Author: Perry Reynolds
The New Year started off on a high note for the 60 exhibitors who participated in IHA’s 2010 International Home + Housewares Show Media Preview January 7 in New York City.
More than 60 consumer and trade editors came to see more than 150 housewares products that will be making their debut at the International Home + Housewares Show in March. Consumer publications included The New York Times, Newsday, The Star Ledger (N.J.), Staten Island Advance, All You, Consumer Reports, Country Accents Elle Décor, Food & Wine, Food Network Magazine, InStyle, Good Housekeeping, Ladies’ Home Journal, O, The Oprah Magazine, Parents magazine, Popular Mechanics, Promenade, Real Simple, This Old House, Vital Juice, Woman’s Day Special Interest Publications and Woman’s World. The Internet media was represented too with editors from AOL.com, ApartmentTherapy.com, ConsumerSearch.com, Epicurious.com and The Nibble™.
And trade publications from all retail channels attended including Hardware Retailing, HFN, Home Channel News, HomeWorld Business, Kitchenware News & Housewares Review, Progressive Grocer, The Gourmet Retailer and Supermarket News.
Exhibitors and attendees were upbeat, energetic and very positive. I believe that mood matches the feeling we expect to see at the 2010 International Home + Housewares Show in March in Chicago.
The tradeshow preview offers exhibitors an opportunity to receive media exposure in a smaller, more casual atmosphere; and for the media, especially the consumer editors who can’t come to the Show, it is a chance to see the new Housewares products and preview the trends for 2010.
After a challenging 2009, our exhibitors are eager to focus their efforts on the future. They have an increased perception and acceptance of design as a point of differentiation and product development that is being recognized by the retail community. Housewares manufacturers are realizing that savvy consumers are willing and ready to purchase products that are truly innovative and well-designed.
One of the most prominent trends on display dealt with the issue of home health care and safety. Recognizing the consumer’s concern with eliminating germs and viruses within their own home, several companies featured innovative housewares products such as floor sanitizers, cool mist humidifiers and touch-less paper towel dispensers.
But, consumers are not just interested in protecting their families from illnesses. They are very concerned about protecting their identities also. Several companies displayed items such as high-tech shredders or low-tech stamps designed to prevent ID theft.
On the lighter side, home entertaining and cooking at home continue to be one of the most popular trends in the housewares industry. Several companies showed a variety of food preparation items designed to make and decorate desserts such as cupcakes or soft-serve ice cream. And since families have increased the amount of time they spend eating and entertaining at home, many have begun teaching their children to cook. As a result, there were several kitchen tools and gadgets on display designed specifically for children.
At the end of a busy day, the positive response from the media and the upbeat attitude of the exhibitors appears to signal a step in the right direction for 2010.