Cooking Habits Impact Kitchen Design

An inaugural behavioral survey from the National Kitchen & Bath Association analyzes the way consumers use their homes and kitchens.

Over the last few years, kitchens have become smarter, stronger, and harder working, but how do people really live in the arguably highest-traffic room of their home? This is what the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) endeavored to find out in its latest research report—the organization’s first behavioral survey—which offers a detailed analysis into the evolving way homeowners live in their kitchens and how this drives design and remodeling preferences in the $74 billion kitchen market.

Released this month, the Lifestyle Segmentation Report examines homeowner attitudes and behaviors toward cooking, meal preparation, entertaining and kitchen design, and the influence of their lifestyles on the kitchen remodel and installation process. Nearly 800 adults with household income of $40,000 or higher who had remodeled their kitchen or planned to remodel between November 2016 and August 2018 were surveyed.

The report segmented respondents by their confidence levels regarding cooking abilities, confidence in their kitchen design abilities, and their comfort level with using technology in the kitchen.

“This exclusive research is somewhat of a departure from our traditional studies, which typically analyze product categories, design trends, size of the market and business projections,” says Bill Darcy, NKBA CEO.

“It’s the first time we are looking at how changes in consumer lifestyle impact the actual use of our industry’s product and services. The data provides valuable insight for designers, remodelers, dealers, showroom associates and other professionals in how they serve their clients,” he continued. “This commitment to research and analysis reinforces NKBA’s thought leadership in the marketplace, and offers strategic information for the benefit of our membership.”

Key findings include:

  • Cooking and Meal Preparation
    • Half of kitchen remodeling projects are initiated by “confident cooks” who enjoy cooking, making healthy meals, and ensuring meals are a time for everyone to be together.
    • The other half of kitchen remodeling projects are prompted by “struggling cooks” who are time constrained and look for help at mealtimes, using frozen or prepared foods to help with meal preparation when necessary.
  • Design Confidence & Home Tech Needs
    • Half of kitchen project initiators are seeking design help for their kitchen project (two segments); one of these segments is concerned about the project coming together perfectly, while the other merely lacks confidence in their own design skills.
    • One segment relies more on technology during meal preparation, and has a higher need of technology access and storage in the kitchen.

The report also provides data on family dining, meal preparation, entertaining and other activities occur in the kitchen (paying bills, homework, and more), as well as how homeowners use technology in the space and what storage needs they’re finding they need. Furthermore, the study offers a correlation between these elements and design, the need for professionals in the process, how and where consumers shop for and buy kitchen products, and more.

The full Lifestyle Segmentation Report is available for purchase at the NKBA store. For more information, visit NKBA Lifestyle Segmentation Report or NKBA Lifestyle Segmentation Executive Summary.

Leah Demirjian is senior associate editor of design for Custom Home, Builder, and previously, ARCHITECT. She holds a bachelor’s degree in writing. Before joining Hanley Wood Media, she worked with an architecture firm in Los Angeles.

BUILDER Online provides home builders with home building news, home plans, home design ideas, and building product information, helping them manage their home building operations efficiently and profitably.

The National Kitchen + Bath Association (NKBA) is a non-profit trade group that promotes professionalism in the kitchen and bath industry. Established in 1963 as a network of kitchen dealers, it has evolved into the premier association of designers, retailers, remodelers, manufacturers, distributors, fabricators, installers and other industry professionals.