Refrigerator Survey Provides Food For Thought

Refrigerator Survey Provides Food For Thought

NEWTON, IA It's one of the most-used items in a household yet, beyond keeping orange juice cold, how do Americans really use their refrigerators? Do they actually use the crisper compartments for vegetables? And just how many people use in-door water dispensers instead of filling up at their kitchen sink?

These were just some of the questions in mind when Amana officials conducted a nationwide survey aimed at understanding refrigerator usage. The Newton, IA-based appliance manufacturer recently released the results of the survey, which revealed that refrigerators are not just for food storage any more.

In fact, while most people do use their refrigerator for food storage, a surprisingly large number of surveyed Americans said they also use the appliance as a message center to communicate with their family.

"A significant number of people, 34% of those surveyed, use the outside of Amana refrigerators to communicate important information to the rest of the family," said Amana brand manager Janel Dufek. "[In addition], more than half of those questioned responded that they regularly keep written notes and calendars on the outside of the refrigerator simply to keep track of [family members'] busy schedules."

Among the other significant findings of the Amana survey were as follows:

Batteries, medication and film are the most common non-food items stored inside refrigerators.
85% of those surveyed report storing foods in the compartments designated by the manufacturer.
7% of the survey respondents say that they keep items such as cereal boxes on top of the refrigerator.
72% of the people polled reported not having a water dispenser on their refrigerator.

Water dispensers that are too small to fill larger or odd-shaped containers are the greatest source of inconvenience to those surveyed.
Dispensers that didn't filter the water, or ones that dribbled water down the front of the refrigerator, were also common complaints among those surveyed.

Dufek said that Amana officials see a growing trend toward refrigerators that feature improved water dispensers. Officials also reported seeing a move toward electronic systems that feature a built-in voice recording function, allowing household members to record important messages and eliminate the hassle and clutter of written notes.