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A smart refrigerator is an internet-connected refrigerator that can connect through the internet or Wi-Fi to provide numerous features. It operates through a touchscreen interface and provides the user to operate through a smartphone or tablet from a remote location. Smart fridges provide flexible user-controlled cooling operations and are attached with cameras and sensors that can scan the storage of food items and essentials inside. Consumers in developing countries are increasingly shifting toward smart home appliances to benefit from internet connectivity features and diminish power consumption.
The rising number of smart homes and the idea of connecting smart appliances to the internet of things (IoT) for efficiency and convenience are paving lucrative growth opportunities for the smart refrigerator market.
Lack of monitoring and timely usage of food items leads to wastage which is a common problem for the end-users, and smart fridges support the management and storage of food items without spoilage. For instance, The United Nations Development Program stated that there is increased food spoilage across residential and commercials in India. According to the survey, nearly 40% of the food was wasted, and 20 % of the food items were discarded. The need for timely and effective food management in residential and commercial sectors is expected to increase the demand for smart refrigerators. Also, the growing adoption of smart homes and smart kitchens are fueling the demand for the product.
Smart refrigerators have high-tech features such as a hands-free door, touchscreen interface, built-in sensors and are generally more expensive than ordinary ones. There is a high amount of repair cost involved with which the consumers have to spend more on certain specific parts that are difficult to locate. The spare parts often find unavailability due to shortage, which hinders the growth in the global market.
Key Market Driver -
Growing concerns regarding food spoilage is driving the growth of smart refrigerators.
Key Market Restraint -
High maintenance and repair cost involved with smart refrigerators are hindering the growth opportunities in the markets and acts as a restraint.
Samsung Electronics, L.G Electronics Inc., Panasonic Corporation, Haier, Whirlpool, Siemens AG, Hisense Co Ltd., Electrolux, G.E. Appliances, Bosch Group, AB Electrolux are prominent players functioning the market.
The global smart refrigerator market is segmented based on door type, end-user, distribution channel, and geography.
Based on door type, the market is segmented into the side-by-side door, single door, french door, and others. The French door category is expected to hold a dominant share during the forecast period. It allows proper segregation of food items and provides convenience to the users by avoiding food spoilage. These refrigerators are a bit larger than the regular ones, including the single-door and side-by-side door refrigerators. The French door fridges maximize the storage with three separate compartments, and users can stock several food items for use. These fridges are gaining popularity among consumers because of their impressive capacity to stock up multiple food items and their ability to retain freshness and flavors in food items such as meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, and beverages.
Based on end-user, the market is segmented into residential and commercial. The residential sector is estimated to witness considerable growth in the upcoming years due to the increasing demand for smart home appliances and a growing number of smart homes. Smart refrigerators can operate from remote locations and have a vacation mode feature to ensure minimum usage of electricity. Also, it can be connected with a variety of other smart devices for ease and convenience to the user. The growing awareness regarding health and safety demands increasing adoption of smart home appliances, including smart refrigerators, which is expected to bolster sustainable growth opportunities in the market growth. Smart fridges make it convenient for the user to efficiently shop groceries and only spend money on groceries needed, thereby catering to a wider consumer base.
Based on distribution channels, the market is segmented offline and online. The offline channel is projected to foresee significant growth in the forthcoming period. Most consumers prefer buying electronic items from physical stores such as specialty stores and supermarkets since consumers can instantly purchase as and when needed. Also, numerous varieties, discount offers, and in-store demonstrations on products by salespersons boost customers' engagement for purchase. Free installation and repair services are provided to the customer, enabling a higher demand towards offline retails.
By geography, the global smart home appliances market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and the Middle East & Africa.
The North American region is expected to hold a major share globally during the forecast period 2021 to 2028. Tech-savvy users inclined towards advanced innovation have led to increasing old kitchens to newly modernized kitchens, which positively impacts market growth. The growing number of families across households has raised the demand for smart appliances, including smart refrigerators for convenience, efficiency, and time-saving. A study published by Berg Insights on 'Smart Homes' found out that the North American market recorded strong growth in 2019. An estimated 19.1 million were multifunctioning devices during the study, whereas around 153 million were point solutions designed for one specific function.
The Asian Pacific region is anticipated to grow considerably in the global market due to the growing number of health-conscious individuals and increasing standard of living among the population. Moreover, Asia Pacific is also characterized by key players such as Samsung, L.G., Haier group, Xiaomi offering new products to domestic customers as per their specific needs. For instance, in April 2019, Samsung launched a new product line of smart refrigerators, 'Space Max' Series Side-by-Side refrigerator in India, which is energy efficient and provides more space to store food. Moreover, pharmaceutical and food and beverage industries have a high demand for delivering fresh products to their consumers. The pharmaceutical industry demands highly reliable and precise refrigeration technologies to store sensitive products, such as medicines, insulin, and vaccines.
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