SINGAPORE - It looks like a water bottle but is meant for cooking eggs.
A few thousand units of the quirky automated egg-cooker have been sold here, with customers buying it online and at stores such as Giant hypermarkets and Challenger.
The eggs are cooked in the cylindrical, non-stick cooking chamber, which is surrounded by a heating element.
Simply plug the gadget into an electrical point, pop an egg into the cooking chamber and the column of egg rises when it is ready.
The contraption was originally invented by Kalorik, a Belgian company which makes kitchen appliances. Called the Rollie Eggmaster, it was launched early last year. Companies in China and South Korea have also come up with their own versions.
A Singapore company, Aztech Technologies, which sells networking devices and home appliances, created one in March this year and called it the LollieEgg Roll Maker.
Its senior marketing communications manager, Mr Desmond Low, 42, says the company saw the potential in this product after several variations of such vertical egg cookers appeared online.
His company received over 2,000 orders within a three-week period after the Lollie- Egg Roll Maker went on sale on May 15.
It is sold at selected Challenger and Giant stores at an introductory price of $29.90, $10 cheaper than the recommended retail price.
Other brands are sold on popular online marketplaces such as GMarket and Qoo10, while the original product by Kalorik is available on Amazon.com for US$13.89 (S$17.40) and above.
There are about 19 sellers on Qoo10 selling the gadget, with names such as Eggplus, Eggstar, Eggfun and Eggchef. Retail prices range from $11.90 to $113, excluding shipping costs.
On Singapore mobile app marketplace Carousell, there are about eight sellers of the device.
Carousell's co-founder Quek Siu Rui, 26, says the first listing for the device appeared on his marketplace in mid-February.
A check with stores such as Robinsons, Tangs, Takashimaya, Isetan, Harvey Norman and Best Denki found that none of them stocks the egg cooker.
Mr Chriz Chan, 29, who owns an online gift shop on Facebook, started selling them in early April.
He brought in nine Eggmasters from China at first, selling each for $19.90 and sold them within a month. He intends to bring in more this month.
Hairstylist Serene Chan, 48, went online to buy the Eggmaster two weeks ago and has since been won over by the convenience and compact size.
She says: "I like that I can take it to work and whip up a quick fuss-free snack any time. Plus, it's really fun to see the egg rise."
Student Crystal Lim, 18, who bought one in November last year, says she used her Eggmaster five times a week initially, but uses it only once or twice a month now.
She says: "It's not multi-use as it can only cook eggs and I cannot eat eggs every day forever." The novelty of the gadget, she adds, has worn off.
Others still prefer the conventional way of cooking eggs.
Civil servant Christina Toh, 50, says: "The convenience and time saved doesn't matter to me. It's weird cooking my eggs in a bottle and I still think it's easier to fry an egg myself."
This article was first published on June 10, 2014.
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