This global market assessment has shown that there are considerable opportunities for eCook in its various forms, in a great many countries. The viability scores vary according to the convergence of the different factors, and no single country presents the ideal market conditions for eCook across all sectors of its society. Instead, each country has its own unique market dynamics and understanding these is absolutely vital in order to tailor prototype designs and marketing strategies to that particular context.
We recently published our eCook Global Market Assessment. Find the report HERE
Since this study has been based on national statistics of varying quality, the next step should be to undertake deeper in-country work in a number of promising countries. The choice of countries is based on the data described above, plus takes into consideration the existing and possible in-country partners, and whether the countries represents a wider cluster of countries. For example, understanding the Zambian market is likely to shed light on the dynamics of other countries with a significant number of charcoal users looking to foster an emerging electric cooking market based on cheap grid electricity.
In particular, three countries stand out and have been selected for further study:
- In Zambia over 10% of the population already cook on electricity and recent load-shedding caused a significant number of these users to revert back to charcoal, rapidly accelerating deforestation.
- The liberalisation of Myanmar opens the door to a significant charcoal market, with a small percentage of users already cooking on electricity, paving the way for eCook.
- Tanzania has a strong SHS industry and is one of the world’s biggest charcoal markets, creating several global deforestation hotspots.
At the time of writing, detailed in-country research is already underway to explore the markets for eCook in these 3 countries. This study enabled the research team to determine which countries to focus on, however as a desk-based study, many assumptions were made due to the limited data available. In particular, this in-country work aims to gain much greater insight into culturally distinct cooking practices and explore how compatible they are with battery-supported electric cooking. To achieve this, the programme of research includes the following key methodologies:
- Cooking diaries – asking households to record exactly what they cook, when and how for 6 weeks.
- Choice modeling surveys – asking potential future eCook users which design features they would value most in a future eCook device.
- Focus groups – offering a deeper qualitative exploration of how people currently cook, how they would like to cook in the future and the compatibility of these cooking practices with the strengths and weaknesses of cooking on battery-supported electrical appliances.
- Techno-economic modeling – refining Leach & Oduro’s (2015) model and adapting it to reflect the unique market conditions in each national context.
- Prototyping – using the data from the above methodologies to shape the next generation of eCook prototypes in a participatory design process involving local entrepreneurs and future end users of eCook devices.
- Stakeholder engagement – bringing together key policy, the private sector, NGO, research and community actors to explore the opportunities and challenges that await eCook in each unique national context