Toy crawfish boil set flying off shelves in St. Charles

The Lil Bit Crawfish Boil set for kids has quickly found a strong foothold in the local marketplace.

The toy crawfish boil pot creator Steven Forster released onto local shelves in early May, has been such a hit that stores haven’t been able to keep enough in stock and, in some cases, have actually been selling preorders of the toy.

“We cannot keep up,” said The Basketry owner Kristi Brocato. “We’re encouraging people to preorder and to even plan for Christmas. It’s been that huge and it’s such a great gift.”The gift has been so popular, Brocato said, that the storeowner doubled her initial order from 48 to 100 after the first wave sold out in two days. The second batch sold almost as quickly.

Forster, a New Orleans native, said he came up with the idea two years ago while attending a crawfish boil with his three young sons.

“Someone brought out a big pot and a little spoon,” Forster said. “Kids always want to be a part of the boil … they filled the pot and gave them the little spoon and it stuck in my mind.”

Forster met with Factor Four, a product development company, and together they formulated a plan to launch the product. The company was excited, he said, because the concept was original.

“Twenty-one months later, it’s selling like hotcakes,” he said.

Forster said when he initially asked about how many sales would constitute a success, he was told that moving 5,000 boil sets within a year would be considered a success. “We did that in the first 10 days,” he said.

Brocato believes the toy has found popularity, in part, because it was designed with boys as well as girls in mind.

“There have been cooking gifts for little girls, but there really hasn’t been one for a little boy, and this kind of fits that need,” she said. “It was made with a child in mind. It allows them to cook with mom and dad … it’s so precious. People love it. It’s really the perfect gift.”The mostly plastic set comes with toy versions of a 2.5 gallon kettle, a sieve, crawfish, potatoes, an ear of corn, a box of seasoning and stirring paddle.

The toy set costs 34.95. Brocato said two more shipments are scheduled to come in within the next few weeks, including a 500 crawfish set haul.

Forster, who has shipped the product to multiple people out of state since word of the toy set spread, said plans are in the works to expand the product to also include shrimp and lobster sets to appeal to people in other areas.

As for the crawfish set, even the creator has run out of the product—it is out of stock and it will be up to seven weeks to refill the inventory.

“It’s a great problem to have,” he said.

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