Economy, Business And Markets

Non-Stick Cookware, a Flash in The Pan?

Non-Stick Cookware, a Flash in The Pan?Non-Stick Cookware, a Flash in The Pan?

Non-stick cookware has turned into a favorite with consumers for it has made cooking much easier than it used to be.

The industry is also thriving worldwide and investment in the business is increasing by the day. The annual turnover of the industry amounts to some $75 billion and close to 24 million people worldwide earn their living through the business, the Persian daily, Forsat-e Emrooz reported.

“About 200 non-stick cookware production units are active in Iran, having employed some 10,000 workers. These units can sufficiently meet domestic demand yet foreign brands have usurped the market,” Fereydoun Nassiri, the head of Steel Appliance and Kitchen Utensil Producers Union, said.

The popularity of imported items comes despite the fact that the quality of Iranian brands is on par or at times even higher than foreign ones, according to the official.

“Non-stick pots and pans are mainly imported from China, South Korea, Taiwan and India. Their success in sales is due to their wide-scale publicity and good marketing,” he said.

Nassiri said producers want the government to step in and make a move against the large volume of imports of these products, which is causing serious damage to the domestic market.

“This will encourage domestic producers to compete with each other for offering better quality products and after-sales services,” he said.

Another problem preventing quality enhancement of the products, according to Nassiri, is the fact that most business owners in the field lack the required knowhow.

He noted that attending international exhibitions could greatly benefit the industry, as Iranian producers can become familiar with counterparts from other countries and the latest methods and technology, apart from updating themselves about customers’ preferences.

The official said unfortunately, state organizations create hurdles for producers keen on taking part in such events.

If the responsibility is delegated to the private sector, he believes, things can be managed much more efficiently.

“At present, our biggest export destination is Iraq,” Nassiri said.

Mohammad Hassan Kazemi, CEO of Arous Manufacturing Company, which produces non-stick cookware, said most of the raw material used in the industry is imported.

“Aluminum, ceramic and petrochemical materials are very expensive and prices are not fixed. For example, this year, aluminum prices went up by 30% compared to last year,” he said.

Kazemi described market conditions as depressing and said the payback period for investment has increased over the past few years.

“Heavy taxes are set on the industry, which impedes progress. These have to be reconsidered so that the cookware business can put itself together again,” he said.