Today at the EuroCucina trade show in Milan, Italy, Electrolux announced a strategic partnership with smart kitchen platform provider Innit in which the two companies will work together to integrate Innit’s software with the Electrolux’s connected appliances to “help consumers throughout the cooking journey.”
The first Electrolux appliance to integrate with the Innit platform will be the camera-enabled steam oven introduced by the Swedish appliance giant last month. Starting in the first quarter of 2019, consumers will be able to use the Innit app to find recipes, plan their meal and send cooking instructions to the Combisteam Pro Smart oven from Electrolux. Over time, the two companies envision that users of Electrolux appliances will be able to use the Innit app as the main app to power the entire cooking process, from meal discovery to shopping to cooking.
For Innit, its partnership with the region’s biggest appliance maker marks a significant entry into a market that requires substantial understanding of country-by-country differences. Unlike the more homogeneous US market, products for the Europe market need to account for differences in consumer cooking preferences across different countries. While some countries tend to embrace surface cooking (induction, etc), others may be more inclined to cook the nightly meal in an oven. By partnering with Electrolux, Innit can tap into the appliance maker’s localization expertise and create an app tailored towards specific user requirements in each locale.
For Electrolux, its partnership with Innit is the first time the company will work with a third party application partner for its connected appliances. The company sees the partnership as a strategic move towards a common software and user experience across appliances. The two companies plan to expand to more cooking devices as well as other appliances such as refrigerators.
One benefit Electrolux sees in tapping into a software-powered cooking experience is the ability to help consumers unlock capabilities that for the most part go unused.
“Our appliances are extremely advanced and often the consumer only uses a small fragment of their capabilities,” Patrick Le Corre, Sr. VP of kitchen products at Electrolux EMEA, told me in a phone interview. “Steam cooking is the best way to cook, but their knowledge of steam cooking is limited. If you bridge the potential of our appliances with an app, we unlock the power for consumers and secure an enjoyable cooking experience.”
The deal comes at an important time as more appliance makers are honing in on strategic partners as the industry continues to transition towards software-enabled cooking. At CES, Whirlpool showed off its Yummly integration while LG announced partnerships with Innit and SideChef, and last month Kenwood launched a new multicooker powered by Drop as part of a longer-team development deal. And now with Electrolux, Innit has locked up Europe’s biggest appliance maker in what looks to be a significant potential long-term partnership.