Rice - © 2016 Apartment Therapy

Instant Pot Mania: Fad, Fashion, Trend – Or Folly?

Today I’m asking you, dear reader, to consider the tale of the amazing Instant Pot. The guy who invented it – operating under the name Instant Brands – recently filed for bankruptcy. Wait… Why was there no warning of this? Was the Instant Pot destined for fame?

Instant Pot Duo 60 - © Instant Brands

Fame is fleeting…

Fame, somebody once said, is fleeting. Boy, were they right – especially in the case of the Instant Pot. It was intended to make cooking just about anything as easy as punching a few buttons. And that was it. But it seems times have changed, and the IP has become what its inventor calls another victim of the passing of COVID. The company opines as folks have less time to cook, now that so many have had to go back to working at the office, rather than winging it from home. Just part of a larger priority shift associated with the end of lockdown.

“After successfully navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and the global supply chain crisis, we continue to face additional global macroeconomic geopolitical challenges that affected our business,” President and CEO Ben Gadbois said in a recent statement. He also cites high interest rates as one of its biggest hurdles IP has had to overcome.

Bankruptcy by the numbers…

Instant Brands decided to seek ‘bankruptcy protection’ after its share price fell 21.9 percent in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year.

Now, for those who aren’t steeped in accounting and financial theory, ‘bankruptcy’ is not necessarily a one-way street to the poorhouse anymore. Gadbois and company have secured (US)$132.5 million to keep the company afloat for the nonce. That’s why they call U.S. Chapter 11 bankruptcy “protection”. Gives a business time to reorganize, find some new investors, refinance its debt, and prove to the government and the stock market and investors that it’s capable of carrying on, and making money again.

And… It’s important to note that they home a number of companion brands under their umbrella. ‘Instant’ appliances are still the flagship products. But the company also stewards: Corelle, Corning Ware, Pyrex, Visions, Snapware and Chicago Cutlery.

“What about my warranty?” I hear you howl…

As I understand it, the company is continuing to operate as usual. That means folks with Instant Pots still in warranty are protected should anything covered by the warranty go wrong. Our IP gets regular usage, and it’s never let us down. But your experience my differ. Bottom line? Don’t worry; be happy…

Some ponderous points to ponder…

Do you own an Instant Pot?

Have you used it recently?

Do you still love it? I use mine all the time to make perfect rice in 15 minutes, bubble up stews (especially chili), and braise tougher cuts of meat (such as pork shoulder).

If the company went down permanently, would you be: Disappointed? Upset? Totally at a loss for supper? None of the above?

Associated questions:

Did you cook more during the COVID Crisis? If yes, do you still cook more than you did before the Crisis?

When you first heard about the Instant Pot – probably via Gadbois’ blanket TV commercial campaign – did you see it as: A Fad? A Fashion? A Trend? – Or A Folly?

Muse on that…

~ Maggie J.