We’re sure many of our readers had to pick their jaws up from the floor when Instant Brands, the parent company that owns our beloved Instant Pot, announced that they would be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
But what does this actually mean for the brand? Is it like that scene from The Office where Michael Scott, played by Steve Carell, loudly proclaims, “I DECLARE BANKRUPTCY!” when he’s having money troubles, or could this announcement mean the end of the Instant Pot as we know it?
Why Is Instant Pot Declaring Bankruptcy?
Instant Pots (affectionately referred to as IPs by many devotees) have changed the way many of us cook. IPs are flexible: you can cook anything from Taiwanese beef noodle soup to cheesecake, drastically reducing cooking time and redefining what it means to throw things in a pot and “set it and forget it.”
In a statement released by Instant Brands, the company doesn’t give any specific reasons for declaring bankruptcy, but outlets like the New York Times and The Atlantic point to a few reasons for the company’s financial woes: Instant Pots became popular during the early days of the pandemic and are rarely a tool you need to buy more than once. After experiencing a surge in 2020, The New York Times reported that “unit sales for multicookers—appliances that can cook food several ways—declined 20 percent from April 2022 to April 2023.”
Does The Bankruptcy Announcement Mean The Instant Pot Is Done?
No—at least, not right now. Chapter 11 bankruptcy means the organization can reorganize in an attempt to remain solvent, but other companies recently filed Chapter 11 and began liquidating assets. When Bed Bath & Beyond announced they would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April 2023, they began liquidating its 360 remaining U.S. stores but said they hoped to find a buyer for the brand.
It seems Instant Brands is optimistic about its future. For now, Instant Pots will still be available for purchase, and the bankruptcy announcement only affects U.S. operations. So you can breathe a sigh of relief that, for right now, things will continue as normal.
“Chapter 11 is a legal tool in the United States that enables companies to continue operating as they strengthen their financial positions in an efficient and orderly manner,” the press release states. “It is different from restructuring or administration processes in other countries and does not mean the Company is going out of business.”
Should I Stock Up On Spare Instant Pot Parts?
Even though it’s unlikely you’ll be left high and dry if your IP breaks, you might still want to stock up on spare parts, just in case. For example, the IP website recommends replacing your silicone sealing ring every 12 to 18 months (or even more frequently if you’re concerned with smells and discoloration, so maybe nab a few of those to store and keep your mind at ease as we await news of IPs next moves. Some IP experts recommend having two on hand at all times: one for sweet cooking applications and one for savory.
If you lose things easily, IP parts are still available on their website—you can order virtually every piece of the IP separately, including the IP base—and most retailers carry IP parts in-store and online.
We recommend stocking up on parts that are removed often, like the condensation collector or the anti-block shield. Just make sure you look at the model of IP you have before choosing your backup parts: some IP models require pieces designed specifically for certain models.
Instant Brands’ Chapter 11 announcement isn’t quite the nail in the coffin it might sound like, but that doesn’t mean things won’t change if the company can’t figure out a way out of debt, so keep looking for further updates. But as it stands now, you don’t have to worry about never seeing an IP grace the shelves of your local big-box store or constantly out of stock on your favorite retailer’s website.
In the meantime, celebrate your Instant Pot! If you had an IP sitting in your basement or shoved in the back of your cabinets, now is the time to pull it out (we have a complete guide on using the Instant Pot for the first time) and try one of our beginner-friendly IP recipes. We’ve also tested dozens of Instant Pot models and shared our favorites, and compiled lists of our ten favorite IP weeknight recipes.