…As demand for customised kitchens drive growth
By Princewill Ekwujuru
Microwave oven producers have upgraded their products with technological enhancements in a bid to improve customer experience and increase their market share. Meanwhile increasing desire for customised kitchens and population growth have triggered upsurge in demand for microwave ovens in the country.
The competition for market share among producers is reflected in increased focus on multiple features and aesthetic appeal of microwave ovens, colour and integration of smart connectivity and Internet of Things, IoT.
Other enhancements include Auto cooking programs, multi cooking functions, cooking end signal, child safety lock and defrost by weight and time.
Others are metal grill rack plus glass turntable, stainless steel interior/window glass frontal panel, stainless steel control panel, front exterior and door release button.
These factors have led to deployment of various types of technological enhancements by microwave oven manufacturers aimed at improving consumer experience.
The other enhancements include features as varying degrees of cooking power, using higher wattage (capacity) to get the job done.
The major contenders for the market are Sharp, General Electrics, Whirpool, Panasonic, Midea, Samsung, Hair Thermocool, LG, Bosch, Frigidaire, Kenmore, Electrolux and others.
Vanguard Companies and markets, C&M, findings show a growing demand for microwave ovens driven by increased population of consumers who have the penchant for cooking and reheating their food, especially those who come back from work late, tired, and do not want their food warmed on the regular cooking gas.
The need to satisfy the growing demand informed the production of varying types and sizes, each designed to best suit a customers’ specific cooking needs. Some are designed to go over a range of cook top, while some are counter top models that can be a tight fit in a crowded kitchen with little counter space available.
Findings by C&M reveal that there are varying types of microwave ovens:
Countertop-This is the table top type. It is easy to install. It occupies counter space. The stainless finish is common, and is becoming available in more models. Some countertop microwaves can be built in with a kit.
Known as OTRs, this model is not counter space consuming. Installation requires an electrician. This model is designed only to be built in, surrounded by cabinetry or built-into a wall.
C&M findings also revealed that the microwave oven market is segmentation into two categories based on technology, namely microwave ovens with smart connectivity and those without smart connectivity.
Until recently, the market comprised of only non smart ovens. But competition for market share led producers to develop and introduced smart ovens, which can be linked to the internet.
Microwave like other home appliances have their peculiar challenges in spite of the technological innovations.
Discovery by C&M showed that one reason microwaves have a bad reputation is their penchant for cooking and reheating food unevenly, with some parts of a dish noticeably better heated than others.
However, C&M noted that this is not entirely the fault of the microwaves – some foods absorb heat more rapidly than others.
Majority of the consumers confirmed to C&M that they preferred LG, Samsung, Whirpool and Panasonic, due to ease of operation.
C&M discovered that microwave brands offer varying degrees of cooking power. Some models can cook food faster, using higher capacity to get the job done. Others might take a bit longer, but they also work well.
Responding to C&M enquiries on the most preferred microwave brand, a consumer, Andrew Ikpe, said: “That is subjective, and often based on a consumer’s past experiences with a specific brand. A vast majority of the most recognizable microwave brand names are currently in the market.”
Another consumer, Ephraim Ajomiwe on his part said, “several microwave ovens give that desired result, whether from built-in microwave model brands to over the range and counter top models, this list includes those microwave brands that consumers might wish to learn more about, including full sized microwave brands and more compact models.”
A Senior Technician for home appliances at Techlogic, George Ugbede, a service company in Alaba International market, Ojo, Lagos, said: “Different types of residential regular microwave ovens are great, whether OTR, built-in or countertop microwave ovens.
For bigger and wider kitchens, countertops are best suitable. The penetration of countertop microwave ovens are high due to their low price, and is expected to drive the market. “
However, “Most of the microwaves get faulty depending on the usage and how careful the user is.”