Stand aside Emeril Lagasse and Rachel Ray, there’s a new line of influencer cookware that the Instagram generation is going to *heart emoji*. But’s not a tie-in with a celebrity cook. It’s by Buzzfeed. And it’s on sale exclusively at Walmart.
Called Tasty Cookware, it’s a spinoff of Buzzfeed‘s uber-successful Tasty media brand, which pioneered those super-fast, overhead cooking videos you see all over social media (which reach 540 million people around the globe through Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube). Starting today, Tasty Cookware is selling 90 different kitchen tools, starting at $4.44 and topping off at $100 for an 11-piece pot and pan set.
It’s a means for Buzzfeed, a profitable media company structured to capitalize on the rise of social networking, to pursue new revenue streams in an uncertain era for publishers on platforms like Facebook.
Developed by Buzzfeed Commerce, the product lab run by former Quirky founder Ben Kaufman, Tasty Cookware is the most ambitious play by the division yet. In the past, the lab launched a customizable Tasty cookbook (which sold well enough to be a New York Times Best Seller), wine bottles you can label, and a Post-It mural maker with 3M. It’s also currently developing a smart hot plate that promises to make cooking Tasty recipes a semi-automated cinch.
The cookware doesn’t look all that different from any other kitchen products you’d buy at any big box store. Aside from the Tasty-blue colorway on pots, and the poo emoji cookie cutter, it’s downright conservatively-designed, mainstream-friendly stuff. The internet meme-y items are hugely outnumbered by typical nonstick frying pans, muffin tins, micro-planes, and strainers.
But the partnership with Walmart, which even in the age of Amazon is still the world’s largest retailer, is a signal of how quickly the media-brand-gone-invention-studio is growing up. Buzzfeed seems to be telling the world that it doesn’t need to sell an internet-age gimmick to make money. It can just sell good old-fashioned pots and pans.