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Instant Pot Maker Files for Bankruptcy After Being Linked to China

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By Dewey Olson - - 5 Mins Read
A package of instant pot
Shutterstock |

Instant Brands, the company behind renowned kitchenware brands such as Pyrex and Instant Pot, has filed for bankruptcy protection, citing liabilities of up to $1 billion. The company attributes its financial troubles to high-interest rates and weakened demand. Despite these challenges, Instant Brands intends to continue operating while undergoing a business restructuring.


The bankruptcy filing follows a similar warning from Tupperware, another iconic kitchenware brand, highlighting the need for urgent financing to avoid potential bankruptcy. Instant Brands experienced massive sales during the pandemic as people spent more time at home.


However, President and CEO Ben Gadbois explained that tightened credit terms and higher interest rates adversely affected the company's liquidity and rendered its capital structure unsustainable.


Adam Hollerbach has been appointed the chief restructuring officer in the bankruptcy process. In a court filing, Hollerbach noted that sales declined as consumer spending on household goods decreased after the pandemic.


Instant Brands, headquartered in Illinois and controlled by private equity firm Cornell Capital, plans to continue operations with the assistance of $132.5 million in new financing from its existing lenders.


The recent downgrade of Instant Brands by credit rating agency S&P Global reflects a nearly 22% decrease in net sales for the first quarter of 2023 compared to the previous year. This decline coincides with a backdrop of consumers cutting back on non-essential spending due to rising costs across various sectors, including food and electricity.


In January, Instant Brands agreed to pay a fine and modify its marketing practices following claims by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that it had falsely advertised Pyrex glass measuring cups as "Made in USA" while importing some from China.


Instant Brands' portfolio includes well-established brands such as Pyrex, with a history spanning over a century, and the Instant Pot, which gained popularity since its launch in 2010. Additionally, the company owns kitchenware brands Corelle, CorningWare, and Snapware.


The challenges faced by Instant Brands parallel those of Tupperware, a 77-year-old food storage container manufacturer, which also expressed doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern. Tupperware has been striving to attract a younger audience but has struggled to halt the decline in sales.


The company behind the beloved Instant Pot pressure cooker is actively undergoing a restructuring process as part of its bankruptcy proceedings. Despite this challenging period, Instant Brands is committed to its loyal customer base and preserving its iconic brands, particularly the renowned Instant Pot pressure cooker. The company strives to blend innovation and quality as it navigates the necessary changes for long-term success in the competitive kitchenware market.



An instant pot cooker
Instant Pot (Shutterstock)



It's important to note that numerous companies have successfully emerged stronger from similar restructuring processes, achieving record profits. By filing for bankruptcy, Instant Brands secures the crucial time and flexibility to engage in discussions with its financial stakeholders, setting the stage for a revitalized future.


Throughout this transitional phase, Instant Brands remains dedicated to meeting customer needs and upholding its reputation as a trusted provider of high-quality kitchenware. The company's focus on innovation and commitment to customer satisfaction will continue to drive its efforts as it works towards a successful reorganization.


In summary, Instant Brands, the creator of the beloved Instant Pot pressure cooker, is actively navigating the bankruptcy process to restructure its operations and address financial obligations. The company's enduring commitment to its customers and dedication to innovation and quality positions it for long-term success in the competitive kitchenware market.