One-pot cooking over the past several years has grown from a trendy way to make a meal to a way of life for many Americans who were seeking a simpler way to cook dinner for the family.
Driven in large part by Instant Pot and its uber-popular multi-cooker, the success enjoyed by that product has had a major impact on several kitchenware categories. Today, consumers have access to items such as countertop ovens and rice cookers that are designed to cook a variety of foods with one appliance.
But in the world of kitchenware, there’s always something new around the corner.
And that’s what the folks at CookingPal had in mind when developing its new Multo multi-cooker appliance. Touted as an intelligent cooking system by CookingPal’s Head of Marketing Anna Khomenko, the unit is now available on a direct-to-consumer basis, at b8ta stores in New York, Houston, Denver and San Jose, Calif., and on Amazon.
Multo is equipped with more than 10 cooking functions and is capable of managing a range of tasks including chop, mix, blend, knead, steam, sauté, weigh, warm, cook, clean and more. Using a companion tablet, the Smart Kitchen Hubb offers meal recommendations and easy-to-follow step-by-step recipes.
Recently, Khomenko spoke with Kitchenware Today to share insight on the development of Multo, the feedback the company has received so far and what’s ahead for CookingPal.
KITCHENWARE TODAY: What was the motivation for CookingPal when the company was founded?
ANNA KHOMENKO: Our journey started three years back when our team who had a passion for cooking got together to discuss developing a product the would simplify how people cook. We developed the product from scratch and one of the unique features of Multo is that the control unit is outside of the appliance. Consumers will control the cooking settings through an App on their smartphone or tablet. No longer will you need to stay in the kitchen and stand over the unit.
KWT: What are some of the key features of Multo?
AK: We look at Multo as a food processor that cooks. It combines numerous cooking functions and has the functionality of a food processor with a heating element at the bottom of the bowl. There is also a built-in scale that allows ingredients to be measured as they’re placed into the bowl. The unit also has an LED ring that changes color to indicate if the lid is not properly closed or the status of the cooking process.
KWT: What was the inspiration behind Multo?
AK: A big part of the inspiration was to help alleviate the clutter in the kitchens of most homes. The average house has three to five countertop appliances. Multo will help simplify the kitchen and the unit’s technology will help people cook and eat better.
KWT: How can consumers purchase Multo?
AK: Right now we are selling mainly direct-to-consumer, have the product in a couple of b8ta stores and have a presence on Amazon. Our initial orders went out in June and we have received lots of feedback from the market. With this being such a new technology, we have a 30-day return policy. But we also work to alleviate returns by reaching out to consumers to work with them and give tips on how to cook with Multo. We have found for the most part that this strategy works.
KWT: How important is recipe development to Multo’s success?
AK: We continue to expand our library of recipes and have been able to add five new recipes of the week. We don’t want people to cook the same meals over and over again. The recipes serve as a good way for people to learn how to use the appliance. We are also working on new features that would allow users to upload their own recipes and photos.
KWT: Has there been a specific consumer group that has taken to Multo?
AK: Females ages 35-55 have been our biggest consumer group. We have also had young male consumers who are into technology as early adopters as well.
KWT: What are the company’s future plans?
AK: We’re currently working on new products while we also make sure we address the feedback we are receiving about Multo. As we head into the New Year, we will also be looking for opportunities to further establish our brand presence.