Tech of the Week: the blender with a messiah complex

Most days, this column is a foray into the strange, exciting, and occasionally weird technologies being developed. Today is not one of those. Today, we’re exploring the NutriBullet – just because its press release is too good to pass up.

About three weeks ago, The Food Truck showed up at our St Luke offices, armed to the teeth with smoothies. The speed we rushed out and formed a queue was significantly faster than for our usual fire drills. OSH would have been impressed.

The Food Truck Garage created the contents of the smoothies using the NutriBullet as their instrument of choice. Calling itself a “nutrition extractor” and "this godsend of a kitchen appliance", the device “completely blitzes and blends any ingredients, to ensure you extract the highest degree of nutrition from your food!” Exclamation mark compulsory.

So it’s a blender. And a highly expensive one at that – a quick peek around TradeMe shows second-hand options running up to $100, while merchants offer them for about $160. Scary stuff. A cheap kitchen blender from Noel Leeming will set you back around $40.

At this point, it’s also important to remember that the NutriBullet has been around since at least 2012, although it is only officially coming to our shores now.

But why is it so expensive? Part of it, presumably, has something to do with the renewed boom in the fitness industry. Even while the public campaign for body acceptance is gaining momentum, plenty of people still desire a lean, muscular body. Heck, Magic Mike XXL has reeled in just under US$90m (NZ$136.9m) worldwide in box office takings, so Channing Tatum is doing something right with his body.

According to the press release, the NutriBullet “breaks down the cell walls of whole foods [and] the important vitamins and minerals are released so that you can absorb them and reap the health benefits”.

Which is true, sort of. The green smoothies fad is, according to experts, healthy on the whole, as long as the stuff you’re throwing into the mix is closely monitored. At the same time, people on a greenie craze still want to eat unblended food to get the full dose of healthy bits in their diet.

The NutriBullet is simple. There's an electric blender base with a number of attachments, and an upside-down plastic cup that is screwed onto a blade, which is then attached to the aforementioned motorised base. Instead of having to pour stuff out of the blending container, the container itself functions as a cup you can take with you. 

The screw-on blades can tear through a variety of ingredients, even hard nuts, seeds, and other difficult-to-grind items. Users can even make their own Nutella, if needed. Like the press release says, "what's not to love?"

So, all sniggering aside about how revolutionary it is, comparing itself as better than a juicer or a normal blender, the NutriBullet is apparently a rather decent device. Friends and acquaintances that are heavily involved in the fitness industry have raved about its predecessor, the Magic Bullet.

As an avid smoothie drinker, a device which makes the whole process easier is certainly welcome, and it’s here where the rhetoric probably needs a rehash – the NutriBullet shouldn’t be marketed towards the fitness crowd and harping on how great it is, but rather pander to the incredibly lazy crowd like myself.

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You can read the original press release here:

SOAK UP YOUR SUPERFOODS
The original NutriBullet launches in New Zealand stores

The one and only NutriBullet is a powerful superfood nutrition extractor that completely blitzes and blends any ingredients, to ensure you extract the highest degree of nutrition from your food!

Now available in New Zealand retail stores for the first time, this godsend of a kitchen appliance can reduce whole fruits and vegetables - including fibre, pulp, seeds and skins - into a silky smooth texture that your body can easily digest. Because it breaks down the cell walls of whole foods, the important vitamins and minerals are released so that you can absorb them and reap the health benefits.

It's better than a juicer, because all of the fibre from fruit and vegetables is retained; and it's better than a blender, because it completely extracts the valuable nutrients from ingredients, to ensure your body can use them.

The powerful, specially designed blades allow the NutriBullet to completely blend even the toughest ingredients. You won’t find any partially blended spinach leaves in your green smoothie using this thing! Try kale, raw nuts, seeds, or even raw broccoli, carrot and beetroot in your morning smoothie. All of these ingredients are nutritional powerhouses that will make you look and feel amazing from the inside out.

Unlike competitor brands, you can even use your NutriBullet Pro to make fresh nut butter – try hazelnuts, cacao, dates and a little coconut water for a delicious raw hazelnut chocolate spread.

The NutriBullet enables you to increase the amount of whole, plant-based foods that you eat – in a way that’s easy and delicious. It doesn't take up much bench space, and it’s exceptionally easy to clean. What’s not to love?

Don’t settle for imitations – the original NutriBullet is now available in New Zealand retail stores for the first time. Find it now at Noel Leeming, Briscoes, Farmers, Mitre 10, JB HiFi, Smiths City, Moore Wilson’s, Ballantynes and Heathcote Appliances. NutriBullet Pro 900W $229.99, NutriBullet Original 600W $179.99.