For those independent housewares retail outlets with cooking schools and demonstration kitchens, cooking classes have continued to be important to their retail business.
When it comes to cooking classes, 60% of respondents said they host cooking classes at their retail store. Of those 60%, 48.9% of respondents said that they hold classes several times a week, which is up from 42.1% of last year’s survey respondents who held classes several times a week.
According to those who responded to the State Of The Industry survey, the more popular cooking classes have focused on techniques and healthy eating. Some of these classes, noted those surveyed, include spiralizer meals, cheese pairing/cheese making classes, pasta making classes and cocktail classes.
Many retailers who don’t have a cooking school or kitchen have turned to basic workshops in order to drive people into the store and create an experience within their community. More than 32% of survey respondents who don’t have a cooking school or kitchen noted that they host workshops for customers. These can range from those that are focused on cooking techniques or entertaining to those that are more focused on the home, like wreath making. Gadget demos and knife skills workshops, said respondents, were among some of the workshops that consumers were interested in during the last year.
Cooking classes and workshops allow customers to have an experience and enable retailers to connect with their communities. They bring in new customers, growing the client base, but also bring return customers back to see what’s new. Additionally, cooking classes allow retailers the chance to show off new products as well as staple kitchen goods that customers may not already know about or may be too intimidated to purchase. According to industry experts, customers usually make a purchase after seeing an item being demonstrated in a cooking class.