Changing technologies, product materials, functionality, consumer lifestyles and fashion have all played roles in determining the trends that have left an impression on housewares products. HomeWorld Business took a look to the past for newsworthy housewares trends that have affected product development across a wide spectrum. Of the 25 trends that they had identified, 10 are introduced here.
It’s a term that can refer to food, fashion, design and product development. Artisan styling, evoking a “handmade” feel, has trickled down from grassroots efforts such as Etsy’s “handmade” retail platform to more mainstream product development, with housewares suppliers across categories focusing on product design that appeals to the consumer looking for something with homespun flair.
While the actual palette may change from year to year based on Pantone color predictions and/or what’s on the fashion runway, color on housewares products has been pervasive and has expended beyond the expected to categories such as cookware, small appliances and home environment products as well. From red and green to purple, blue and pink, color continues to brighten the retail shelves in all housewares categories, refreshing housewares product offerings each season.
From mix-and-match dinnerware to open-stock cookware, how consumers stock their kitchens and homes has become a more personal experience. Technology has expanded the design options for many housewares products as well, allowing for patterns, sayings and personalization that provide choices that speak to a consumer’s individuality.
For Kids, By Design
Spatulas, furniture, aprons and more have been susceptible to redesign driven by the need to be child-friendly. Developed for use with children who have small hands, bodies and seek juvenile-pleasing designs, the market for products for parents looking to appease their children with a “me-too” version of their household staples continues to expand.
Mobile devices have not only changed the way consumers shop, they have affected what shoppers buy as well. A more recent trend that continues to evolve as it relates to housewares trends, “mobile” has already affected furniture (desks with charging ports), kitchenware (temperature measuring devices and kitchen scales, for example, with apps that connect information to a smart device), and home environment (smart home applications that turn home comfort appliances on and off remotely).
Gourmet Coffee & Tea
As consumers grew to love their Talls, Ventis and Grandes from the corner Starbucks, a refined palate for coffee and tea and a new dimension in preparation for the beverages emerged. For some consumers, coffee and tea awareness inspired them to re-create their favorite gourmet beverages at home, which in turn, has opened opportunities for a bevy of Barista-inspired products from espresso machines to milk frothers to new French Presses, tea infusers and coffee and tea serveware.
As consumers have become more aware of ways to live healthier lifestyles, the housewares market has responded with tools to help them. From products that reduce the spread of bacteria, such as toothbrush covers, air purifiers and antimicrobial cutting boards to those that allow cleaning without chemicals, such as steam mops, housewares has offered consumers tools for a healthier home. In the kitchen too, products have evolved that are devoted to making healthier eating more convenient and simplify portion control.
From furniture that doubles as storage to kitchenware that goes from oven to table or serves more than one purpose, housewares suppliers continue to find ways to incorporate multiple uses into one product. A trend sparked by economic factors as well as consumers living in smaller spaces, housewares product developers can be expected to continue to explore innovative ways to expand product functionality.
For many consumers, storage is often a consideration when purchasing products for the home. Following 2008’s economic downturn, storage solutions came even more into focus as some consumers downsized their homes. The industry has responded to these housewares trends with products that stack, collapse, fold flat and feature such elements as removable handles in an effort to provide functionality in space-saving configuration.
While some products have gained attention for multifunctionality, on the flip side are products designed to serve one specific niche function. From carrot peelers, banana slicers and pizzelle makers to beef jerky machines, singular function design continues to attract consumers looking for novelty and practicality.
The complete article, 25 Influential Housewares Trends That Impacted Housewares Design & Merchandising, was published in the 25th anniversary issue of HomeWorld Business in September 2014.
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