Thursday, December 26, 2013

Bimby, chance of meatballs

Portugal's feeding itself better and cheaper thanks to German technology, says the WSJ's Patricia Kowsmann;
Bimby, a German-made cooking robot, has become an obsession in Western Europe's poorest country by promising to make cooking cheap and easy.
Bimby looks like a food-processor with a stainless-steel container and a steaming unit that weighs ingredients, chops, grates, blends, beats, mixes and cooks, all under the control of a timer that lets the cook step away from the kitchen until the food is ready.
....Vorwerk & Co., Bimby's manufacturer, has reported record sales in Portugal in each of the past three years, despite a $1,327 price that is nearly twice the monthly minimum wage. Last year the Portuguese bought more than 35,000 Bimbys, compared with 22,000 iPads priced above $700. According to Vorwerk's forecasts, 8% of the country's 3.7 million households will own a Bimby by the end of 2014.
Though apparently it will be zero percent of American homes, since, for some reason the nifty machine isn't sold here. Unless some economists notice it;
Erica Arimathea, an economist who quit her job a year ago to sell Bimbys full time, said men are equality enchanted with the robot. "Some are so obsessed they don't let their wives touch the machines," she said. "It's like a toy."
...."A Bimby basically pays for itself, and after that provides substantial savings that in this day and age are essential," said Ms. Arimathea, who at the end of her demonstrations sits down with her clients to discuss payment options. Ms. Arimathea said she had sold 94 Bimbys in 173 demonstrations.
Actually, she said, selling isn't quite what she does. "You don't buy a Bimby, you enter into a relationship with one," she said. 
Pace Sally Field in Punchline, is that something you ought to do with only a one year warranty.

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