March 27, 2014

Shogun Steamer

Description: A microwave steamer
Main Pitch: "Enjoy all the flavors and healthy benefits [of steaming] from your microwave in just minutes"
Main Offer: $19.95 for one with recipe guide
Bonus: 2nd one with recipe guide (just pay P&H), Cut N Cup (free)
Marketer: Allstar
Producer: Blue Moon
Prediction: On the fence

I'm conflicted about this category. Back when I reviewed the first version of this product, Magic Meal, I was convinced the microwave was dead. Since then, two microwave items made my True Top Spenders of 2013: Telebrands' Stone Wave (a name I just learned was 'borrowed' from Emson, which had a hit by the same name in 1998) and Ontel's Potato Express. Suddenly the microwave isn't looking so dead after all.

This is also a better positioning of the product (the "modern version of a timeless classic" angle has worked for Blue Moon before), and the pitch has more credibility. The Magic Meal focused on two-tier cooking, suggesting one could microwave spaghetti sauce and noodles in the same pot and have them both come out perfectly. Anyone who has ever heated spaghetti sauce in a microwave knows this is a ridiculous claim: The noodles would explode and then vaporize before the sauce even broke room temperature.

Also: Unlike the Stone Wave, which was apparently designed by anorexics for sad people who eat alone, this product can prepare enough food to feed a family. (Although the Stone Wave commercial solves that problem by mainly focusing on apps and desserts and also by making a clever pitch for multiple units.)

All of that said, I still have lingering doubts about the microwave I can't shake, so I'm unable to go beyond 50/50 on my prediction for this project.

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