A Recipe for Success

BSH invests in global food platform Kitchen Stories.

August 17th, 2018

BSH acquired a majority interest in the Berlin startup Kitchen Stories end of last year. Chairman of the Management Board at BSH Karsten Ottenberg joins Kitchen Stories founders Verena Hubertz and Mengting Gao in an interview to report how their new joint effort will look, and what consumers can expect.

Ms. Hubertz, just what is Kitchen Stories?

Kitchen Stories is a global food platform that offers users a digital cooking experience. What makes it special is not just its many recipes and kitchen tricks, but our high-quality recipe videos and step-by-step photo guides. They make following a recipe as easy as pie – true to our motto, “Anyone can cook.”

Mr. Ottenberg, the market has countless blogs and apps that have to do with eating and cooking. What drew your attention to Kitchen Stories in particular?
Kitchen Stories stood out from the crowd. It’s entirely dedicated to helping its users, offering them a unique, quality kitchen experience. The excellent design, intuitive user guidance, instructive videos, cooking tricks – everything is designed to add value for the consumer.

And can a hip little Berlin startup fit with a big corporation like BSH?
It’s an excellent fit. We were impressed right from the start with Verena Hubertz’s and Mengting Gao’s entrepreneurial style. In just four years, they’ve published their app in 150 countries, and they now have several million users. Both have a clear vision of how cooking should become a more and more enjoyable experience in the future, while at the same time getting simpler. We at BSH are also working on developing home appliances and solutions that fit into our digital world. By combining the knowledge and abilities of a startup like Kitchen Stories with our strength and experience, we’re already in a position today to offer consumers solutions that really fit with their world.

Ms. Gao, and for your part, why did you decide to accept BSH’s offer?
We have a clear goal in mind – to make Kitchen Stories the world’s leading platform in digital cooking experiences. To do that, we need a strong partner. BSH is a global, multi-brand corporation whose intelligent Home Connect platform has made it the leading home appliance manufacturer in the field of connectivity. That’s perfect for us.

Mr. Ottenberg, so how independent will Kitchen Stories still be in the context of this collaboration?
Kitchen Stories is a very well-known, successful global brand. Verena Hubertz and Mengting Gao are the central core that holds everything together and moves it forward. We have no wish to change that at BSH. We want to preserve the special environment of a startup, with all its advantages, and put all of it to work – its speed, its flexibility, and most of all its strong network within the scene. We want to support Kitchen Stories in developing high-quality new recipes and applications for consumers. And we want to work with Kitchen Stories to develop and offer additional services and products for all aspects of cooking in a connected world.

Ms. Hubertz, what specific advantages will users enjoy?
This investment will enable us to tap the connected kitchen market, and to help design the cooking of the future. We’ll develop solutions to help users in all aspects of the cooking process – from inspirations for recipes to added-value services. And we’ll be combining our own findings with those of BSH about what consumers want. That will enable us to reflect users’ expectations better, and to make Kitchen Stories even more attractive. Kitchen Stories will also soon be integrated into the Home Connect ecosystem, and will gradually be expanded with new applications. Another advantage for users.

Mr. Ottenberg, what does this acquisition of a majority interest mean for the future of BSH?
We’re seeing a big change in digital products for the home appliance industry these days. Consumers are no longer looking for just products or services – they want integrated, connected solutions that make their daily lives easier. That’s causing formerly separate industries to converge. As one of the world’s leading companies in the home appliance industry, we’re not just advancing innovations of this kind ourselves – we welcome ideas from outside. We carefully seek out appropriate partners and business models so we can offer consumers and users new experiences which match the high-level promise of our successful brands also in the connected kitchen. So the investment in Kitchen Stories is the logical next step in our growth strategy. Together we can develop new applications that offer consumers genuine added value in their digital world. That will help make BSH fit for the future, and ensure we stay competitive.

10 Questions for BSH and Kitchen Stories.

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