New Pavilion to Spotlight the Smart Home, Connected Products at 2017 International Home + Housewares Show

The future of housewares is quickly moving toward the smart home. With innovations from established and start-up companies, connected and smart products, once only a dream, are fast becoming a reality. The 2017 International Home + Housewares Show will spotlight these innovative housewares products in the IHA Smart Home Pavilion. The 2017 Show will be held March 18 to 21 at Chicago’s McCormick Place complex.

To be located in the Hall of Global Innovation in the Lakeside Center lobby, the IHA Smart Home Pavilion will feature up to 12 exhibitors of connected and smart products. The pavilion will include suppliers new to the International Home + Housewares Show as well as current exhibitors. Companies will be selected by a jury of industry professionals and must meet exclusive criteria set by the industry experts.


“Connectivity is being incorporated into products all around – from light bulbs to coffee brewers to thermostats to ovens – and the IHA Smart Home Pavilion will spotlight these unique products that are changing the way we interact and live,” said Phil Brandl, president & CEO of the International Housewares Association, the Show’s owner and operator.

To help identify and recruit suitable companies that offer smart and connected products, IHA is working with two top influencers in the tech industry: Carley Knobloch and Mike Wolf. They will also create Show educational presentations on smart home developments and promote housewares innovations to consumer media, Brandl said.

Knobloch is a digital lifestyle expert and a regular contributor on the Today Show and CNN. She’s also a technology consultant and host for the HGTV Smart Home, where she makes smart homes easy, approachable and fun. Knobloch also has been featured in Real SimpleAllure, Redbook and Good Housekeeping.  Wolf is the creator and host of a leading smart home podcast, “The Smart Home Show.” He combines in-depth market analysis with insightful commentary on the latest news and updates in the space. Wolf has also become a leading authority on the Smart Kitchen and is the founder of the Smart Kitchen Summit in Seattle, Wash.

In additional to the pavilion, smart products will also be recognized at the Show with a category in the IHA Global Innovation Awards (gia). All Show exhibitors can enter this category through submissions in the New Product Showcase. Finalists will be included in the New Product Showcases in the Buyers Clubs and in the IHA Global Innovation Awards display in the Hall of Global Innovation. The winner of the smart home gia will be announced at the invitation-only gia gala dinner on Saturday, March 18.

Exhibitors will also be able to promote their smart home products through special signage, their Housewares Connect 365 profiles, the mobile app and Show directories.

The 2017 Show will feature more than 2,200 exhibitors from around the globe showcasing their new products throughout five expos and 62,000 total attendees. Show badge registration is now available.

Further information and the exhibitor application for the IHA Smart Home Pavilion is available at on the Show’s website, or contact Alyssa Fulton, manager, trade show sales, at 1-847-692-0125.

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Stats: Cooking for Generations

What’s for dinner? That depends on whom you ask.

According to a generational study published by The NPD Group, the evening meal is the dining event of the day that is most sharply divided by age. Knowing what people want for dinner is a key issue for both retailers and manufacturers trying to figure out what consumers want to buy to cook that meal. Or whether they want to cook at all. Each group had its own motivations, needs and wants when dinnertime rolled around, the study found.

Millennials, who NPD says are about “personalization,” want more control and involvement in the foods and meals they eat. Because of this need, they have shifted dinner plans from eating out to cooking at home. “They see dinner as an experience and believe that playing a part in the cooking process equates to cooking from scratch,” according to the study, “A Generational Study: The Evolution of Eating.”

Gen Xers are at the age where they plan meals around the family and the calendar. Baby boomers, on the other hand, are either enjoying the empty nest or facing health concerns and are opting to eat out more, switching from cooking at home to buying restaurant meals.

As for what’s actually cooking for dinner, millennials have been incorporating more side dishes into their dinner over the last decade, while the boomers are decreasing their side dishes. Home cooking is back after decades of decline, thanks to an interest in preparing their own meals from the younger crowd, mostly young adults, says David Portalatin, vice president of industry analysis at The NPD Group.

