Instant Pot has gone into administration. Is it safe to buy its cookers?

Instant Brands has gone into Chapter 11 - is an Instant Pot a safe buy?

Instant Vortex Slim Air Fryer
(Image credit: Instant Brands)

Of all the companies to go into administration, I didn't think the makers of the Instant Pot would be one of them. But it has, filing for Chapter 11 protection in the US. That raises two questions: what's going on, and is it safe to buy an Instant Pot or Instant air fryer?

The first one's easy. I'm a big fan of the Instant Pot and its spin-offs: I use my Instant Pot Duo Crisp with Ultimate Lid all the time, and I've previously owned a few Instant Pot multi-cookers. Of late, though, it's seemed that its owner Instant Brands has been trying to corner the market for everything: not just the best multi-cookers but the best air fryers too.

That means multiple models, often with very slight differences between them. And while the resulting products have been pretty good, it looks like the firm has over-reached itself by amassing debt it's struggling to repay now that the cost of borrowing is soaring.

So what does that mean for you? Instant Pot or not?

Is it safe to buy an Instant Pot?

Chapter 11 means Instant Brands can continue to trade while it restructures, so in that respect it's business as usual. Instant Pots are still being made, and sold, and refurbished, and repaired. 

As far as warranties go, they're still valid. If Instant Brands goes out of business altogether, which isn't currently on the horizon, then you may still have some protection via your credit or debit card issuer: here in the UK, section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act gives you protection for products costing over £100.

The big question, and one Instant Brands is answering yes, is whether it'll emerge from Chapter 11 in better shape and stay in business. Instant Brands' sales have been falling for a while due to increased competition from the likes of Ninja and Tefal; according to S&P Global Data, sales were down 22 per cent in the first quarter of 2023, the firm has about $95 million in cash and it's carrying about $500 million in bank debt. 

That means we're likely to see a narrower focus, with the firm spending a lot less: expect to see fewer new models and possibly a cull of existing ones.

But at least there should be some still available going forward.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (