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Kohl’s subscribes to the Food Network


Kohl’s, in partnership with the Food Network, is rolling out a line of Bobby Flay casual lifestyle housewares. The line launched exclusively at Kohl’s stores and on May 15. The Bobby Flay introduction is an extension of an earlier deal between Kohl’s and the Food Network that brought a Food Network-branded kitchenware collection to the retailer’s stores in September 2007.

Lifestyle is an important factor in the new line, composed of products and styles that make it appropriate for entertaining, including unique grilling items and a diverse selection of affordable cookware, dinnerware, kitchen gadgets, utensils, cutlery, textiles and barbecue tools.

The Bobby Flay collection was styled to reflect Mediterranean influences that have informed the TV chef’s approach to dining. The 16-piece Plancha dinnerware set was fabricated with sunny colors and a terracotta base, for example. Tablecloths, placemats, napkins and bar mop-towel sets also are available in Plancha colors. Cutlery includes a set of steak knives and a slicing set, and an Acacia Wood collection provides large salad bowls, servers and a cutting board that doubles as a cheese plate. Price points will range from $4.99 for an oatmeal bowl to $139.99 for a 16-piece Plancha dinnerware set.

“These products will help you grill, cook and entertain any time, in any weather,” said Flay as part of the collection’s launch. “My products represent how grilling has become a lifestyle and a part of our culture, all year round.”

The Bobby Blender further powers the line’s entertainment capability with preferred cocktail measurements in the pouring glass. “And what’s better when gathered around a hot grill than some fruity frozen drinks?” said Susan Stockton, Food Network’s senior vp of culinary productions. “We worked closely with Kohl’s on developing the first in his line of electrics: the ‘Bobby Blender’ that takes the guess work out of bartending. It is fashioned after an old-fashioned cocktail shaker found at a flea market in Brimfield, Mass., on steroids!”

Flay worked closely with Food Network Kitchens to apply his experience to the line. And according to Stockton, it shows up in the product details. “Grill gear, for Bobby, is an extension of his hand. He told us tools and tongs …should not be as long as some we’ve seen in the market. It makes them heavy and unwieldy.”

Kohl’s recognized that Flay’s involvement will provide instant recognition and credibility. “Bobby Flay is an exceptional talent with a true passion for sharing his love of great food and easy entertaining with his fans and Kohl’s customers,” stated Rick Seeger, Kohl’s evp/gmm, home and footwear.

“Initially, Kohl’s designers and merchants met with us and Bobby at the Kohl’s New York City design studio to conceptualize a branded line of grilling gear and tabletop,” said Stockton. “Kohl’s presented a lot of samples currently in the market as conversation starters. Bobby was generous with his time and opinions and we all went away with a clear design direction.

“And anyone who has been to one of his restaurants knows the feel of his tabletop: rich, sun-drenched colors in straightforward and functional shapes … I knew he was all about easy entertaining, family style: big serving platters, pitchers and bowls for salsa and sauces, and a table-worthy tortilla warmer. This is on trend as American cooks embrace every aspect of outdoor casual entertaining.”

The Flay line is an outgrowth of the ongoing relationship established between Kohl’s and the Food Network. “Food Network entered into a partnership with Kohl’s in 2007,” said Carrie Welch, a Food Network spokeswoman. “We launched the Food Network at Kohl’s line in September 2007 with much success.

“At the same time in 2007, Food Network launched its strategy to partner with its talent beyond TV shows, into merchandise, endorsement deals and other mutually-beneficial opportunities,” she continued. “We approached Bobby to be a part of the Kohl’s program and he agreed. Bobby and Kohl’s shared similar visions for what the line could be and got to work almost immediately. It’s a three-way partnership that produced high quality products at approachable prices.”

Food Network wouldn’t detail Flay’s role in marketing the line, although Welch acknowledged he would participate. “Bobby will be involved in all aspects of promoting the line,” she said.

Still, Welch conceded, the opportunity to promote the product line among Flay fans won’t be missed. “As all of our talent choose what cooking equipment they use on their shows, Bobby has chosen to use his Kohl’s line in his Food Network shows,” Welch said. She added that the success of the partnership between Kohl’s and the Food Network suggests that further evolution is likely.

For its part, the Food Network keeps cooking up new ideas. “Critical to the relationship all around is the fact that the Food Network Kitchens are continually developing new concepts and testing every one of these products to insure they are up to expectations,” Stockton said. “This team of passionate culinary professionals works closely on set with our celebrity chefs and they’ve worked with virtually every brand of kitchenware imaginable. So they are an invaluable asset to this partnership. At Food Network Kitchens, our mission is to be sure our fans are as pleased with both Food Network and the Bobby Flay brand as we are.”

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