In fall 2018, Milo joined the growing bevy of startups–including Misen knives, Material utensils, Made In cookware, and Great Jones cookware–creating high quality pots, pans, and knives at affordable prices. It entered the market with just one product, a $95 Dutch oven designed to compete with Le Creuset, but at a third the price or less.
Milo’s strategy has been to grow slowly. It just launched two more products, a smaller Dutch oven, and a skillet–made in the same Chinese factory–which can all be purchased together for $225. It’s an interesting approach, given that many of its competitors have been churning out more and more items, helping stock customers’ kitchens with enough equipment to fill a Michelin-star restaurant.
But while the other startups have focused on creating a lifestyle around their products, one associated with stylish, gourmand living, Milo has stubbornly focused on the product itself. Its first pot received high marks from reviewers who argue that it stands up to more established brands like Staub, Lodge, and Le Creuset.
Milo also makes the case that you can do more with fewer, better products, making it arguably part of a new, counterintuitive trend. The brand has taken pains to show how versatile its cast-iron pieces are. Several millennial-oriented brands are making the case that less is more. We’re seeing this among fashion brands like Cuyana, which came up with the catchphrase, “Fewer, better things.”
On the one hand, this push toward minimalism is a good way to sell millennials items that are more expensive than they would otherwise buy. But it can also be seen as a backlash to the years of American consumerist behavior, which encourages us to own more and more stuff. Given that we’re in a full-on environmental crisis, these brands make it easier to own less.