Kroger made a stress-reducing smart apron for the holidays

The 'Holiday Apron' is packed with a heart rate monitor, aromatherapy vents and plenty of other intelligent tech

Published On
Dec 08, 2022

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For many, the holidays are a time of joy and togetherness that offer a much-needed reprieve from winter stress. But that may not always be the case if you are the (un)lucky person tasked with cooking a multi-course holiday meal for your entire family.

But fear not, at-home chefs who’ve historically had nothing but a dull cloth apron to calm your nerves. Grocery giant Kroger has engineered a kitchen gadget just for you: the Holiday Apron, “a first-of-its kind prototype and technological marvel” that uses built-in smart features to soothe even the worst cooking anxiety, the company says.

Developed by ad agency DDB New York in partnership with designers Diego Montoya and Ricky Reinoso as well as Brooklyn-based creative studio Smooth Technology, the denim apron—which happens to be the first-ever piece of wearable tech from Kroger—is designed to harness all five human senses in the name of reducing stress.

For sound, the Holiday Apron will play a relaxing Christmas song or even tell a joke if it intelligently detects an increase in volume in any given room. For smell, it’ll periodically emit a gingerbread scent in the name of aromatherapy. And for touch, it comes with “massage-o-matic” vibrators embedded in the neck straps that will give the wearer a gentle shoulder rub on command.

All the features noted of the Kroger Holiday Apron

For sight, the apron will switch on its “feelings notifier,” a built-in LED panel that displays messages like “cook needs a break,” if it notices that the user’s body movements, internal temperature or heart rate are deviating from normal. And for taste, its “kitchen mishap detector” can somehow sense burnt or otherwise imperfect dishes and send the cook in question a $50 gift card code to buy a replacement meal from Kroger.

While the Holiday Apron won’t be made available for purchase by the general public, a handful of prototypes have been dispatched to influencers to showcase on their various digital channels. Kroger will also roll out a couple of short-form videos to promote the wearable kitchen companion.

Earlier this fall, the Ohio-based grocer launched a wider holiday campaign centered on a “magical cookbook,” with that effort also handled by the DDB New York team. Though unlike Kroger's new real-world Holiday Apron, its memory-restoring book of recipes in the animated spot is strictly fantasy.


Dec 08, 2022
Client :
Agency :
DDB-New York
President :
Darla Price
Chief Creative Officer :
Mat Bisher
Executive Creative Director :
Paulo Junger
Executive Creative Director :
Jeff Anderson
Group Creative Director :
Cassandra Anderson
Creative Director :
Jesse Yowell
Creative Director :
Scott Kaplan
Group Director Experience :
Melissa Hochman
Head of Innovation and Experience :
Christine Lane
Head of Production :
Teri Altman
Group Executive Producer :
Rock Darlington
Senior Producer :
Elizabeth Stebner
Director of Business Affairs :
Kelly McCann
Executive Director Business Leadership :
Alan Perlman
Group Business Director :
Natascha Vega
Account Supervisor :
Alex Porter
Account Executive :
Olivia Jacobson
Head of Communications Strategy :
Michael Goldstein
Group Strategy Director :
Baxter Holland
Head of Operations :
Amanda Maniscalco
Senior Project Manager :
Camille Coklow
Apron Fabrication :
Smooth Technology
Apron Design :
Diego Montoya
Apron Design :
Ricky Reynoso
Director :
Thomas Schauer
Senior Designer :
João Rios
Editorial/Finishing :
Uppercut Editorial
Editor :
George Dodsworth
Audio Post :
Sonic Union
Audio Engineer :
Mike Marinelli
Producer :
Carolyn Mandlavitz

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