi-function ovens, in the Chinese market. These studies showed that multi-function ovens are becoming a prominent item for Chinese consumers to purchase for at-home use.
  • Based on the data availability, we suggest that further research efforts pivot to identify the most popular food items Chinese consumers purchase for at-home cooking and consumption (as opposed to full-blown meals), as well as the types of cooking methods that are most common in Chinese households. We also suggest research into the best ways to market a multi-function kitchen gadget and cooking at home to Chinese consumers, considering that this is a fast-growing market.

Research proposal:

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