KitchenAid unveils the Cook Processor, the latest challenge to Thermomix’s dominance

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This author is on Twitter: @Patrickavenell

KitchenAid Cook Processor in Candy Apple Red.

KitchenAid Cook Processor in Candy Apple Red.

Famous American brand KitchenAid has today unveiled its new Cook Processor benchtop appliance, the latest in a series of would-be Thermomix-killers looking to take share off the cultish appliance and, in turn, inject more value into the traditional retail category.

Available for RRP $1,999, the KitchenAid Cook Processor in an all-in-one wonder appliance that can boil, fry, steam, stew, knead, chop, mince, puree, mix, emulsify, whip and stir. What takes this appliance to the next level, putting it on par with the Thermomix and Tefal’s new Cuisine Companion, is the inclusion of an element for high temperatures and precise cooking, up to 140° Celsius, in 5° increments.

Included in the box are a 4.5-litre cooking bowl, StirAssist, MultiBlade, dough blade, mini-bowl, MiniBlade, upper steamer basket with lid, lower steamer basket, inner steamer basket, 100-millimetre measuring cup, spatula, cookbook and storage case.

As with all KitchenAid appliances, the Cook Processor retains the brand’s distinctive styling, which conflates industrial lines with vintage 1950s American aesthetics. The Cook Processor will be available at launch in Candy Apple Red and Medallion Silver, with Empire Red, Onyx Black, Almond Cream and Frosted Pearl colours becoming available in May. Stock is rolling out now to homewares and department stores.

“We have a team of engineers, chefs and designers who have worked for more than five years to create something of classic elegance and functionality that can inspire beautiful cooking experiences and exquisite food no matter the owners’ level of cooking skill. Simplicity, control and precision meets timeless KitchenAid design,” senior category manager Giorgio Baroffio told me.

The Cook Processor is accompanied by a free app for iOS and Android, as well as a website and recipe book packed full of step-by-step guides. In addition, KitchenAid is running an extensive demonstration program to entice customers and help customers sell this premium appliance. The local KitchenAid subsidiary, which was only recently converted from a sales agency, has confirmed to me that the Cook Processor will be sold by the traditional wholesale channel, unlike Thermomix (in-home party planning) and Tefal (pro forma).

Benchtop thermo cooking category leader Thermomix has enjoyed an almost unrivaled monopoly over the market since the product was brought to Australia in 2001. Manufactured by German company Vorkerk, Thermomix’s Perth-based Australian licencee Grace Mazur spent a decade working to get the wonder product to take off; having sold just 500 units in 2006. Fast forward to today and Thermomix says it has 200,000 Australian customers, a number bolstered by exponential growth in recent years. 22,687 models were sold in 2011 and 55,000 were sold in 2013. It is expected Thermomix will sell between 60,000 and 70,000 units this year, at around $2,000 per machine.

Thermomix has become such a cultural touchpoint that the Governor General requested one for his official residence and a recent YouTube parody video about the appliance has generated over 1.4 million views.

Insiders have told Appliance Retailer that the value of the thermo cooking category at retail is worth around $14.5 million annually and it is expected to grow dramatically over the coming years. One prediction has the category worth $290 million by 2019.

Additional reporting by Tess Bennett

This author is on Twitter: @Patrickavenell

Onyx Black: there is no doubt KitchenAid has some of the best names for its colour varieties.

Onyx Black: there is no doubt KitchenAid has some of the best names for its colour varieties.

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2 Responses to KitchenAid unveils the Cook Processor, the latest challenge to Thermomix’s dominance

  1. Matt Johnson Thu 7 May 2015 at 12:07 pm #

    Hi Patrick,
    Your numbers don’t add up. Even in 2011 when you indicated 22 thousand units were sold, the value of just the Thermomix portion of the industry must be around 44 million, at 2K a pop (far more than the 14.5 million you are suggesting for this year).
    Cheers,
    Matt

    • Patrick Avenell Thu 7 May 2015 at 12:21 pm #

      Hi Matt,

      Thanks for writing in. The $14.5 million figure is for retail sales of thermo cooking products. This doesn’t include any Thermomix sales, as that particular product is only sold person-to-person. I hope this clears up the confusion.

      Thanks

      Patrick Avenell
      Editor

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