Will Thermomix succeed with MasterChef Canada?
Earlier this month Canada’s CTV network made an announcement that could change the lives of chefs, home cooks and Thermomix demonstrators across this land. So because today, July 1 is Canada Day… and because I love my country, my fellow Canadian cooks, and my Thermomix… I can’t think of a better day to speak up for all concerned.
Good news for Canadian foodies!
According to a recent CTV press release, “a Canadian version of the smash hit’s international format… MASTERCHEF CANADA becomes the 42nd local production of the iconic format” set to launch in 2014. (Until now, Canadians watching MasterChef on CTV have been viewing the US production.)
Why is this important for Thermomix and Canadians?
The Australian MasterChef series launched in 2009 and in my opinion it single-highhandedly catapulted Thermomix onto the radar of TV-viewing cooks across that vast land. No wait — it’s not just my opinion — Google agrees! Check the graph below to see how “Thermomix” was not trending as a search term in Google prior to MasterChef’s Australian launch. Then look for the search term’s dramatic rise as the series took hold in mid 2009. (note: Thermomix was being sold in Australia from 2000 but Google’s data only tracks back to 2004.)
How has MasterChef influenced Thermomix popularity in Australia?
Something magical happened when MasterChef Australia’s savvy on-trend partnership-building combined with Thermomix Australia’s timely marketing of a revolutionary kitchen gadget in 2009. If Thermomix AU had not seized the opportunity to gain exposure for the super kitchen machine in the show’s first season, the graph above would be very different. This was a brilliant product placement partnership that continues to reap rewards. Thermomix has since become a much sought-after kitchen appliance with a rock-solid reputation that precedes it, creating a winning environment for Thermomix demonstrators in a country with a size and population similar to Canada’s.
Canada is years behind Australia
Sad but true: Thermomix is still virtually unknown in Canada. Believe me, I monitor the numbers daily. Fewer than 5% of this blog’s readers come from Canada. (There is more interest for Thermomix from USA than from Canada.) The Thermomix is still so unknown here that I’ve yet to hear the word mentioned in conversation among foodies in my city.
Canada in 2013 feels like the Thermomix climate of Australia in 2005. The name of the world’s best loved kitchen machine is not even whispered here. At the Canadian Food Blogger’s conference this year, I was at risk of being mistaken for a Thermomix salesperson or company affiliate because this blog and its disclaimer are simply not read by other Canadians. It’s impossible to speak the word Thermomix out loud here without first pausing the conversation to explain that it’s an amazing machine, that I spend all my time blogging about it, and that “no, I don’t sell it, nor represent the company” and how I’m just an avid fan with a questionable blog focus. (Many people simply don’t believe this blog’s fanatic endorsement of the product isn’t being funded by the manufacturer.) In most countries around the world, a passion for Thermomix is well understood. In my country, it is suspect.
MasterChef invites Thermomix to the party!
I’m not making this up: MasterChef Canada has posted an invitation that reads like it was intended specifically for Thermomix. Again, from the press release:
“CTV will now begin working with advertisers on potential product integration, customized activations, and original branded content opportunities. MASTERCHEF CANADA is ideal for innovative brand extensions and various in-show integrations throughout its inaugural season.
“MASTERCHEF CANADA offers a unique platform for customized partnerships”, said Mary Kreuk, Vice-President, Brand Partnerships, Bell Media. “We look forward to working with sponsors to elevate their brands with this premiere format that has seen success around the world.”
What happens next?
Will Thermomix Canada grasp the opportunity to introduce the super kitchen machine to gadget-hungry home cooks, professional chefs and foodies across this nation? That’s a complicated question. Canada you see, has not one but two independently owned and operated Thermomix distributorships and these are geographically polarized. In addition, the two have independent marketing agendas and cater to differing cultural priorities. Partnering with MasterChef Canada would require a combined marketing effort, hitherto unseen.
To its credit, the distributor in Eastern Canada has placed Thermomix TM31 on the popular show “Les Chefs” where it appears often. However, this is seen by a french-speaking minority of the Canadian population. We need to see Thermomix on MasterChef Canada for this country’s hard-working demonstrator/consultants to benefit from some much needed brand exposure.
You snooze, you lose?
It’s easy to sit back and watch things unfold when a new ‘untested’ venture is proposed. But in the case of MasterChef Canada the model comes with a great track record and “playing it safe” could prove devastating for the future of Thermomix in Canada. I shudder to think what might happen if a Canadian-based Thermomix competitor should snap up the invitation instead. (This is not only possible, but according to my research, probable.)
An open letter to Vorwerk
If I were affiliated with Thermomix in Canada I would speak up to make a strong recommendation that the country’s two Thermomix distributors partner as one with MasterChef Canada. I feel this would be the single-most significant step forward for advancing the brand in Canada.
But I’m not affiliated with the Canadian distributors and I doubt they will even see this page. Vorwerk (parent company and manufacturer of Thermomix) however does follow this blog from its head office in Wuppertal, Germany and the offices of Thermomix International in Wollerau, Switzerland. So let this be an open letter to Vorwerk and Thermomix International:
As a dedicated fan of the Thermomix, it would be wonderful to see this kitchen machine become a household brand in my own country, as it is around the world. The opportunity is here now for Thermomix to be introduced across Canada. By following the Australian model and partnering with MasterChef Canada, I believe Thermomix will take a giant step forward. This sponsorship arrangement would generate interest and increase sales while energizing demonstrators and creating new Thermomix fans. I ask that you please encourage such an arrangement between your Canadian distributors and MasterChef Canada.
Thank you for your consideration,