Would Kroger’s smart apron calm your holiday cooking anxieties?

Discussion
Photo: Little Black Book/Kroger
Dec 20, 2022

Marking its first-ever wearable-tech product, Kroger has developed a smart Holiday Apron that taps all five human senses to reduce the stress of holiday cooking. The apron supports an influencer-led marketing campaign.

“Ahh, the holidays. That magical time of the year we spend making memories with loved ones,” a voiceover states in a video posted online at Little Black Book by DDB NY, Kroger’s advertising agency. “But if you’re in charge of the holiday meal trying to make it perfect, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.”

The ad says the apron is designed with smart technology “to alleviate stress in the kitchen” with features linked to the five senses:

  • Feelings Notifier (sight): Sensors on the apron can measure the apron wearer’s body temperature, heartbeat and body movements and link to a digital display system woven into the fabric to project messages such as “cook needs a break” when readings are deviating from normal.
  • Kitchen Calmer (sound): When the apron detects an increase in volume in the room, a speaker plays Christmas music to relax the mood or a joke to break the tension.
  • Aroma Therapy (smell): The apron will periodically release a Gingerbread scent to evoke nostalgia and likewise calm nerves.
  • Massage-O-Matic (touch): Special straps with mini-vibrators give the apron wearer a gentle shoulder massage on command.
  • Kitchen Mishap Detector (taste): The apron somehow detects when a meal fails and automatically sends a $50 gift card code to purchase a replacement meal from Kroger.

The video ends encouraging viewers to visit kroger.com/madewithlove and “see how to make the holidays more memorable.” The domain currently takes visitors to Kroger’s family recipes section that features holiday recipes.

Apron prototypes are being sent to influencers to showcase on their digital channels. The campaign will also include a short form video and customized website. The apron will not be available for purchase by the general public.

A survey of U.S. consumers last holiday from butter maker Kerrygold found 89 percent saying that making holiday meals are stressful and more so than holiday decorating, sending out cards or getting their child to sit on Santa’s lap for a photo.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of Kroger’s Holiday Apron and the campaign’s influencer focus and holiday-cooking-stress theme? Would such an item make sense as a novelty or practical holiday gift?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"Yes, this is a novelty item. Yes this will sell out. Yes, I would buy it just for having a blast wearing it around the Christmas party."
"This sounds like the ultimate first-world problems Christmas gift. It’ll probably sell out."
"My first question would be: what does this cost?"

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11 Comments on "Would Kroger’s smart apron calm your holiday cooking anxieties?"


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Dr. Stephen Needel
BrainTrust

We used to use bourbon for the same purpose. Honestly, wouldn’t you be worried if someone was wearing this and they were in charge of cooking your meal?

Cathy Hotka
BrainTrust

This sounds like the ultimate first-world problems Christmas gift. It’ll probably sell out.

Richard Hernandez
BrainTrust

My first question would be: what does this cost? This is a lot of technology in a wearable item. And why do I need an apron to tell me when I burned the carrots and to let everyone else know as well?

David Naumann
BrainTrust

It doesn’t look like the apron is available for sale yet, as it is a first-of-its-kind prototype. It may never be a salable item and, if it ever is, it would likely be overpriced. However it is an interesting concept for the person who has everything and wants a conversation piece over the holidays. It would give the person cooking the meals more attention for their efforts.

Neil Saunders
BrainTrust

Quite honestly, it sounds like an enormous waste of money! An interesting but somewhat ridiculous product!

Ananda Chakravarty
BrainTrust

Awesome marketing gadget. Even a few of these around will offer amazing stories. Practical or not, I’d buy one just for the holiday music. The display about “the cook needs a break” is fantastic. Yes, this is a novelty item. Yes this will sell out. Yes, I would buy it just for having a blast wearing it around the Christmas party.

Gary Sankary
BrainTrust

As the chief cook of the holiday meals, I don’t need a holiday apron — what I would find more useful is holiday-themed shock collars for my family to wear to help me keep them out of the kitchen, fridge, and oven. It could also be used to reinforce bad behaviors like ignoring the dishes until the cook gets sick of looking at them and cleans them anyway — OK, time to reach for the calming tea.

Ryan Mathews
BrainTrust

Well — I hate “holiday music,” am not overly fond of the smell of gingerbread, and anyone who has been around me when I’m cooking knows they don’t need an apron to gauge my mental state — but, I’m sure they’ll sell out. I think of these as the haptic answer to the ugly Christmas sweater. Funny once, but not likely to be sported after the holidays. As gimmicky as it seems today, some form of interwoven worn technologies will, one day, be the norm. This kind of technology has the potential to save lives, lots and lots of lives. But for now, cheers to Kroger for seizing the day. Let me know when they have an apron that plays jazz.

Ken Lonyai
BrainTrust

Obviously nothing more than a cool marketing strategy to get social media buzz. I like it!

Mark Self
BrainTrust

This is stupid. That is what I think. If someone is anxious, they are anxious. Play some spa music or something — wearing an apron? Come on.

C Davis
Guest
1 month 10 days ago

Sounds like a Christmas time “April Fools” joke like bacon-flavored Scope or RedBox DVD shaped deli meat.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Yes, this is a novelty item. Yes this will sell out. Yes, I would buy it just for having a blast wearing it around the Christmas party."
"This sounds like the ultimate first-world problems Christmas gift. It’ll probably sell out."
"My first question would be: what does this cost?"

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