For those new to cooking, it’s easy to feel lost the first few (or few dozen) times in the kitchen.
But what if you had a personal cooking coach to text with questions about techniques, meal suggestions or even dinner party tips? That’s the idea behind Equal Parts, a cookware brand from Millennial-focused direct-to-consumer startup Pattern Brands.
Here’s how Equal Parts coaching+cookware works:
When you buy a new cookware set from Equal Parts, you get an accompanying bundle of cooking guidance as part of the package. Guidance comes in the form of eight weeks of seven-days-a-week text messaging access to cooking coaches that provide advice on pretty much anything related to the meal journey, from teaching new cooking skills like sautéing to walking through a meal plan to grocery shopping guidance. Coaches are available each day from 4 PM ET to Midnight ET.
The cookware + coaching kits range in price from $65 for a utensil bundle all the way up to $499 for a 20 piece “Complete Kitchen” bundle that includes pans, knives, mixing bowls and more.
Once your eight weeks of text-based coaching is up, you’re ready to spread your wings and fly solo or, as the company puts it on their website, it’s time to “build your intuition in the kitchen” because, after a couple months, “you won’t need us anymore”.
Guided Cooking For The Millennial Generation?
In a way, Equal Parts offers guided cooking, only instead of using connected pans and software, the Millennial-focused brand offers up personalized guidance in a delivery format that is second nature to pretty much anyone in the under-35 crowd: texting.
Another difference with connected products is the temporal nature of the guidance. While products like the Hestan Cue offer the prospect of continuous guidance over the lifetime of product, the reality is most folks usually have a few go-to meals they cook, so the idea of weaning people off of their coaching makes sense. I also suspect giving a limited time window to use the coaching probably is enough to incentivize many to actually use it and not shove their pans in the drawer.
The company behind Equal Parts is a venture funded startup from Pattern Brands, a company founded by some of the marketing agency whizzes who helped launch direct-to-consumer brands like Warby Parker, Everlane and Bonobos. While many of the early D2C success stories have been largely focused on fashion and lifestyle categories, the kitchen and other more “domesticated” brand concepts have come into focus the last few years as Millennials move both into parenthood and up the career ladder.
And while Equal Parts is a new take on cookware, it isn’t the first new take targeted at the under-35 set. Great Jones is another buzzy cookware brand that launched in the last few years, and let’s not forget Buzzfeed Tasty’s cookware brand partnership with Walmart. Tasty has also tried its hand at guided cooking with the Tasty One Top, a product it seemed to lose some interest in over the past year as many of the core team behind the product like Ben Kaufman (ed note: Buzzfeed emailed us to let us know that Ben Kaufman is still acting as company CMO through the end of this year even as he focuses on his new startup Camp) have moved on.
So will text-message powered coaching be the secret ingredient to establish Equal Parts as an up-and-coming cookware brand? Too soon to tell, but it’s definitely worth a shot. While the Instant Pot may have become the first cooking gadget Millennials can call their own, the race to become the cookware brand for a generation is too big an opportunity to pass up.