While it’s important to recognize the differences of these groups when building and designing homes, it’s equally as crucial to explore what they have in common. According to a report by RICKI3, more than half of all four generations have indicated that they “love to cook and try new recipes.” However, the way they prefer to spend time in the kitchen differs for each generation.
When it comes to cooking and kitchen needs, here’s what appeals most to these four demographic groups:
Gen Z: Technology
Gen Z grew up with smartphones, so it only makes sense that they would expect4 technology in the kitchen. Multi-cookers, smart appliances and air fryers are among some of the most appealing5 kitchen products for this generation. The KitchenAidⓇ Digital Countertop Oven With Air Fry, for instance, allows users to make everything from french fries to delicate fish.
Additionally, Gen Z wants to have the bulk of the work completed6 for them, making appliances such as the KitchenAidⓇ SmartOven+ 30” Combination Oven extremely attractive. The oven offers mobile app connectivity, allowing users to remotely monitor and control the oven. The app suggests when it's time to tend the food, or cooks can enter their own cooking instructions and save them for next time. Plus, the Recipe Guide mode for Powered Attachments gives step-by-step tutorials to prepare introductory recipes using each attachment.
Low-maintenance7 is important for the millennial generation. According to a report by Nationwide Mortgage, 48% of millennials8 would rather buy new construction instead of spending the money on a home that would require lots of time and money put into it. Appliances such as glass cooktops that are easy to wipe clean after use, durable, luxury vinyl tile floors and quartz countertops, which are resistant to stains and scratches, may all be desirable to this group of home buyers.
Millennials will also be looking for Energy Star-rated appliances9, as they value sustainability and are always looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. The WhirlpoolⓇ 36-Inch Wide Counter Depth 4 Door Refrigerator is Energy Star certified, and is fingerprint resistant for an easy-to-clean exterior.
Gen X: High-Quality Appliances
Most Gen Xers tend to be more financially secure than their younger counterparts, which means they’re more willing to spend money on high-quality, luxury appliances10. The NOIR™ 48" Dual-Fuel Professional Range with Chrome-Infused Griddle, for example, offers a luxury aesthetic while still providing function to help Gen Xers cook their favorite recipes. Two stacked, symmetrical flames offer total control over heat levels, ranging from high-heat searing and wok cooking to low, slow simmer and melt.
Baby Boomers: Entertaining
Baby boomers are more likely to downsize12 than other generations. However, they still want a space they can use to entertain friends and family, so compact, high-quality appliances that provide the function of a full kitchen would be a plus. For instance, the WhirlpoolⓇ 24” Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator offers flexible storage space for food and drinks, while the WhirlpoolⓇ Small-Space Compact Dishwasher with Stainless Steel Tub fits eight place settings to make clean up easy after entertaining. Also, the more opportunities for storage in the kitchen, the better, such as an island with spacious drawers or built-in shelving.