Cutlery remains an important category for the gourmet industry, as retailers have reported that once again, the category was up, with an approximate 6% increase in sales overall. In addition, retailers reported that this category was a lucrative one, grossing a large amount of revenue, second to gadgets and kitchen tools.
There are several factors that contributed to the increase in sales this year. Gourmet store owners reported that their shops are becoming more of a go-to source for the purchase and care of cutlery in general. As the mass retail landscape continues to change and cutlery consumers gravitate further from big box stores, the independent store owner provides not only a carefully curated selection of quality cutlery, but is also prepared to share the education necessary for consumers to make an informed decision.
Case in point, retailers cited education as an important factor in helping them stand out from the crowd. And when it comes to cutlery, with price expectations increasing, so too is the demand from customers for knowledge about the knives they are about to invest in.
Retailers have reported hosting an increase in classes and workshops centered around cutlery, be it knife skills classes or demos directly from vendors. The classes also offer retailers the opportunity to incorporate other goods such as cutting boards and honing steels, which are complementary to the knives themselves. This opportunity to showcase accessories has also been a boost to sales, as consumers are interested in the additional tools necessary to keep their knives in top shape.
With that said, maintaining knives for longtime use has become a necessary factor for consumers upon purchasing cutlery. This has prompted retailers to add additional stock of sharpening products, as well as introduce in-store sharpening services.
In addition, with cutlery itself taking up such a small portion of retail floor space, retailers have reported they are then able to fit in a larger variety of accessories, such as cutting boards and sharpeners in order to accommodate customers interested in making a more well-rounded purchase.
The category was also cited as one that retailers plan to continue to grow to support their business. According to the survey, 43% of retailers reported that they planned to expand their cutlery program, while 54% stated they planned to keep it the same.