Here’s a sentence I never expected to write: BuzzFeed is making its first smart appliance, the Tasty One Top, available for pre-order.
It sounds a little weird for a digital media company to try to sell you a fancy hot plate, but this is part of BuzzFeed Product Labs, which was created last year following the acquisition of e-commerce startup Scroll. The team’s goal is to experiment with different commerce initiatives to figure out what works for BuzzFeed.
In this case, the One Top is tied to Tasty, Buzzfeed’s super-popular cooking brand — according to Tubular Labs, Tasty gets 2.3 billion video views each month. Along with announcing the One Top, BuzzFeed is launching the new Tasty app, which includes nearly 1,700 video recipes. (The app is launching on iOS, with plans for an Android version in the future.)
So you can look up a recipe in the app, and then cook it using the One Top. BuzzFeed describes the One Top as a Bluetooth-enabled induction cooktop, which supports cooking with pots and pans as well as sous vide. For precision cooking, the One Top also monitors the surface temperature of the pot or pan, and it comes with a thermometer to track the internal temperature of the food.
If you’re wondering why the One Top has that pentagon shape, the website has a simple explanation: “Because Instagram.”
And no, BuzzFeed didn’t develop the appliance on its own — it worked with GE Appliance’s First Build team.
“With the backing of GE Appliance’s first build department, and the vast consumer product experience of our product labs team, we had the confidence necessary to invest in the project and build something we think will be helpful for our audience and their families,” said Ben Kaufman, the head of BuzzFeed Product Labs, in an emailed statement.
Kaufman also suggested that “Tasty’s strong brand and massive fan base give it almost limitless avenues for expansion — from cookbooks to licensing to consumer tech.”
The plan is to ship the Tasty One Top in November. The current pre-order price is $149.