The Maker Of Instant Pot, Pyrex Has Filed For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

You may love all the easy recipes you can make in your Instant Pot, but that admiration apparently isn't enough to prevent its owners from filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Instant Brands, which also owns well-known kitchen names like Pyrex and CorningWare, filed the claim on June 12, citing higher interest rates and pandemic-related challenges as drivers of their situation. The company says supply-chain problems from the pandemic took a big toll on their funds, leaving them unable to pay off their debts. But if you love your Instant Pot, don't fret just yet, as a Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows Instant Brands to stay open and reorganize their finances, rather than going out of business completely.

Instant Brands is owned by private equity firm Cornell Capitol, and the filing reveals they've grown quite large in the last decades on the back of the Instant Pot, with up to $1 billion in assets and liabilities. The Instant Pot debuted in 2010 and quickly became a hit for its ease of use and the speed with which the pressure cooker could make formally time-consuming meals like short ribs. However, after an initial spike at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, sales started falling, with a recent drop of 22% in the first quarter of this year, which was the seventh straight quarter that sales had declined, reports CBS News. With those struggles, the company expects it may take several years to regain profitability.

Instant Brands is pulling back and restructuring

While rising interest rates and pandemic-driven costs have impacted many companies, those struggles came at a particularly bad time for Instant Brands, which was massively expanding its operations until the last few years. Starting with just four individuals at its founding, Instant Brands grew to have over 1,900 people on payroll and has already needed to lay off a significant part of its workforce since 2020, according to The Wall Street Journal. Part of the growth has come through the work of the private equity owners, who bought the company in 2019 and merged it with Pyrex and CorningWare. Private equity groups are investors that often push the companies they own into big expansions and new product markets, exactly like the kind of moves Instant Brands had recently made. Combine that attempted growth with a 50% drop in sales in the "electronic multi-cooker devices" category last year, and you have a recipe for trouble.

Through Chapter 11 bankruptcy Instant Brands will attempt to relieve itself of some debts and liabilities and come out the other side as a healthier company. Despite its struggles, the company has received additional financing from some of its lenders to help it navigate bankruptcy. For lovers of convenient cooking everywhere, let's hope things work out, and that one of our favorite ways to make mashed potatoes and meatballs survives.