Even in Straitened Times, Portugal Loves Its Bimby Cooking Robots

O artigo sobre os portugueses (nomeados pelo jornal Wall Street e pelo Financial Times como fazendo parte dos PIGS, os "PORCOS", os paises do sul da Europa em dificuldades com a crise: Portugal, Irlanda, Grécia e Espanha/Spain) e as Bimbys. A preguiça das portuguesas, gastadoras que não abdicam dos luxos desnecessários, apesar da crise (na opinião da jornalista). À parte o racismo desta sigla de PIGS, gostaria de saber quantos destes números são reais e verificáveis... Temos apanhado tanta aldrabice nos MEDIA americanos, que não me fio muito nos seus jornalistas. Lembram-me as Agências de Rating...

Números como: 3.7 milhões de lares portugueses terão a "prodigiosa" maquineta até ao fim de 2014!!! Das minhas relações familiares e próximas ninguém tem  o dito objecto.

Quanto terá pago a marca Bimby à jornalista ao jornal americano ou  apenas a uma tal "Mrs. Brito" portuguesa para ter esta promoção fantástica à nossa custa?

Segue o artigo:

German-Made Appliance Promises to Make Cooking Cheap and Easy

  - Dec. 25, 2013 Wall Street Journal

LISBON—When Marta Brito lost her job, she says, she was rescued by a machine she is now so fond of, she almost considers it a friend. It is a multitasker that outsells high-end iPads in Portugal and is more popular on Facebook than the country's best-known rock band.
Bimby, a German-made cooking robot, has become an obsession in Western Europe's poorest country by promising to make cooking cheap and easy.
Bimby looks like a food-processor with a stainless-steel container and a steaming unit that weighs ingredients, chops, grates, blends, beats, mixes and cooks, all under the control of a timer that lets the cook step away from the kitchen until the food is ready.
Its popularity might seem surprising in a country that nearly defaulted on its debt in 2011 and had to accept painful budget slashing in return for an international bailout. But the Portuguese love gadgets and seem determined, despite hard times, to maintain their tradition of regularly getting together for dinner.y
"Bimby's maker has done a great job selling the machine as a money and time saver…particularly in a time restaurants have become prohibitive for many," said Joaquim Silva, a marketing lecturer at the University of Minho who used Bimby as a case study for his doctoral thesis on marketing.
Mr. Silva also pointed out that the Portuguese love fashionable items and respond readily to word-of-mouth advertising. No long infomercials here promising bliss are needed.
Vorwerk & Co., Bimby's manufacturer, has reported record sales in Portugal in each of the past three years, despite a $1,327 price that is nearly twice the monthly minimum wage. Last year the Portuguese bought more than 35,000 Bimbys, compared with 22,000 iPads priced above $700. According to Vorwerk's forecasts, 8% of the country's 3.7 million households will own a Bimby by the end of 2014.
Bimby was introduced here in 2000 and is sold in about 60 countries. Its market penetration in Portugal is particularly high.
Bimby has more than 100,000 likes on Facebook; the super-popular rock band Xutos & Pontapés has about 83,000. A Bimby magazine sells 35,000 copies a month in Portugal, more than fashion icon Vogue's Portuguese edition.
Owners tend to think of the robot as a feminine helper and, in conversations, refer to it as "she." The name has also morphed into a verb—bimbar. A member of Parliament recently called Deputy Prime Minister Paulo Portas "a governing Bimby" for taking on too many tasks under the various government positions he has held.
Ms. Brito, who three years ago barely had the patience to make soup, now calls herself a "bimbyholic." She bought her machine to help her juggle motherhood and a full-time job as a travel agent. When she lost her job in late 2010, she turned to her newfound taste for cooking. Now she spends a good part of her day trying new recipes, posting them on her blog—"Donabimby," or Mrs. Bimby—and answering questions from more than 9,000 fans. She sells jams at fairs and has acquired sponsorship deals with bakeware companies. "You can say Bimby changed my life," said Ms. Brito.
Ms. Brito said her family now spends a lot less for groceries. This is one of the main reasons Bimby's maker gives for the record sales. In Ms. Brito's home, mayonnaise and ketchup are both handmade. She can't remember the last time she bought a birthday cake or canapés for parties. If Bimby broke and had to get fixed, Ms. Brito said she would be lost.
"Just to think of all the boxes I would have to go through in the garage to find all my retired appliances, it gives me a headache," she said.
Bimby, which now has some competition from a device called Yammi introduced by Portuguese supermarket chain Continente in September, reported record sales of more than 5,000 of the robots in November.
Of course, Bimby has its critics. Sandra Simões, a lawyer from Lisbon, recently saw a cooking demonstration and wasn't impressed.
"There is no spontaneity buying the ingredients, cooking and even seasoning food, since everything is already measured, programmed and mechanized through their recipes," said Ms. Simões. "Plus I don't ever want to be dependent on an appliance."
Ms. Brito herself puts the machine aside to make some things, including rice, which she says turns out much better cooked cordlessly on the stove.
Bimby was created in 1970. 
Bimbys aren't sold in stores. Instead, Ms. Arimathea and about 1,400 other agents go door to door to show prospective buyers how to make juices, soups, sauces, ice creams, dough and even a traditional cod dish in less than two hours.

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