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Bakeware Balances Classic With Innovative For Sales Boon

Bakeware has been straddling the line between innovation and a back-to-basics approach during the last few years, but is seemingly doing it well, according to sales data, consumer response and bakeware vendors that spoke to GOURMET INSIDER®.

According to Penny Rosema, managing director of Cookware Manufacturers Association (CMA), bakeware has seen an increase in sales in 2017 and it will continue to grow during the next year. This segment, according to CMA statistics, saw a 6.3% increase through 2017, positioning bakeware as a $586 million industry in the U.S.

Industry experts said the bakeware consumer is looking for product that is durable and can withstand a variety of uses— from roasting proteins and vegetables to basic baking needs— without having to be replaced as frequently as in the past. This has encouraged consumers to purchase more expensive pricepoints across all retail channels as long as they feel confident enough in the investment, said Jim Teml, svp/sales and business development, Trudeau.

“The consumer is looking for performance, solutions and design at the right mid-tier retail price level. They are willing to step above the opening pricepoint for the right mid-level offering as long as the retail pricepoint gap is in line to their expectations,” he said.

Social media influencers, food bloggers and digital brands like Tasty and Delish have offered consumers new uses for bakeware that they are embracing. For example, creating bacon taco shells by draping them upside-down over cupcake pans as well as roasting a chicken atop a Bundt pan have generated appeal in the food community and have gotten traditional cookware buyers looking to purchase bakeware for more interesting meals at home. Vendors have made note of these changes in the market and are introducing products that will stand up to increased use.

“Savory baking will continue to change the use of traditional pans. Heavier gauge pans allow for more savory uses as they can handle more weight and are more durable; this ties back to our prediction for trends,” said Tim Feeney, bakeware division president, Lifetime Brands.

While the trend of social media and large digital brands influencing consumer purchases is not new, it impacted bakeware in a big way during 2017 and is not something that bakeware manufacturers see dying down anytime soon. Jennifer Dalquist, evp/sales and marketing, Nordic Ware, said that the company has seen a direct correlation between social media/blog features and sales during the last few years.

“Fortunately for household brands with a strong following, this means you are being talked about, pictured, and ‘Oooh/Ahhhed’ over every time you are featured in someone’s social media feed. Home cooks and bakers are no longer cracking open a cookbook, they’re scrolling through their Instagram feed or perusing Pinterest and clicking on whatever picture and recipe captures their interest,” she said.

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