As independent gourmet stores are becoming less of a shopping trip and more of a destination, cooking classes continue to be a vital part of the business.
More than 56% of those that took the survey responded that they hold cooking classes in their store, with the majority answering that they hold cooking classes several times per week.
According to retailers, some of the most popular cooking classes include pressure cooking, cast iron cooking, date night classes, sushi and pasta classes. However, many of those also noted that beer and wine pairings as well as cocktail classes are growing amongst those that offer classes and demonstrations.
Cooking classes turn independent gourmet stores into more than just a place to shop — it allows customers to have an experience. Date nights, kids camps and a night out with friends are just a few of the reasons customers may turn to cooking classes. In addition, classes may bring in potential consumers that may have never been to the store before and may create repeat customers.
In addition, cooking classes also aid in product sales. According to industry experts, consumers usually make a purchase after a cooking class, whether a gadget that provides a solution in the kitchen or an offering like a pressure cooker that is no longer intimidating after a cooking class.