“A counterintuitive shift is taking place when it comes to eating behaviors that defies traditional aging patterns, and the dinner meal is an example of this shift,” says Portalatin. “Millennials and boomers answer the ‘what’s for dinner’ question differently.”

For example, center-of-the-plate proteins have rebounded among kids, teens and young adults, while older adults are consuming less protein. And homemade cooking has stabilized after decades of decline due to the increased interest in cooking among young adults.

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Copy of Retail Profile

Retail Profile: The Kitchen Shoppe & Cooking School

Retailer: The Kitchen Shoppe & Cooking School
Location: Carlisle, Pa.
Founded: 1974
Owners: Sue and Dan Hoffman
Square footage: 7,000 sq. feet

When Sue Hoffman first opened her store, The Kitchen Shoppe, she focused on selling manual kitchen gadgets. But then engineer Carl Sontheimer introduced an appliance that became known as the Cuisinart food processor. The impact on Hoffman’s business was also electric, her son Dan remembers.

“The Kitchen Shoppe started out as a gourmet product and gift store, but evolved into a cooking school when customers started asking for demos on how to use the Cuisinart,” he says. Sue then expanded her store, renovating an adjacent barn to accommodate those demos, which soon led to full-scale cooking classes.

“There was a push to learn how to use something as functional and as brand-spanking new as the Cuisinart,” says Dan Hoffman; and also, he adds, the microwave, another newfangled product of that time. It was a retail lesson that stayed with the Hoffman team: cooking lessons sell products because consumers want to learn how to use the products they buy.

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The Kitchen Shoppe Website

Thanks to that expansion into the barn, the location has 7,000-square feet of retail space boasting a range of kitchenware products—small electrics, bakeware, barware, cookware and cook’s tools are all represented here. What’s not is china, serveware or linens, says Hoffman.

“Our niche is more functional: Our in-house bridal registry is about the real person who enjoys cooking,” he says. And that plays out in the cooking school, which complements the product range.  “I think the cooking school is a pretty robust size for our area; we also have guest chefs, which gets attention,” he says. “The product range complements that. Customers like to see a product used in a professional way rather than simply demoed inside a store.”

Hoffman hires chefs for cooking school classes, saying that having professionals using cookware sold in-house helps sales in a way that simply demonstrating the products does not.  “Our customers can see the product used in a recipe, and that has more validity,” he explains. “They relate better to professional chefs than they do to instructors. Even if they don’t ever make the recipe again in their home kitchens.”

Located on an interstate crossroad that is on the way to many places, The Kitchen Shoppe & Cooking School benefits from snow-bird customers dropping in as they head south for the winter as well as folks traveling to Pittsburgh and Philadelphia along the busy highways.

The cooking class structure accommodates those drop-in visitors by making it easy for bus tours to stop by for classes. But as Hoffman says the “majority of our customers are from our back yard.” To that end, the Hoffman team fosters the customers of the future: the local classes have included instruction on a wide range of cooking techniques that cater to children, including those like cooking gingerbread men.

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The Kitchen Shoppe uses its cooking school as a way to reach customers.

For Dan Hoffman, who grew up in the business and became a sales rep after college, returning home to run the store as his mother transitioned to running the cooking school is a nice reminder of the generational aspect of their long-running retail business.  “We now are getting customers’ kids and their grandkids coming in for classes,” he says. “The cooking school helps develop a whole set of customers that we would not have had otherwise.”

Will his own kids grow up in the family business?  “My kids are a little too young; that’s yet to be seen. You don’t know where the industry is headed,” he says. “You wonder in the long run how the industry is going to be positioned in the next 15 years.”


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Experts To Offer Insight on Navigating Transitional Times Through Political, Economic, Cultural Shifts at CHESS 2016

The upcoming presidential election, a changing retail environment, aging consumers and global economic distress are presenting challenging times for the housewares industry. Experts in politics, retail, economics, marketing and supply chain logistics will offer insight into these issues as they explore “Navigating Transitional Times…Through Political, Economic and Cultural Shifts” during the 2016 Chief Housewares Executive SuperSession (CHESS), Oct. 6-7 in Rosemont, Illinois.

