Cooking Made More Convenient

Open-stock pots and pans are in high demand, as are cast iron, copper and healthy-cooking materials
March 13, 2017Andrea Lillo

MauvielMheritageMauviel’s M’heritage copper collections now have new handles, which look like the original cast iron but are cast stainless steel electroplated with iron.
By Andrea Lillo

From ease of cooking to ease of storage, convenience is the key for cookware introductions, and retail decision makers will see a plethora of features at this month’s International Home + Housewares Show.

Healthy living, as well as small-space living, continue to get emphasis as well, and suppliers will debut specific pieces to fill those niches. Open stock also seems to be on the rise as consumers want the specialty piece that’s right for a particular dish, rather than a set.

“Customers are still looking for convenience,” said Jeff Malkasian, president, licensed brands, Clipper Corp. “Nonstick and one-pot cooking are continuing to trend as they meet both of these needs.”

It is also driven by consumers’ desire to cook ethnic foods, resulting in specialty cookware such as woks and paella pans, said Joshua Melzer, vice president of marketing and communications for Epoca. “Cookware sets are fading in popularity, with consumers more concerned about the types of cookware and bakeware that are needed to make a certain dish.”

In addition, “social media is inspiring consumers of all walks of life to try a new recipe with a special kind of pan for the best results,” said Melzer. “Open stock will continue to drive sales.”

Malkasian agreed. “We are seeing more of a shift to open-stock pieces. I think this is because of more promotional pricing around open stock and the way retailers are using marketing to educate the consumer about what a single piece can do ... Not only single pieces, but also categories of material such as cast iron.”

EpocaEvolvegrillpanEpoca’s Evolve grill pan is constructed of heavy gauge aluminum and Hydrolon, a PFOA-free, water-based nonstick coating.
A $3.6 billion category, cookware grew 5 percent in 2015, according to HFN’s 2016 State of the Industry Report. More than half of consumers own both individual cookware pieces and sets, according to HFN’s proprietary research. Twenty-six percent of consumers own individual pieces, while about 20 percent own a set.

Materials & Health
When it comes to trending materials, suppliers pointed to cast iron. “Cast-iron cookware continues to grow,” said Tom Wien, marketing and licensing director at Gibson. “Enameled cast iron is in demand because it offers durability and versatility—easily being able to go from oven to table.”

Lifetime Brands will emphasize cast iron in its cookware introductions at the show because the material is growing at a faster pace than cookware overall, said Bob Varakian, group president of Lifetime Brands. “Cast iron has enjoyed a resurgence.” Among the introductions will be rust-resistant pre-seasoned cast iron, “the most significant advancement in cast iron.” Its Sabatier and Mossy Oak brands will debut 12 items in this material.

Cookware pieces that can be stored easily are also trending. “We know that Millennials are continuing to live in smaller spaces and are looking for ways to keep things clutter free with smart storage solutions,” said Matt McDonnell, director, North American Marketing for World Kitchen LLC. The new Revere line features Nest & Protect, which allows the pieces to be nested together through interlocking handles for ease of storage while still protecting the finish.

A healthy dose of introductions will focus on healthy living. Gibson will debut its Weight Watchers licensed line at the show, in a range of housewares categories. The cookware items will feature such benefits as nonstick interiors and steamer options. “Consumers want cookware that allows them to cook with less oil/fat and is portion controlled,” said Wein.

Another vehicle for healthy cooking, grill pans are gaining popularity, said Melzer, and Epoca will introduce one at the show. “With most consumers having a vested interest in their health and their family’s health, grill pans make healthy grilled food accessible—even in the winter.”

Gibson will also emphasize Hispanic cooking in its Oster cookware line, which includes the new Oster Cocina 9-piece San Jacinto cookware set with traditional Hispanic cooking pieces such as a square griddle pan and milk pot.

Clipper Corp. will expand its Chopped licensed line with a 3-ply cookware line that features sets and key open stock cookware pieces that are used on the show most frequently. The line will be available both uncoated and with titanium infused ceramic coating.

Coatings that are tough, easy to use and easy to clean—such as titanium and copper coatings—are gaining popularity as more people are cooking at home, added Melzer. Epoca’s Titanium Guard nonstick coating blends copper, ceramic and titanium “to create a durable, long lasting coating that features superior abrasion resistance,” and is metal utensil safe, Melzer said.

In addition, Viking is launching a hard anodized nonstick that features Eterna for superior release. “It leverages a heavy duty gauge that harkens back to consumers’ original experience with high-end hard anodized cookware combined with new technology that includes better nonstick, the ability to be dishwasher safe and induction capable,” said Malkasian.

Bialetti’s new Mineral-DS cookware uses a steel pellet blasting technique on the interior that creates micro-divots on the surface, said Jason Vaske, vice president of marketing, Bialetti, Bradshaw Intl. This “increases the hardness of the interior—improving durability and performance,” and allows for even oil distribution.

Andrea LilloAndrea Lillo | Fashion Editor
alillo@hfnmag.com

Andrea Lillo has written about a variety of topics, from beer gardens in Queens to kitchen design trends to residential caves. Having joined Home Furnishings News in 2006, she serves as Fashion Editor.

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