Pandemic Picnics Could Bring Back the Iconic Longaberger Picnic Basket

Everything sucks, but at least the pandemic could be a lucky break for the picnic basket industry.

longaberger basket
Thanks to pandemic picnics, the Longaberger Basket could be making a comeback.
Moment Editorial/Getty Images

Chances are you’ve been eating outside more often lately, because in many parts of the country, eating outside is one of the only fun things left to do. Unsurprisingly, this emphasis on outdoor dining seems to have sparked renewed interest in picnics, which is good news for the makers of the once-iconic, now struggling Longaberger picnic basket.

The basket was considered a status symbol for decades after the Longaberger Company launched in 1973, according to CNN Business, before gradually falling out of fashion in the 21st century. Baskets were sold by independent sales people at home shows and gatherings, similar to Tupperware or Avon products. Each handcrafted basket was dated and signed by its maker, but the product’s icon status began to fade by the turn of the century, and the company filed for bankruptcy in 2018.

However, the Longaberger brand has been undergoing a makeover since November, when the baskets were relaunched on home shopping channel QVC as part of the brand’s new digital-first marketing strategy. Now the company hopes the recent rise in pandemic picnicking could help launch a full-fledged Longaberger basket renaissance, and according to CNN, there’s evidence to suggest that trend is already working in Longaberger’s favor.

Online resale marketplaces have reported a massive increase in sales and searches for picnic baskets in recent months. Mercari told CNN that searches for picnic baskets have surged 455 percent year-over-year, while Poshmark reported a 96 percent increase in Longaberger basket sales in recent months.

While the triumphant return of a mid-century picnic basket may not exactly be the pandemic bright side we’ve been waiting for, I guess we have to take our silver linings where we can. Congrats to the picnic baskets. Happy pandemic picnicking, everyone.

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