QVC as a TV home shopping juggernaut has long pushed the sales needle with celebrity chefs like Wolfgang Puck, Rachel Ray and Martha Stewart getting shoppers to lean in with their credit cards to buy their latest pots and pans and kitchen utensils online.
But knowing self-isolating TV viewers are far less likely to shop at the local mall during the pandemic, QVC has opted for a more laid back original culinary and travel show to livestream on its digital platforms.
Travel, Cook, Repeat with Curtis Stone, which launches Tuesday exclusively on the QVC/HSN streaming service, will feature celebrity chef Curtis Stone visiting far-flung regions of the world for local food and flavors, while soft selling his cookware as he recreates the regional dishes in his home studio kitchen.
That’s a far cry from how Stone used to pitch his branded cookware and bakeware on HSN, while a cheery host urged viewers to stop browsing and pick up a bargain before their favorite color was sold out.
“Curtis Stone has been HSN’s number one brand in the kitchen virtually since he joined us in 2012 and is HSN’s best reviewed brand across all categories. Our customers gravitate to his charismatic, dynamic style, and his deep expertise in food and cooking which helps drive sales and attract new customers,” Mike George, president and CEO of John Malone’s Qurate Retail group, told THR.
Stone, a Los Angeles-based Michelin-starred chef and TV personality runs three restaurants: Maude in Beverly Hills, Gwen Butcher Shop & Restaurant in Hollywood and Georgie in Dallas, Texas.
Now he’s taking full advantage of the combined QVC/HSN streaming service launched in August 2019 with six livestream channels and on-demand content and the service is available in around 45 million Roku and Amazon Fire TV homes.
“Travel, Cook, Repeat with Curtis Stone, a shoppable, lean-back, edutainment show combining the travel and cooking genres, is simply the natural next step for us,” George explained.
Cooking shows aren’t new to QVC. And the video commerce giant early on during the pandemic introduced hosts live-streaming from their homes with recipes and tutorials.
But knowing QVC shoppers are more tied to their homes during the pandemic, the home shopping channel is doing more aspirational and inspirational cooking shows not measured solely on the number of pots and pans sold per-incremental minute.
Here Quarate is following rival TV producers in realizing the quarantine cooking show offers a cheap and efficient way to overcome production challenges during the COVID-19 crisis.