An electric rice cooker is designed to cook short, medium or long grain rice with little or no intervention from the cook. These electronic appliances come in range of capacities and prices as well as various features for cooking rice. Electric rice cooker market is to witness a significant growth over the forecast period owing to growing rice consumption in the least developed African countries such as Niger, Tanzania and Nigeria as individuals are moving away from cassava and tubers to rice with rising income.
Electric rice cookers save lot of time in cooking long grain rice that consumes a lot of time to cook on stovetop. It helps in removing guesswork associated with cooking rice and incorporates cooking technologies that include weight with moisture content to cook good rice. It cooks rice without the fear of sticking or burning it while cooking. It does not require draining out the excess water as in case of cooking on stovetop that helps retain the nutritional content of the rice. Moreover, most of the rice-cookers model are affordable. The aforementioned points are to drive the market growth over the forecast period.
Many cooker models nowadays are multi-cooker models. These models give feature of cooking meat and veggies, or steaming veggies above the rice, which enhances the rice flavor while keeping intact all the nutrients in the rice. Some pot-style rice cookers give the option of baking that allows baking a mini-cake. Rice cookers give timing option for all kinds of rice. Its programmable feature help delay the start of a rice cooker and lets one know how long it will take to cook rice. A keep warm option allows rice to be warm for 20 minutes to 12 hours depending on the model. Many of the rice cookers comes with measuring cup for the rice and measuring line on the bowl indicating how much water one needs to add. The ability of electric rice cookers to perform multi functions is to accelerate the market growth over the forecast period.
However, declining rice consumption in a majority of Asian countries with rising income as people are diversifying their diet is to hamper the market growth over the forecast period. Moreover, rice cooker consumes a lot a space in a kitchen for just one task. People with small kitchen do not prefer rice cookers generally. Large cookers cook single servings of rice less well than they do for large batches. Cleaning rice cooker is a difficult task. These things about a rice cooker can pose challenge to this market. Furthermore, providing more features to a rice cooker that can cook other things well along with rice is provides opportunity to this market.
The market can be segmented on the basis of capacity, bowl quality, cooking logic and heating method. Capacity indicates the volume of rice that can be cooked in one cycle. Common sizes of rice cooker include 5.5 cups and 10 cups. Bowl quality includes aluminum and stainless steel bowl. Bowls of entry-level models are made up of aluminum. Aluminum heats quickly and unevenly. Stainless steel bowls are available in higher end models. Stainless steel provides a more even heat. Also, nearly all bowls have non-stick coating of varying quality. Cooking logic depends on the model of rice cookers. Higher end electric rice cookers have additional function other than cooking simple rice. These models presets for multiple varieties of rice, schedules cooking, have keep warm functionality and digital displays. On the basis of heating method, the rice cookers use simple-coiled electric heating and induction heating. Most rice cooker manufacturers use simple coiled electric heating element that leaves rice overcooked or burnt. Higher end manufacturers use induction heating that heats much more evenly and is far less likely to burn rice.
The Asia-Pacific region especially China dominates the market currently owing to the largest consumption of rice in the region. However, this trend is likely to decline owing to the significant declining level of rice consumption in the last four decades by most of the Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan. In other developing nations including Indonesia, Vietnam and India per capita consumption has also started to decline but at a slower pace. The Middle-Eastern region is anticipated to dominate the market on account of rice consumption almost doubling in the recent years along with their disposable income.
Key players in this market are Toshiba Corporation, TTK Prestige Limited, Panasonic Inc., Bajaj Electricals Ltd., Pigeon Corporation, Zojirushi America Corporation, Black+Decker Inc., Cusinart, Tiger Corporation, Sunbeam Products Inc. and Aroma Housewares Company. These companies are introducing new products for increasing their market share.
In January 2016, Zojirushi America Corporation introduced enhanced rice cooker model NP-HCC10 that is induction heated.
Research Support Specialist, USA