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A stalwart of the independent gourmet housewares channel, cookware sales have stalled this year, said retailers who participated in the GOURMET INSIDER® State Of The Industry survey. The channel dropped in sales, currently standing at $51.8 million, down from last year’s total of $53.9 million.

Cookware had a challenging year as consumer purchasing patterns have changed. Open stock products are still trending upward in the gourmet market while sales of sets have softened.

Meal kits, most often times, suggest a type of cookware for optimal results. Those users then will make an open stock purchase to ensure their meal will taste the best.

While bridal registry has often picked up some of the sales volume with new couples registering for expensive sets, this was not the case in 2017. As more couples are living together before the wedding or combining households, they are beginning to register for open stock cookware instead. This allows them to not only make their own set, but gives guests more purchasing options.

Cast iron is still hot amongst consumers because of its versatility. Cast iron pans can be used in a plethora of cooking surfaces — from the grill to the oven to the campfire — and can be used to make an array of dishes. The fact that cast iron products are created from a natural source, part of the American heritage and oven-to-table ready have made consumers realize the return on investment.

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