No longer a stale category, Panasonic is baking bread once more

By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: Versatility, creativity and experimentation are the three key principles underscoring Panasonic’s decision to reintroduce its Breakmaker appliance to the Australian market, according to product marketing manager Aki Yamamoto.

After a few years out of the breadmaker category, Panasonic decided to re-enter to fray shortly before Mother’s Day this year, with its new model, the SD-257, joining a category that grew by 14 per cent year-on-year up to 2009.

Although Panasonic pioneered this appliance, launching the first model in Japan in 1987, its inability to compete in the Australian forced Panasonic to take a hiatus from distribution. Consumer demand, and changes to economies of scale, however, has led to a rethink, with the new model performing “extremely well” since its introduction.

The SD-257, which is RRP $269, features a dedicated nut and raisin dispenser, diamond-fluoro coated bread pan and kneading blade, 10-minute power interruption protection, choice of three loaf sizes and three crust colours, and an included recipe guide featuring dozens of different breadmaking ideas.

The ability to experiment and create new loaf varieties is central to Panasonic’s push into this category. Yamamoto cited the incredible zeitgeist, cooking fascination, as an inspiration. In addition to MasterChef, the cult of celebrity chefs, such as Donna Hay, Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver persists. Panasonic believes this breadmaker can tap into the public’s desire for epicurean creativity, with this breadmaker supporting every type of ingredient from the traditional grains and fruit to chocolate, tarragon and parmesan.

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