Grohe's Lewis Neathey: How consumer attitudes are changing sink design

InsightFeatures Fri 7th Jun 2024 by KBBFocus

Grohe's Lewis Neathey: How consumer attitudes are changing sink design

Grohe's Lewis Neathey: How consumer attitudes are changing sink design

Lewis Neathey, leader, product management UK, Grohe, Lixil EMENA, explores evolving consumer preferences, and how they are creating a profound shift in the realm of kitchen sink design.

The traditional way in which we view and utilise our kitchens has undergone a real transformation in recent years, driven by numerous societal factors. Notably, the shift towards hybrid working models has significantly altered our lifestyles, compelling us to demand and seek greater functionality and versatility from every room in our homes. Kitchens, once primarily associated with food preparation, are now expected to fulfil a broader range of functions, including hosting, socialising, relaxing, and working, as we strive to balance our professional responsibilities and domestic lives. Similarly to the spa bathroom trend, this evolution reflects a broader societal trend towards prioritising holistic wellbeing and adaptability within our living spaces.

Grohe Blue Pure in Phantom Black

With this shift in perception, humble fittings such as the kitchen tap, and sink are taking on a renewed sense of purpose, fast developing into ‘all-rounders’ due to the significant role they play in kitchen activities, and the fact that a wider array of modern, multifunctional designs are now available across the market. Arguably, many of us spend at least half of our time within the kitchen at the sink, making it unsurprising that technology has cast its eye upon this area to offer solutions that enhance user convenience and cater to renewed demands.

The Grohe Essence kitchen tap

Products such as multifunctional taps and workstation sinks, provide an elevated level of adaptability and efficiency in this area, accommodating diverse user needs, while also acting as standalone design elements within the kitchen. As consumers increasingly aspire and gravitate towards convenience enhancing products that streamline the kitchen, space and time saving fittings are now increasingly viewed as essential or aspirational ‘must-have’ additions to any modern kitchen space. In a 2024 UK Kitchen Trends Study by Houzz, 497 homeowners engaged in or planning kitchen renovations revealed significant upgrades. According to the survey, 89% upgraded their sinks, ranking as one of the top 3 upgraded features of 2024. However, the drive for such products is not merely aesthetic or functional.

Grohe Eurosmart single-lever basin mixer in Chrome with Grohe K700 composite sink

A recent YouGov study commissioned by Grohe, uncovered some striking statistics around consumer attitudes towards tap water in the UK. In the study, it was found that a significant 1 in 3 people in the UK are put off from drinking their local tap water due to worries around taste and chemical traces, meanwhile over 60% of participants stated they no longer purchased plastic water bottles in line with growing environmental concerns related to plastic waste and pollution.

Grohe's K700U Stainless Steel sink in Cool Sunrise

The findings of the study provide insight into just one of many reasons consumers are looking to overhaul their sink setups, as well as underscoring a dual motivation behind the changing preferences regarding tap water. On one hand, taste and quality concerns are driving individuals away from consuming tap water, prompting a re-evaluation of local water sources and filtration methods. On the other hand, the increasing awareness of environmental issues, particularly related to plastic pollution, is influencing consumer behaviour towards more sustainable alternatives to bottled water. This convergence of health and environmental considerations reflects a broader societal shift towards conscious consumption and sustainability practices. In turn, this is also influencing consumers to seek out more energy efficient or less resource intensive appliances, such as on-demand boiling taps in place of kettles, or filtered water systems such as the Grohe Blue Pure in place of single-use plastic.

Grohe's Start single-lever sink mixer

In conclusion, consumers' attitudes have evolved to seek the most out of these spaces, as they become more aware and fluent in the various technologies and offerings available across the market, leading to a redefined domestic sink set-up. What began as a discernible trend in consumer preferences has blossomed into a societal shift – one that prioritises health, environmental consciousness, and technological innovation, even in this small vignette of the home.

Tags: insight, features, grohe, lewis neathey, kitchen sinks

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