Electrolux used the EuroCucina exhibition in Milan to reinforce its focus on sustainability and the core of its message was a concept called – Gro.
Gro – Swedish for Sprout – is a future appliance concept aimed at reinventing the kitchen and enabling people to enjoy food in a way that’s sustainable for health and the planet.
The Gro appliance concept features a collection of modular solutions powered by advanced sensors and AI, based on behavioural science and the planetary health diet from the EAT-Lancet report – the first full scientific review of what constitutes a healthy diet from a sustainable food system, and which actions can support and speed up food system transformation.
“Electrolux has set the ambition to make healthy and sustainable eating the preferred choice by 2030, and Gro is our testament to that. By challenging conventional thinking of what a kitchen is, we have rethought everything from the start – aiming to help change behaviours by making planet-friendly eating effortless and enjoyable through ground-breaking design,” Electrolux Innovation Hub head, Tove Chevalley said.
According to Chevalley, food is not only the single most critical factor in human health; the current food system has also severely damaged the climate and our ecosystems. She believes that how we eat, cook, and shop needs to be transformed to sustain our planet.
“The Gro concept is entirely built on data and behavioural science, which has been the foundation for every design decision and product feature within the kitchen system. It’s also about exploring how kitchen products can contribute to eating more sustainably. Inspired by experts, chefs, early adopters and thousands of consumers, Gro empowers people to act on key recommendations in the renowned EAT-Lancet report, designed to support people’s personal needs to move towards a more sustainable diet.”
One of the critical components of the Gro concept was treating meat like ‘jewellery’. With this in mind, expensive and luxurious meat would be consumed in small amounts and located in its own ‘jewellery box’ storage solution which would also encourage people to explore new and diverse sources of protein.
There is also a global trend in the plant-forward world of reinventing new dishes by mixing techniques and flavors to enhance the taste experience. Specific techniques previously used to prepare meat dishes are now part of the plant-forward world. Gro’s ‘nordic smoker’ enables people to smoke their ingredients at home, inspiring them to combine different flavours.
The concept’s digital platform will help to visualize the user’s eating habits and planetary impact, providing personal goal setting, guidance, and progress measurement over time. For example, tips on recipes, local produce and sustainable ingredients based on personalized taste, nutritional needs and what is in the fridge, is also a service that GRO can provide.
The insights from Gro form the basis for Electrolux product development with the aim that future products will be even better at supporting more sustainable living.
“Gro is our vision of what a kitchen could look like. A vision that will inspire and guide our company’s innovations going forward, whilst pushing us forward to meet our sustainability goals,” Chevalley adds.
“The way we currently produce food to feed the planet is tragically at the expense of the planet itself. Research shows, one important action we can take to change this is to dramatically reduce consumption of animal source foods in places where they are currently over-consumed. This will help ensure enough healthy food can be produced for every person on the planet without destroying it. Food must be elevated as a key solution by anyone serious about tackling climate change and restoring nature,” WWF global food lead scientist, Brent Loken said. Previously, Loken worked for EAT, where he was a lead author on the EAT-Lancet report.