By Gary M. Kaye, Chief Content Officer
The consumer technology industry is largely framed by two events: the IFA show in Berlin at the end of the summer, and then the even larger CES show in Las Vegas right after New Year’s Day. At IFA, I was struck by the amazing number of home appliances from European makers destined never to make it into the US market. These gadgets, from countertop appliances to refrigerators and washing machines, often show off more colorful designs, different form factors, and better industrial design than their American counterparts. There are a number of reasons for this. US homes are generally larger than their European counterparts. Europe runs on different electrical standards, it’s costly to either ship goods to the US or make them here, and it’s just plain daunting to enter the huge US marketplace. That being said, one American company is boldly going where no small appliance maker has gone before. At next month’s CES, Brooklyn-based Gourmia is challenging conventional wisdom by launching a line of 40 appliances aimed at your kitchen countertop. The diverse lineup is impressive, including juicers, pressure cookers, Sous Vide cookers, air fryers, ice makers, induction cookers, and slicers and dicers. Pricing is pretty reasonable, and the items have been selling like hotcakes on Amazon.com.
As examples, here are descriptions of three of their items:
Gourmia GTA2500 Turbo Cooker – This is a versatile air fryer that will let you cook many of your favorite fried foods without the traditional calorie-boosting oil. It does look a bit like the original R2D2 droid from Star Wars, but that’s where the similarity ends. Air fryers have become increasingly popular as a means of healthy cooking. The Gourmia GTA2500 is available from Amazon for $170.
Gourmia GSV130 Sous Vide Pod Cooker – Thanks to televised cooking shows like Top Chef, the French style of Sous Vide cooking has been jumping in popularity. The system involves putting food into vacuum sealed bags and then immersing them in a carefully temperature controlled water bath. Until now, most of these cookers have been expensive, often running from $500 to $900. Gourmia’s pod Sous Vide does what the big guys do for a fraction of the price, just about $100 from Amazon.com. We’ve tried a number of Sous Video recipes and find they come out perfectly cooked, with all the flavor sealed in to meat, fish, and even veggies. You can see how this works here.
Gourmia GMS100 Power Dicer Plus – I do much of the cooking around our house, and love to use onions in lots of recipes. But I really hate cutting them up. This electric Power Dicer makes chopping up onions, peppers, carrots, potatoes, or anything else a real breeze. It’s available from Amazon for $60.
Gourmia is backed in large part by Fesco Distributors, a major appliance and electronics distributor. Gourmia’s founders have a long history in the appliance industry and say they have gone to great lengths to get Chinese factories to work under their direct supervision to create products with premium components such as metal instead of plastic gears, but still at a mid-market price. You can expect to see hands-on reviews of many of the Gourmia products at Tech50+ in the coming months.