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While cookware has been a mixed bag for retailers during the last several years, it saw an uptick in 2018, according to respondents from the State Of The Industry survey. The segment increased in overall sales this year, seeing a 1.9% increase from 2017.

While cookware does take up a heafty amount of floor space, especially cookware sets, retailers are positive about the category in the year to come. Of survey respondents, 52.9% of retailers said their cookware selection and space dedicated to the category would stay the same in the coming year, while 18.4% said they would be looking to scale back cookware goods going into 2019.

Sales in the cookware segment continues to driven by cast iron products, as it has for the last several years. Cast iron cookware can be used on a variety of surfaces, including on the grill and even over a campfire. And its oven-to-table properties make it appealing to consumers who want to minimize cleanup time after a meal, as only one vessel will have to be cleaned.

Additionally, while cast iron was often looked at has a high-maintenance piece of cookware, home cooks are becoming increasingly aware of how to take care of their cast iron pieces, not only to ensure their return on investment, but also because cast iron is an appropriate cookware vessel for an array of dishes and can be used to perform a variety of cooking styles.

While cast iron has seemingly been a hot item during the last several years, there have also been improvements in non-stick cookware which have brought more consumers back to the market. Non-stick cookware is also versatile, as it allows home cooks to execute a variety of recipes. The improvement in coatings has been appealing to customers who are looking to make an investment in a non-stick piece of cookware.

Specialty cookware, like ethnic pieces and roasters, have also continued to grow during the last year. Sales of these goods have been heavily influenced by food trends and global flavors. Influencers, too, have had an impact on cookware sales as they create and share meals on their blogs as well as social media sites, such as Instagram, making it easier for those who are passionate about cooking at home to add to their regular meal rotation.

Quality cookware is still the top factor when consumers are considering making a cookware purchase. They are looking for cookware that will enable them to enjoy their investment for many meals instead of just using it for a few months and searching for a new piece.

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