This is a very blatant competitor to the swarm of NutriBullet blenders that have become well established within the kitchen appliance sector. However, this style of compact blender is in no way new, they’ve been available for over two decades. So we wanted to find out if this Retro Super Blend deserves a special mention as it is equipped with a respectable 700W motor and 5 jars out of the box for £119.99.
Cream, black, blue, pink and a Union Jack theme are the exterior design choices currently available. At a glance it looks almost identical to the Nutri blenders, but with further examination its distinctive retro curving and chrome-like logo trim distinguish it enough for our liking. For a blender designed to be used swiftly it’s a good shape that fits under, in and on top of cupboard space due to its compactness. It also has powerful suction cup feet that lock it to worktops and truly prevent any jumping around.
Although the 5 (2 x 340ml & 3 x 680ml) jars infuriatingly don’t stack into one another for storage, a more positive note is that it is nice to have 5 jars with screw seals and a choice between three solid lids, a perforated lid for dry produce and one with a flip-top lid for pouring juice. We assume this in the latter case as the flip-top seems too far away in location for drinking directly from the jar, which is a shame. Nevertheless, these options offer great flexibility, allowing us to make many things at once in the blender; just unscrew the blade, screw on a lid and store. A hugely simple affair.
One of the obvious flaws with these types of blenders is that due to the jars being rather narrow we are unable to load many whole fruits and vegetables. (A good example of why we like using the Blendtec Designer 725 with its large jar design because it relieves a huge amount of prep time.) So, for example, slicing larger apples after coring, or snapping carrots to fit, is required with the Retro Super Blend.
Very straightforward - it’s a competent setup for quick sleepy safe blending in the early mornings. Simply pop the produce into one of the many jars, fit the desired blade and twist it to the on position. The blending will automatically commence, and when you’re finished just twist the jar the alternate way to the off position and remove the jar. The lack of complication is a big plus for regular blenders.
Performance & Results
This isn't a one blade for everything setup, instead we have a blunt bladed attachment for ‘blending’ and a sharp milling blade attachment for substantial dense produce. We’ve put both to the test.
Kale & Apple Smoothie: The first ingredient in this smoothie, the kale, is a brilliantly stringy and hard to digest item to test how fine and how consistent the single speed blending actually is. To our surprise not a single strand of kale was to be found; we were given a smooth, tasty and healthy smoothie option. We are regular partakers of this combo, as it’s a fantastic way to consume raw nutrient rich kale.
Banana, Apple & Flaxseed Smoothie: Banana and apple are a smoothie combination that you can’t really fail to like. However, with the introduction of flaxseed this can turn into a stodgy, horribly textured mess if blended too coarsely. Thankfully the multi blunt blade used for 30 seconds integrated the tablespoon of flaxseed so the drink was smooth in the mouth. There were no offending fruit lumps left and two ice cubes were also integrated without any problems.
Orange Juice: We use the Retro Cold Press Juicer in the studio frequently for all our juicing requirements and this method is better than blending as it removes the pith, and the juice also remains cold. Whereas the speed of blending always heats the juice regardless which blender you use, so blending with ice is necessary for refreshment and an improved texture. In other words “juices” are diluted in flavour by around 20-30% in comparison to proper cold press juicing results. Then again, at only a third of the price of the £320 juicer previously mentioned, the Retro Super Blend may be worth the sacrifice.
Banana Sorbet: Bananas left to thaw for 8 minutes from the freezer and entered into a blender with a strong enough motor to cope will produce a creamy sweet and rather healthy vegan ice cream alternative. This is where we witnessed the Retro Super Blend 700 watt motor, combined with the milling blade, rip into this more challenging task and succeed, something which we’ve seen exceedingly more expensive blenders stutter and fail to manage. However, the finished frozen treat was in parts creamy, but there were also frozen lumps hidden that the blades didn't manage to find, even though we had shaken the jar to distribute the sticky banana evenly.
Dishwasher safe for more sticky blends. The 5 jars offer the flexibility for members of families to all use the blender throughout a day with only one wash necessary. However, we fill a jar with warm water and blend for 30 seconds to clean smoothie residue in haste.
A compact blender with a taste of performance from the motor found at the premium end of the market. At £119.99 this is the top performing bullet styled blender we’ve yet to try; it produced mostly consistent smooth results and the motor didn’t stutter once in our testing. Not to neglect to mention that it thoughtfully comes out of the box with enough jars and lid options for all members of the family to partake in its use.