- Why is Le Creuset Dutch oven so expensive
- How much more expensive are Le Creuset Dutch ovens in comparison?
- What market position do Le Creuset occupy?
- What are the reasons that make Le Creuset so expensive?
- Alternatives to Le Creuset cookware
- Is Le Creuset worth it?
Why is Le Creuset Dutch oven so expensive
Why is Le Creuset Dutch oven so expensive I hear you ask? It is a fair question and anybody buying a Le Creuset Dutch oven will have pondered the exact question.
In this article, I will discuss why Le Creuset dutch ovens cost so much, putting it into perspective and giving reasons why this may be the case.
How much more expensive are Le Creuset Dutch ovens in comparison?
You see, it’s not just a few dollars difference…we are talking up to $300 in some circumstances. Now that is a big difference that will take some explaining away.
In most cases, regardless of the size you are looking at, the premium attached to Le Creuset will be at least 100%.
If you want the simple answer that may or may not be true, Le Creuset can charge what they want because people will still buy them in their droves.
This may be a little extreme, but there may be an element of truth in the matter. Le Creuset products sell incredibly well…even though they have a large premium attached.
What market position do Le Creuset occupy?
Le Creuset are more than a cast iron manufacturer. The days when they simply made cast iron pots and shipped them to their customers are long gone.
These days you will see Le Creuset described as a lifestyle brand. This means they are more than the actual products they produce. They are influencers than set trends and ultimately set the standard.
As you can guess, Le Creuset sit at the very top of the market. They are premium end products with premium end pricing. This means that Le Creuset Dutch ovens have to be expensive as they simply have to be the most expensive. They cannot have a situation where they are not the most expensive…it would not be in tune with the narrative.
So, let’s look at some more specific reasons why Le Creuset costs a lot of money.
What are the reasons that make Le Creuset so expensive?
- Distribution & Market coverage
I won’t go much further into this as most of the brand issues are detailed above. All that really needs to be reiterated is that the high price points reinforce the premium aspect of Le Creuset and set an image in the mind of consumers. They engage in premium pricing to do that…as well as economic reasons…remember I said they can charge as much as they can and people will still buy them!
When it comes to quality Dutch ovens, Le Creuset are way ahead of the game.
The quality of production imperious and the final product is flawless. In fact, it is said that 16 different sets of eyes inspect a Dutch oven through its production. Any products that are not 100% are rejected. This means the quality standard is probably the highest in any manufacturing company. Le Creuset simply don’t do faulty goods.
Another aspect of quality is the raw materials used. You can argue that cast iron is cast iron. However, there is a quality difference.
The cast iron that Le Creuset is the highest grade available. It is pure. To put this into perspective, some Chinese made Dutch ovens are known to make their Dutch ovens from melted car engines. I think that should add some perspective why the cost of the cast iron is higher to Le Creuset.
The only other competitor that comes anywhere close to Le Creuset are Staub. Even then, as great as their products are, they still charge less than Le Creuset. They have to do this to compete against the strength of Le Creuset’s brand.
Although in recent years Le Creuset have invested in automation, the vast majority of their production process is the same as its always been. There is a strong human element to it. This obviously means that there is a cost attached to that…but it also means that skilled hands are producing the most fantastic products.
Each Le Creuset Dutch oven is said to be unique too. Each Dutch oven is smelted in its own mold that is destroyed when the cast iron is released. This process has been part of Le Creuset’s way since the very beginning.
The enamel process is also unique to Le Creuset. Remember, it is their innovation. It is said that their enamel is the very best available and they use no less than three coats of enamel to give it that robustness.
Le Creuset focus more efforts on their marketing than their competitors. However, this marketing is not necessarily product related. It is brand recognition.
It is this brand recognition that makes Le Creuset so highly desired. This awareness and desirability make it a must have to some people.
Distribution & International market coverage
Le Creuset have a huge distribution network. Not only do they have their own outlet stores, they also have distribution agreements with huge retail companies. This makes their products available in very exclusive spaces.
It also means that they add their margin. You can buy Le Creuset directly through their online shop but the prices are similar wherever you choose. This means that Le Creuset could reduce the price that they charge directly, but don’t so not to undercut their retail partners.
The sheer scale of their availability worldwide also makes this a cost. Dutch ovens are heavy so shipping these around the world are a costly affair. Remember, that all cast iron products are made in France. It is part of their identity.
Alternatives to Le Creuset cookware
The only competitor that comes close to competing with Le Creuset is Staub. Their product range is significantly more limited. However, when it comes to quality, they are right up there with them.
That is the only aspect they can currently compete with. When it comes to scale and reach, there are no competitors to Le Creuset.
Is Le Creuset worth it?
Did I mention that I am a huge Le Creuset fan…huge! I simply love what they offer and my collection is one of my prized possessions. In fact, I have a confession to make. When I have guests round to the house, I take my Le Creuset’s out of storage and display them on the side. I simply know at some point that they will become a talking point…other people love them too. There is no other cookware that evokes anything like this emotion.
Are Le Creuset expensive? Yes. They are expensive.
Do they still offer value? I think so.
The way I look at it is this. This is an investment that will last many years. Potentially, they may become collectors’ items.
At the end of the day you have a choice. You can buy the expensive one or the cheap one. This is no different to buying a car. You can buy the Mercedes or you can go for a Ford. They both do the same thing but the experience is very different.
Value is very subjective. There is no right or wrong answer to the question of whether Le Creuset is expensive. Only you can answer that question.
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