And yet, direct-to-consumer startups from Great Jones to Potluck are swooping in to change up the habits of a generation that’s supposedly used to tapping their way to sustenance. Equal Parts, the first brand from Pattern, the DTC holding company from the founders of Gin Lane, is entering the stovetop arena Sept. 17 with 15 items from utensils to colanders and pans (also available in four kits) at a millennial-friendly price point. And something different, too: the guidance they need to make their at-home meals.
“It’s really important that Equal Parts is really approachable,” said Nick Ling, cofounder and CEO of Pattern. “Too often when you’re learning something new, the world is this aspirational. We’re trying to reset that [at] Pattern and Equal Parts.”
Tyler Sgro, vice president and general manager at Equal Parts, thinks the brand will stand out not only with its products—which are made with recyclable materials, non-toxic, nonstick and dishwasher safe, shipped in recycled cardboard with zero plastic—but because of the “guidance” aspect the company offers with each purchase.
When a customer buys any of the brand’s four kits—or even just a standalone knife—they’ll also receive eight weeks of free access to a cooking coach. From 4 p.m. ET to midnight on weekdays and 12 p.m. ET to midnight on weekends, customers can ask any question about the cooking process, whether it’s as simple as how much oil to add to get started or something more involved in a recipe.
To develop the program, Sgro said Equal Parts met with hundreds of consumers to figure out what was stopping them from having the sort of relationship with the kitchen that they like—not dread. Consumers told the company they lacked the “confidence” necessary to get started cooking. Enter the coaches who will provide the guidance, who are fully integrated with the Equal Parts team, Ling said. For now, the brand isn’t thinking too much past those eight complimentary weeks.
Equal Parts is part of Pattern’s mission to combat burnout culture. But it’s also part of the company’s bigger goal of building a family of brands that fit into each other, creating a whole experience versus a singular one. Ling is taking a “teach a man to fish” approach with every brand he’s rolling out. With the debut of Equal Parts, Ling said consumer feedback will help Pattern figure out other pain points that people want to solve, then create products and brands for those issues.
“We’re not just selling you something—we’re helping you learn something,” he said.