Here at Parecon, we wanted to start doing more case studies on the impact of partipatory economics on more niche markets. For our first case study, we’re going to talk about the supply and demand of the sous vide market.
For those of you that don’t know, sous vide is one of the hottest trends in the cooking world. Why? Because it’s impossible to mess up your cooking when using sous vide.
This has led to an increased amount of manufacturers entering the market with their newest sous vide immersion circulators and standalone water baths. In fact, it’s estimated that 20 new manufacturers are entering the space each and every year.
What does this mean for the buyer?
Well, it means that there is going to be a price war going on between suppliers. Consumers are going to benefit from the increased supplier competition, which should drive prices to be lower. Also, with increased competition comes increased innovation. Companies are going to need to spend more and more time developing their products and supporting product features.
This is why some of the latest sous vide manufactures are coming out with mobile applications and WiFi connectivity.
How has the market reacted?
The market has reacted quite favorably towards the increased competition. As we expected, prices have gone down and innovation has gone up.
There have also been several other players entering the sous vide market, but not by means of a physical product. Starbucks released their sous vide egg bites (find the Starbucks sous vide egg bites recipe here) back in January 2017 to much success. As a result, other food retailers have begun similar offerings.
Commercial sous vide manufacturers and reviewers, like the Sous Vide Wizard, have been reaping the benefit of this increased demand.
Elastic or Inelastic?
Demand for the best sous vide machines has been relatively inelastic given any price changes in the market. The price changes haven’t been all that substantial, and it was to be expected that prices would drop as the technology continued to further advance.
We’re going to keep updating this sous vide market case study in the future. Innovation will continue to evolve as more and more manufacturers enter the market.