German household products manufacturer Vorwerk introduced its original multi-function Thermomix kitchen appliance—the VM 2200—in the 1970s. Smithsonian magazine takes a look at the machine’s modern iteration and its rising popularity among European consumers.
The Thermomix is a culinary workhorse, packing the capabilities of multiple kitchen appliances—from chopping and kneading to steaming and emulsifying—into one ergonomic design. The quick and versatile machine has gained a following in Europe—particularly in Italy, Spain and Portugal. Last year, Portuguese consumers bought more Thermomix machines than high-end iPad tablets.
Though Vorwerk representatives have marketed the Thermomix to U.S. consumers in the past, the company has not operated in the U.S. since 2004. In addition to several European markets, Thermomix has gained popularity following an unconventional entry into Australia, where product sales topped the $80 million mark in 2012.