Instant Pot’s parent company files for bankruptcy

Instant Brands, the manufacturer of Instant Pot, CorningWare, and Pyrex, filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. and Canada this week. (Hat tip to EYB Member sir_ken_g for alerting us to this event.) In a statement, the Illinois-based company announced that it “initiated a voluntary court-supervised Chapter 11 process,” blaming rising interest rates on its debt load. “Tightening of credit terms and higher interest rates impacted our liquidity levels and made our capital structure unsustainable,” said CEO Ben Gadbois.

Instant Brands was formed in 2019 when the Canadian inventor of the Instant Pot, Robert Wang, merged his company with Corelle Brands, maker of Pyrex, CorningWare, and other kitchen products. When that merger occurred, Instant Pots were among the top-selling items on Amazon, and it seemed like the company was poised for success. New products bearing the “Instant-” appellation followed after the Instant Pot but none saw the breathtaking success of the original. Knock off brands and a slowing demand caused sales to plummet: in 2022, sales of the Instant Pot were down 50 percent from their level just two years earlier.

Industry analysts are not optimistic about the company’s ability to successfully restructure. Instant Brands took on enormous amounts of debt in its push to develop new products, and now that interest rates have risen substantially, the company’s cash flow won’t even keep pace with the interest on its debt. According to bankruptcy expert Eric Snyder, “They took on too much debt and now you have a company that was moderately profitable now underwater because of the debt load. That’s a tale as old as time.”

Update: another article about Instant Pot with more details on the reasons for their troubles.

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  • whitewoods  on  June 15, 2023

    I don’t really care about Instant Pot as I’ve never invested in one and sometimes have to adapt Instant Pot recipes for my regular pressure cooker. However, learning that Instant Brands was affiliated with the makers of Pyrex and CorningWare, and that the company is filing for bankruptcy is disconcerting. Pyrex and CorningWare are/were such great classics, although I understand that the quality of the glass has changed over the years.

  • Marsaluna  on  June 15, 2023

    Just another example of private equity firms sucking the life out of everything and destroying a good company/product/brand.

  • SSteve  on  June 16, 2023

    Growth-at-all-costs never ends well. I read the Verge article and did a double-take when I saw Instant had 1900 employees. How could anyone think that was sustainable?

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