on Oct 26 2015
Sous vide uses heat induction from hot water to cook food perfectly. Similar to what the microwave did for busy households in the 1970s, the Nomiku makes it easy for busy people to cook delicious healthy food effortlessly. All you do is put food inside a ziploc or vacuum sealed bag, submerge it in a pot with Nomiku and walk away. Nomiku heats up the water and circulates it at an exact temperature until the meat, vegetables, etc. is cooked to perfection. When it’s done you have a world class meal ready to eat.
Before Nomiku, sous vide machines were much too expensive ($1000+) and complicated (dozens of settings) for the home cook. You simply press the screen to turn Nomiku on and off. Nomiku has one knob that you turn to adjust the temperature and a clear LCD screen that displays the temperature. It clips on to any pot you already own and can be stored away after use; it is the most compact immersion circulator in the world.
There a many values to sous vide: it’s super easy, you can walk away, it’s precise, but most importantly the food is cooked perfectly. Professional chefs have been using the sous vide method for years, and now many of them have switched from large expensive sous vide machines to Nomiku for a few reasons. Nomiku is the smallest sous vide circulator on the market, and chefs travel a lot, so the nomiku fits easily into any carry on. The Nomiku is also the most accurate sous vide machine on the market because our unique semiconductor knows when the water overheats. We can consistently heat and circulate 5 gallons of water within 0.1 degrees.
The folks we’re selling to right now are educated people who really enjoy food aged 25-65. The age range sounds broad, but “well-educated” really narrows down the initial market. Imagine the farmer’s market crowd, the line at Whole Foods, those who watch the Food Channel.
Sous vide is a completely new way of cooking for most; most home cooks don’t know about the quality and convenience. So we’re working hard to educate our current users, and encourage them to share their cooking experience with friends. Our new app has helped a lot. Using Tender, chefs can create, share, and adopt new sous vide recipes right from their phones. Even top chefs from all over the world have flocked to the app to exchange ideas, and all of our home users have access to these recipes and community.
We just launched the Tender App and have already seen an uptick in demand for the Nomiku. We’ve sold over 18,000 units so far, all of whom use the Nomiku at least 3 times per week (we track usage). We’re also back ordered by another 10,000 units for Q4. We’ve made $1.3 million from Kickstarter and another $1.5 million from direct sales.
We’ve done very little marketing, but for ‘paid’ customers our average cost of customer acquisition is ~$60. Early in the year - Q1 - that number is close to $200, but as the holidays approach our CAC drops to ~$30.
Our machines cost $199 and we make 60% margins. This gives us a lot of room to spend on customer acquisition as we look to scale faster.
The new Nomiku is the first wifi enabled sous vide circulator. This is a huge deal for us from a marketing and education perspective because we’re now connected to chefs in the kitchen. We can educate users while they’re cooking, and users can share techniques and recipes via the app and on social media.
Communities are incredibly valuable for viral marketing, and we’ve created the first online chef community all centered around cooking with Nomiku. With WiFi our customers can all gather and cook together via the Tender app. The app also integrates with the Nomiku to assist chefs and help cook perfect meals in real-time. And onboarding has become a pleasure for our customers; they simply plug in the Nomiku, open the app, and walk step-by-step through their first sous vide meal. Retention has skyrocketed with the new Wifi Nomiku.
Absolutely. When we have the software we’ll be able to upsell old Nomiku users to the newest technology (WiFi at the moment). We currently sell sous vide ready food on our site, and will partner with Blue Apron and others to do the same. Once we’re the education and community hub for sous vide users, we can sell the community everything from food to accessories to upgrades.
Currently 80% of our sales happen online through our website and through Amazon. We also have several mom and pop stores selling the Nomiku, and with the release of the WiFi Nomiku,i we are exploring stores like Target, William-Sonoma, Best Buy, Costco, all the typical retail channels. Our retail partners must be willing to demo the Nomiku; it can’t just sit on the shelf because it’s such a new thing for most home chefs. Target has been great so far, as they’re excited to feature Nomiku at Target Open House, and will be our first big retail client.
Seeing is believing. Every new product suggests it cooks better and our marketing will get lost among the rest unless people actually taste Nomiku food. When you taste Nomiku, you never go back. It stops you in your tracks. It’s like experiencing a new fruit or a new food that you really love for the first time and now want to have every day forever. Tasting makes that connection for prospective buyers, and that’s why we’re so adamant about demos in our retails partners.
My co-founder Abe and I are makers. Before Nomiku we taught at hacker spaces across the country where we built open source sous-vide kits that amassed a huge following. Our fans kept pushing us to make an actual appliance, so we went to China for three months to build the Nomiku. After which we returned to get married and begged the wedding photographer to make our Kickstarter video. The Kickstarter campaign was the largest ever in food - we made $600k in 30 days the first time, and then hit our goal in 6 hours during the second campaign for our WiFi Nomiku. The community support has been incredible, and the demand has only heightened in the months since.
We learned a bunch about the manufacturing process while in China - after all we developed the first Nomiku for months living and working right next to our factory. We learned manufacturing from the bottom-up, and now we’re fully equipped to manufacturer and DFM in the United States. Our prices are actually lower here in the US because we learned from the first Nomiku and adapted the Nomiku Wifi for much cheaper production. The first Nomiku had over 100 parts and over 8 moving parts, but the WiFi Nomiku has only 8 parts that snap together, drastically lowering assembly costs.
The WiFi Nomiku will ship in October in time for the holiday season.
We will be the sous vide thought leaders. It’s super important that we lead the charge on education because once home chefs know the beauty of sous vide they’ll be clamoring for a Nomiku. We just inked a deal with Penguin-Random cookbook arm, Ten Speed, for the first ever sous vide cookbook. Ten Speed has published almost all of the best selling cookbooks on the New York Times bestseller list. They chose us over anybody else to make a book together because we created the category.
No one else has developed an affordable sous vide circulator yet. Anova and Sansaire have products twice the size, and Julabo, PolyScience, and Sous Vide Supreme all make other expensive versions. These are all used by professionals but none is as portable, as easy to use, as affordable or as accurate as the Nomiku. We’re like GoPro was to video cameras for sous vide. Not many people took action videos a few years ago, but GoPro created an easy-to-use product that filmed HD video and subsequently created the market and demand. We’ve created an easy-to-use, affordable way to cook sous vide - we’re creating this market with the original content to support it just like they did.
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