The Vitamix is dominating the luxury blender market.
The brand has tripled its workforce in the last two years as its popularity among health-conscious consumers has surged, with sales growing 52% last year. The Ohio-based company is now considering an international expansion, Crain’s Cleveland Business reports.
The blender’s swift rise over the last couple years is due in large part to its fervent following of fans, who openly profess their devotion to the 2-horsepower, commercial-grade machine online and in public settings to just about anyone who will listen.
With its $US300-$650 price tag, it has become something of a status symbol for fitness buffs and healthy eaters, but it’s also catching fire among people for whom the kitchen is foreign territory.
“It’s the perfect life hack,” Bloomberg Businessweek’s Joshua Green wrote earlier this month. “While nobody at Vitamix emphasises this, a whole universe has sprung up to support the hapless male user.”
With its popularity, the Vitamix has attracted a number of competitors, many of which offer a much lower price for similar capabilities. The Ninja, for example, sells for under $US250 and does just about everything the Vitamix can.
Here are six blenders other than the Vitamix that customers love:
Blendtec CEO Tom Dickson compares the Blendtec blender (right) to the Vitamix (left).
Price: $US454 to $US1,035
Warranty: Seven years
Vitamix’s biggest competitor in the high-end blender market is the Blendtec. Blendtec was founded in 1975 by CEO Tom Dickson, who also stars in a YouTube series called “Will It Blend?” where he uses his machines to pulverize cell phones, iPads, golf balls and other items not meant for kitchen appliances. Last year, he threw parts of the Vitamix blender into the Blendtec machine after winning a $US24 million lawsuit against the company for copying the design of Blendtec’s “Wild Side” jar.
Blendtec reportedly has a slight advantage in horsepower over the Vitamix, but the Vitamix offers a lower average price and simpler controls, according to the website blenderreviews.us.
Price: $US59 to $US250
The Ninja is tied for first place with the Vitamix in Consumer Reports’ blender ratings and its a best-seller on Amazon.com. Most of Ninja’s blenders sell for under $US100, but promise to do nearly everything that a Blendtec and Vitamix can. Customer reviews on Amazon.com range from 3.5/5 stars to 4.5/5 stars for various versions of the blender.
The Ninja was developed by Euro-Pro Operating LLC, a household appliance maker with offices in Massachusetts, Canada and China. While the blender is generally highly rated, Euro-Pro doesn’t get such high ratings. The company has a “D+” from the Boston Better Business Review for a range of issues including billing, warranty and product problems.
Warranty: Two years
This blender is made by U.S. home goods manufacturer Hamilton Beach Brands Inc.
Like Blendtec and Vitamix, it can turn vegetables and fruits into smooth purees in seconds. But unlike those brands, it targets more commercial users — like bars, restaurants and cafes — over home cooks. Perhaps for that reason, the Tempest doesn’t have the cult following of its better-known competitors.
But it still has some really positive reviews, with an average 4.5/5 stars on Amazon.
“After wasting hundreds of dollars on GE, Oster and other blenders that were too weak, poorly designed or that died after a few months, we are so happy that we went commercial grade,” one reviewer wrote.
The Omni Blend
Warranty: Seven years
“So you have to blend a few extra seconds to get the exact same results as you would with a Vitamix or Blendtec — it’s worth the difference in price!” the reviewer continued. “My Omni is pressed into service at least twice a day, and I have had NO problem blending nuts, greens veggies (such as swiss chard and kale), and frozen whole bananas.”
Warranty: One year
The NutriBullet, like its higher-priced competitors, promises to pulverize all vegetables and nuts without leaving behind any pulp or chunky substances. The only drawback is that the NutriBullet only makes single servings. So cooking for an entire family would be cumbersome.
Price: $199 to $US249
Warranty: Seven years
One customer who gave the Versa a glowing rating on Amazon called it “the poor man’s Vitamix.”
Another who tested the machine wrote, “I’d buy this over my Vitamix.”
“This blender is the first one that I can say absolutely is comparable to the Vitamix and probably more favourable because it has a better price tag and more features,” the reviewer wrote.
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