Le Creuset enjoys a second youth

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Sometimes classic brands enjoy a second youth.

So it is with the decades old premium cookware company, Le Creuset.

In recent years it has shifted from being a middle class kitchen staple to a hot accessory for every wannabe Instagram chef.

Le Creuset was founded in 1925 by two Belgian industrialists, who discovered how to reliably create enamelled cast iron cocottes.

For many years Le Creuset products were the perfect wedding gifts.

But as couples got married later, and accumulated their own gear, this market fell into decline.

The rise of convenience food also made high-end cookware less desirable.

But something changed with the rise of celebrity chefs, which later fuelled the popularity of food tutorials on YouTube, food documentaries on Netflix, and endless sharing of food creations on Instagram.

Suddenly no sunlit dappled kitchen was complete without a Smeg fridge, Dualit toaster, KitchenAid mixer and, artfully placed on the back stove, a Le Creuset casserole, in volcanic orange, coastal blue or shell pink.

“Colorful cast-iron cookware by brands like Le Creuset and the retro, brightly hued stand mixers by KitchenAid aren’t just culinary workhorses; they’ve become small markers of stability and sophistication, coveted by young people for whom traditional indicators of both often remain out of reach,” Amanda Mull recently wrote.

“Once people figure out how to use their new toys, they turn to social media to share the results.”

But there is more to this than showing off. Google search trends show a marked shift from “cheap” to “best.”

A Le Creuset pot even inspired Tara Button to launch BuyMeOnce, a website dedicated to brands that are built to last.

“It felt like an heirloom,” explains Button. “I loved the fact that owning a Le Creuset meant that I potentially never had to buy another pot again. If only everything in my life had this quality to it, I thought.”

“So, I set out to find more objects that I would never have to replace, ones that would work with me and grow old with me – beautiful, classic objects worthy of committing to and taking care of.”

A version of this article was published as part of a weekly column by Guy Cookson on marketing, design, trends and strategy in the Lancaster Guardian, Blackpool Gazette and Lancashire Post. See our brand, web design and marketing recent projects.

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