Wim froyo maker hopes for Nespresso success, not Juicero scorn

Chris Davies - Aug 8, 2017
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Wim froyo maker hopes for Nespresso success, not Juicero scorn

Does your kitchen counter need another single-purpose appliance? Wim thinks so, and its frozen yogurt maker aims to do for froyo-on-demand what Nespresso has done for coffee convenience. The $299 gadget takes single-serve bowls of organic yogurt mix which, when you add your choice of milk, are converted in reasonably short order into a dessert.

The machine itself looks like a Sodastream crossed with a milkshake blender, and stands 12-inches high and 12-inches deep. You lift the top section to open the churning bay, much like a stand mixer, and then slot in one of Wim’s yogurt bowls. Each is pre-fitted with a recyclable impeller blade that mixes up the flavors with whatever milk – cow, goat, coconut, almond, or anything else and of any fat percentage – you choose to add.

A little bizarrely in this smart home age, there’s seemingly no “Internet of Things” magic in the process. Wim doesn’t connect to your phone via Bluetooth, or go online to re-order yogurt pots via WiFi. It can’t even automatically tweet or post an Instagram for you every time you succumb to another bowl of froyo.

Instead there’s a single button that starts the whole process. It’s not as quick as getting mediocre coffee from a Nespresso machine: churning and freezing the yogurt takes around ten minutes. Admittedly that’s quicker than a regular ice cream maker with its own compressor, which can take anything like three times the time if not more, though of course Wim is making much smaller amounts.

Currently Wim has nine different flavors, ranging from the basics like original, raspberry, and strawberry, through more unusual options such as passionfruit, milk & cookies, brownie batter, chocolate peanut butter cup, cinnamon toast, and banana bread. Pricing varies depending on how many you stock up on at a time, down to $3 per bowl. Three are non-dairy, all once prepared make around 4.4 ounces of froyo, and they range from 120 calories apiece depending on milk used.

Unlike store-bought frozen yogurt, since the ingredients are dry until you add the milk they don’t need to be refrigerated. The aluminum bowl can be recycled, as can the plastic mixing blade. Wim is leaning heavily on the idea of its froyo being flavored and colored with natural ingredients, while the yogurt comes from a biodynamic farm called Hawthorne Valley Farm in Upstate New York.

Certainly, we’ve seen convenience can sell a kitchen gadget. The success of products like Nespresso, Keurig, and other pod-coffee machines demonstrate that, not to mention that for some buyers ease of use bests even flavor. Wim definitely has that in its favor: the spindle that drives the mixer doesn’t come into contact with the froyo itself, for instance, so clean-up should be minimal or even non-existent.

All the same, we’ve seen products of this sort get burned before. Juicero, another single-purpose appliance that promised fresh juice on a glass-by-glass basis, came in for no small amount of criticism over how it over-complicated the process of squeezing fruit and vegetables. Many kitchens have cupboards already groaning with neglected slow-cookers and other devices that seemed like a great idea once, but then never earn a spot on the countertop.

Will Wim go the same way? It’s too early to tell, though if you want to give it a try you can order one now. The company says that it has limited supplies available from today, priced at $299 including a five pack of yogurt bowls.

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