CHESS is the strategic and networking event for industry leaders. It is designed for chief officers of all IHA member companies and their top decision-makers and features sessions on critical issues affecting housewares, including politics, global economics, retail, omni-channel fulfillment, marketing to an aging population and protecting your supply chain.


Charlie Cook

The program includes two keynote sessions. Political pundit Charlie Cook will preview the elections in his keynote session, “Where is Our Country Headed?” on Oct. 6. For more than two decades, Cook has been Washington’s most trusted—and most accurate—voice on all things political, whether it’s the outcome of a congressional, gubernatorial or presidential election. He will share his insights on the 2016 political season and offer an insider’s perspective on how we got here, who will prevail in both national and state elections and how those results may impact the business world. Cook frequently appears on the ABC, CBS and NBC network morning and evening news programs as well as Meet the Press and Nightline, and since 1994 has been an election night analyst on CNN, CBS and NBC.


Dana Telsey

On Oct. 7, Dana Telsey, retail analyst, CEO and chief research officer at Telsey Advisory Group, returns to CHESS to examine “The Future of Retail: Implications for the Housewares Industry.” In this keynote session, Telsey and her partner, Joe Feldman, will build upon their 2015 CHESS presentation, offering a view into the future direction of both brick and mortar and online retail. Telsey is a regular guest analyst on CNN and CNBC and has also appeared on Wall Street Week, ABC News, The NBC Evening News and The Today Show.

CHESS opens on Oct. 6 with the annual blue-ribbon panel of housewares CEOs moderated by Peter Giannetti, editor-in-chief of HomeWorld Business and Gourmet Insider. Joining Giannetti on “Housewares Hot-Seat: Navigating Through Unprecedented Change” will be William Endres, president, Select Brands; Peter Felsenthal, CEO, Whitmor; Melissa Kieling, CEO, PackIt; and Dan Siegel, president, Lifetime Brands. Issues the panel will discuss include product development and marketing realignment, sourcing and distribution recalibration and operational reprioritization.

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Bernard Baumohl

The afternoon will feature a global economic outlook by Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist at The Economic Outlook Group. Baumohl will address topics including the effect China has on global manufacturing and potential reshoring issues, the impact of Free Trade on keeping the U.S. competitive, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement and the impact of the upcoming presidential election on the economy and how it may change after a new president is in office.

The second day of CHESS opens with Telsey’s keynote followed by Scott M. Sanders exploring “Protecting Your Value in the Supply Chain: Techniques for Avoiding your Customers/Factories Going Direct.” In this presentation, Sanders, who is founding partner of the firm Sanders & Montalto, LLP, will address essential contract terms U.S. companies need in negotiations with foreign concerns, highlight the challenges with contractual agreements with companies from Asia, and explore the international law implications of contracting with companies from particular Asian countries.

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Peter Hubbell

Marketing to an aging consumer is the focus of Peter Hubbell’s presentation, “Getting Better With Age: How Business Can Win Big in the Age of Aging.” Hubbell, founder and CEO of Boomagers, an advertising agency dedicated to understanding aging consumers, will share his intensively researched perspectives on boomers, millennials and what kind of consumer millennials are and will become. After his presentation, Hubbell will sign complimentary copies of his book, “Getting Better With Age” for attendees.


Rick Blasgen

Closing out CHESS will be a panel on “The Future of Omni-Channel Fulfillment.” Led by Rick Blasgen, president & CEO, Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, and Dan Coll, vice president of retail logistics, FedEx Genco, this session will present the latest update on the state of logistics in the U.S., including trends in costs and free delivery. A panel of supply chain experts will address issues including tips on finding talented new hires, Department of Transportation initiatives and the new hybrid fulfillment model of insourcing and outsourcing.

During the conference, networking breaks, luncheons and a cocktail reception and dinner provide time for attendees to network and meet informally with speakers, industry service providers and their colleagues—the most valuable part of the program according to past participants.

