In February, GOURMET INSIDER® announced that Christopher Kimball would be teaming up with Regal Ware on a line of stainless steel cookware. The collection, dubbed Christopher Kimball by 1919 Cookware will be making its debut at the International Home + Housewares Show, which is set to begin on March 10.
The partnership, said Cheri Novack, sales manager, private label, Regal Ware, began in August 2016 and began developing through 2017. The company reached out to Kimball because of his status in the culinary world, one that aligns with Regal Ware’s company culture, said Jeff Reigle, president and CEO, Regal Ware.
“Our passion at Regal Ware is to strengthen families around the world by creating memorable experiences and traditions around the table. Our cookware is crafted to provide results in the kitchen and to make cooking easier and more enjoyable. We believe Kimball’s influence as an educator in the food culture speaks to our passion — which makes our partnership a natural fit. We are very proud to be the manufacturer for Christopher Kimball by 1919 Cookware,” said Reigle.
According to Regal Ware, the launch of the collection is just the beginning. The goal, said Marshall Harting, vp/sales and marketing, Regal Ware, is to develop a long-standing relationship between the companies and to further develop Kimball’s line.
“We have a lot of synergy and it aligns very well from a story perspective as well as what we are trying to accomplish as a company,” said Harting. “Christopher Kimball is a figure who has built trust with his audience and being able to place our brand in the hands of someone who has already built that trust with the consumer is a great opportunity.”
Harting noted that the partnership will be an asset to both Regal Ware as a company as well as the retail channels the cookware is set to debut in because of Kimball’s experience and the way he is able to speak directly to the consumer and elevate their cooking experience in their own homes.
“He has a passion for the vessels that he uses and is able to bring them to life through the food he creates. He is able to educate and bring to life what is in the kitchen,” he said.
Kimball also noted that it was important for him to develop partnerships with companies that offer, “quality and attention to detail,” but that Regal Ware’s manufacturing facility and heritage of making products in the U.S. also drew him to develop a partnership with the company.
“I grew up during a time when American-made really meant something. My mother worked in a wire factory during WWII to help with the war effort. It is a good feeling to work with a longstanding American company,” he said.
Novack added that the American-made story can be used as an added selling point for retailers, since consumers are asking more questions about origin, design, craftsmanship and quality at point-of-purchase.
“It’s really about the artist and the craftsmanship,” Novack added.
“Retailers are able to speak to how we build the cookware with the technology and innovation that we are always pushing for.” Kimball also said that the cookware line appealed to him because it aligned with his cooking demands.
“What I look for is even heat distribution and retention. This line of cookware, the 1919 line, is 5-ply, which produces even heat. We look for quality and simplicity of purpose. I don’t want all the unnecessary extras, just give me something that is well designed, well-made, and does its job as intended,” he said.
Available for the fourth quarter, the initial launch of the Christopher Kimball by 1919 Cookware will include three skillets, a sauté pan, sauce pans and a stockpot. There will be several set configurations, which will range in suggested retail price from $300 to $1,500.
The line will go exclusively to boutique retail, mid-sized chains and the independent gourmet channel.
While the Christopher Kimball by 1919 Cookware collection was launched quickly and with limited input from Kimball, Harting also said Regal Ware and Christopher Kimball will work to create extensions of the line that will include a more hands-on approach from Kimball himself. Novack suggested that ethnic cookware pieces will more than likely be on the way as well.
“Kimball has a strong desire to design and he has very definitive ideas,” she said. “He will continue to have more input as the lines develop.”
In addition to the new collection with Christopher Kimball, Regal Ware will showcase its 1919 line, which is also a new launch for the company. The line is made of tri-ply polished stainless steel and non-stick items, including saucepans, sauté pans, skillets, stockpots and cookware sets.