What Happened To Wearever Cookware?

Wearever Cookware was once a household name in the United States, known for its high-quality aluminum cookware. The company can trace its roots back to 1888 when Charles Martin Hall, a young inventor from Oberlin, Ohio, developed an inexpensive way to smelt aluminum. WearEver began by selling its patented products door-to-door, employing college students as salespeople. In a short time, other organizations were buying up WearEver articles in bulk.

However, by the early 2000s, Wearever found itself in dire financial straits. The company was struggling to compete against cheaper Chinese imports and other companies that offered better quality products. While Wearever tried to adapt, they eventually went bankrupt in 2003 despite having several hundred employees. This article will explore the reasons behind Wearever Cookware’s downfall and what it means for the cookware industry.

History of Wearever Cookware

Founding of Wearever Cookware

Wearever Cookware was founded in 1888 by Charles Martin Hall, a young inventor from Oberlin, Ohio. Hall discovered an inexpensive way to smelt aluminum by perfecting the electrochemical reduction process that extracted aluminum from bauxite ore. This breakthrough allowed for the mass production of affordable aluminum cookware, and Wearever Cookware was born.

Growth and Expansion of Wearever Cookware

Wearever Cookware quickly gained popularity and expanded its product line to include a wide range of aluminum cookware, bakeware, and utensils. By the early 1900s, Wearever Cookware had become a household name, with its products being sold door-to-door by college students and salesmen.

In 1912, the United States Marine Corps commissioned Wearever aluminum utensils for standard kitchenware issue, further cementing the brand’s reputation for quality and durability. Wearever Cookware continued to innovate and expand, incorporating new materials and technologies into its products.

However, by the early 2000s, Wearever Cookware found itself struggling to compete against cheaper Chinese imports and other companies that offered better quality products. Despite efforts to adapt, the company eventually went bankrupt in 2003, despite having several hundred employees.

In 2006, Wearever Cookware was acquired by Groupe SEB and rebranded as simply WearEver. Today, WearEver continues to produce a wide range of high-quality cookware and kitchen products, with a focus on durability, performance, and affordability.

Wearever Cookware Products

Wearever Cookware was a company that produced a wide range of cookware products. The company was known for its high-quality aluminum cookware that was durable and long-lasting. In this section, we will take a closer look at the types of cookware offered by Wearever and the quality and features of their products.

Types of Cookware Offered by Wearever

Wearever Cookware offered a variety of cookware products that were designed to meet the needs of different customers. Some of the most popular types of cookware offered by Wearever include:

  • Sauce Pans
  • Roasting Pans
  • Stock Pots
  • Fry Pans
  • Griddles
  • Dutch Ovens
  • Skillets
  • Bakeware

Each of these products was designed to be durable, long-lasting, and easy to use. They were made from high-quality aluminum that was designed to distribute heat evenly and prevent hot spots.

Quality and Features of Wearever Cookware

Wearever Cookware was known for its high-quality products that were designed to last for many years. The company used only the best materials and manufacturing processes to ensure that their products were of the highest quality.

One of the key features of Wearever Cookware was its non-stick coating. This coating was designed to prevent food from sticking to the surface of the cookware, making it easy to clean and maintain. The non-stick coating was also scratch-resistant, which meant that it would not wear off easily.

Another feature of Wearever Cookware was its ergonomic handles. The handles were designed to be comfortable to hold and easy to grip, even when the cookware was hot. This made it easy to move the cookware around the kitchen and pour food without spilling.

Issues with Wearever Cookware

Complaints and Recalls

Over the years, Wearever Cookware has received numerous complaints from customers about the quality of their products. Some of the common complaints include scratches, pitting, and warping of the cookware. These issues not only affect the performance of the cookware but also pose a risk to the health of the users.

In 1996, Wearever Cookware was involved in a recall of their aluminum frying pans. The pans were found to be releasing excessive amounts of aluminum into food, which could lead to health problems such as Alzheimer’s disease. The recall affected over 2 million frying pans and resulted in a significant loss for the company.

Reasons for Decline in Popularity

Despite being one of the pioneers of aluminum-based cookware, Wearever Cookware’s popularity has declined over the years. One of the main reasons for this decline is the emergence of new and innovative cookware materials such as stainless steel, cast iron, and ceramic.

Another reason for the decline in popularity is the company’s inability to adapt to changing consumer preferences. While other companies were introducing new and innovative designs, Wearever Cookware continued to produce the same old designs, which failed to attract new customers.

Furthermore, the company faced financial difficulties, which affected their ability to invest in research and development. As a result, they fell behind their competitors in terms of product quality and innovation.

Alternatives to Wearever Cookware

When it comes to cookware, there are a plethora of options available in the market. If you are looking for an alternative to Wearever Cookware, here are some other brands to consider and factors to keep in mind when choosing cookware.

Other Cookware Brands to Consider

  1. All-Clad: All-Clad is a premium brand that offers high-quality stainless steel cookware with excellent heat distribution and durability. Their products are oven and dishwasher safe, making them a versatile option for any kitchen.
  2. Cuisinart: Cuisinart offers a range of cookware options, including non-stick, stainless steel, and hard-anodized aluminum. They are known for their affordable prices and durable products.
  3. Calphalon: Calphalon is a popular brand that offers a variety of cookware options, including non-stick, stainless steel, and hard-anodized aluminum. Their products are known for their durability and even heating.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Cookware

  1. Material: The material of the cookware can affect its durability, heat distribution, and ease of cleaning. Stainless steel, copper, and aluminum are popular options.
  2. Non-Stick Coating: Non-stick coatings make cooking and cleaning easier, but they can wear off over time. Consider the quality of the non-stick coating when choosing cookware.
  3. Oven and Dishwasher Safe: If you plan to use your cookware in the oven or dishwasher, make sure it is safe for those uses.
  4. Price: Cookware can range in price from affordable to very expensive. Consider your budget when choosing cookware.
  5. Brand Reputation: Research the brand and read reviews before making a purchase. A reputable brand with good customer reviews is more likely to offer high-quality cookware.


In conclusion, Wearever Cookware was a popular brand that had a long history of producing high-quality aluminum cookware. However, due to financial difficulties, the company went under and its assets were sold off at auction.

Although Wearever Cookware is no longer in business, there are still many other brands that offer similar products. Consumers can choose from a variety of materials, including stainless steel, non-stick, and ceramic, to find the best cookware for their needs.

When selecting cookware, it is important to consider factors such as durability, ease of use, and safety. Consumers should also look for products that are compatible with their cooking style and preferences.

Overall, while the demise of Wearever Cookware is unfortunate, it serves as a reminder of the importance of financial stability in the business world. As consumers, we can continue to make informed choices about the products we purchase and support companies that prioritize quality and sustainability.

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