New Cooks in the Kitchen

As more actors and actresses dip their toes into the foodie space with cookbooks, food-based TV series, and other related content, they are increasingly lending their names, or their proprietary brands, to products for the kitchen, namely cookware and appliances. At least four such partnerships have launched or expanded in the last year:

  • Stanley Tucci partnered with GreenPan, in a deal announced in September 2023, for a line of Italian-made, scratch-resistant, nonstick cookware—saucepan, Dutch oven, lidded fry pans, and a 15-piece set—sold exclusively at Williams Sonoma. The 35 pieces are in three colors inspired by the Mediterranean. Tucci has released pasta recipes through social media since the start of the pandemic; written a cookbook, The Tucci Cookbook; and hosted the food tour documentary Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy on CNN.
  • Selena Gomez released her second cookware collection with Our Place in June 2023. Pieces include Our Place’s Always Pan, Perfect Pot, Mini Always Pan, Mini Perfect Pot, and Oven Pan, in two earthy colors. The first collection, released in 2022, featured cobalt blue and fuchsia inspired by the actress, singer, and beauty entrepreneur’s Latin heritage. Gomez hosts Selena + Chef on Max, in which she learns how to cook a new dish in each episode with the help of a professional chef. Proceeds from the sustainable collection go to Gomez’ mental health nonprofit.
  • Drew Barrymore’s latest kitchenware release under her Beautiful by Drew lifestyle brand at Walmart, in February of this year, included a stand mixer, electric kettle, personal blender set, toaster, air fryer, and coffee maker in a new color, dusty lavender, paired with bronze accents. Last October the brand released a collection consisting of a 12-piece nonstick cookware set, skillet, microwave oven, slow cooker, and more. That followed the launch of Barrymore’s initial cookware and appliances under the Walmart-exclusive brand in March 2021, with an assortment of 150 pieces. The products are created in partnership with Made by Gather and Lifetime Brands. Barrymore’s talk show, The Drew Barrymore Show, features several food and cooking-related segments, including pro chef tips, Battle of the Bites (a contest to select the best dish in a particular genre of food), and Drew’s Cookbook Club. She has also published a book called Rebel Homemaker: Food, Family, Life.
  • Eva Longoria paired with Amazon incubator Heyday, marking the latter’s first celebrity partnership, for a line of multipurpose cookware under the brand name Risa (meaning “laughter” in Spanish), in October 2022. The assortment, which is sold direct-to-consumer as well as on Amazon, includes a nonstick and nontoxic pot and pan, both lidded, sold separately and as a set; a serving stand; a splatter screen; potholders; and a stackable steamer. Longoria’s food-related experience includes a cookbook, Eva’s Kitchen: Cooking with Love for Family and Friends; a documentary series, Eva Longoria: Searching for Mexico on CNN; and a tequila brand, Casa Del Sol.

It is still more common for chefs and other lifestyle experts to lend their names to cookware than it is for actors and actresses with connections to food and cooking. The former bring expertise to the category that typically results in unique features that solve problems they have encountered in the kitchen.

For the actors, while their names are associated with food and cooking in some way, their contribution is more about design and aesthetics; all of the lines mentioned have been lauded as “stunning” by reviewers. The celebrities rely on their licensees to bring functional know-how to the line, with the licensed assortments often featuring mostly key existing pieces from the licensee’s ongoing product array, with a distinctive new look.

On a separate note, Raugust Communications has posted its wrap-up of licensing trends observed at Toy Fair 2023, held earlier this month in New York. You can read it here.

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