To register for CHESS or for more information, visit the CHESS website at or contact Isabel Barabicho of IHA.


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Possible Impacts of Hanjin’s Bankruptcy on Current Shipments

By:  David P. Street and Brendan Collins, IHSA Legal Council

As you are probably aware, Hanjin filed for bankruptcy protection in Korea on Wednesday August 31st.  The filing came just a day after the company creditor’s discontinued financial assistance of more than USD $896 million to keep the company operating. The Korean bankruptcy court will determine whether Hanjin should be liquidated or given a chance to restructure.

The press is reporting that one Hanjin vessel, the Hanjin Rome, was seized by a creditor in Singapore on Monday.  The press is also reporting that a number of ports, including ports in China (Shanghai, Xiamen), Spain (Valencia) and the United States (Savannah), have blocked access to Hanjin ships due to concerns Hanjin would not be able to pay port fees.  The bankruptcy filing and the actions of the ports and at least one creditor raise a number of questions.  One issue is whether the court will issue a stay prohibiting Hanjin’s creditors from seizing assets (e.g., vessels) to satisfy their claims.  It is likely that the Korean court will do so given Hanjin’s size and importance.  A second issue, however, is whether any such stay would bind foreign creditors in ports where Hanjin vessels may call. Because it is doubtful that foreign creditors with no operations in Korea will pay much attention to an order of a Korean court, Hanjin likely would have to seek an injunction blocking vessel seizures in all countries where Hanjin ships are located.  This would be a pretty large undertaking. And, while it is difficult to predict with certainty whether courts in various  countries will issue injunctions blocking the seizure of Hanjin vessels, it is certain that the cargo on any vessel that is denied access to a port or seized will be delayed and will likely incur extra costs.

Any supplier of goods to Hanjin’s vessels has a lien on the vessel to secure payment of what they are owed so there are potentially a lot of foreign creditors that exist. And, once one of the vessels is seized, it is likely that other foreign creditors would rush to do the same thing to protect their interests. This is when events could take on a life of their own and spin out of control. There is not much that can be done about shipments that are already on Hanjin vessels. We have heard from an inside source at Hanjin that it intends to “protect” such current shipments, which probably means at the least that it will endeavor to complete voyages in progress and deliver the goods (to the extent that the vessel is allowed to enter the port.)

If a vessel is arrested, and Hanjin does not — or cannot — put up a bond to obtain its release, it is probable some third party will be appointed to arrange for disposition of the goods. The goods themselves will not be subject to a creditor’s lien; however, freight charges owed on collect shipments will probably have to be paid because they will be considered Hanjin’s assets. It is also probable that shippers may have to make their own arrangements for on-carriage of their containers. For containers that have been shipped with other carriers and loaded on Hanjin vessels pursuant to vessel sharing arrangements, the issue will be how much responsibility those carriers will take for making the arrangements for on-carriage in the event the Hanjin vessel is seized. As you can see, there are a variety of possible outcomes here. Which of the possible outcomes actually occur which will depend upon how this situation unfolds and what actions third parties take.

We also recommend that you not pay Hanjin for the transportation of cargo until goods are actually delivered into your possession and control.

  • The contents of this article do not constitute legal advice. You should always consult an experienced attorney about legal issues that arise from particular situations as the individual facts may warrant different legal conclusions in a given case. Mr. Street is a partner at the law firm of GKG Law, P.C. and serves as IHSA’s FMC attorney.


The International Housewares Shippers Association (IHSA) is a not-for-profit association formed to benefit companies belonging to the International Housewares Association (IHA). Through the combined leverage of members, IHSA negotiates freight contracts and partners with other logistics providers to lower supply chain costs.

IHSA’s main function is to negotiate the lowest possible transportation rates and provide the highest quality service for all participating members. Additionally, IHSA members receive valuable market intelligence and advice through regular newsletters and briefings.

IHA member companies looking to reduce their ocean freight costs or have questions about an ocean freight issue are encouraged to contact IHSA to learn about the program.  Contact IHSA at +1-513-489-4743 and learn more on our website.

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