People aren’t buying products, they are buying experiences. At least that’s the opinion of Tom Mirabile, the International Housewares Association’s trend expert, who spoke during the recent 2019 International Home + Housewares Show. Mirabile’s annual keynote, “Top Trend 2019: New Consumer Insights and How to Thrive in the Retail Revolution,” brought up a number of points about how retailers can focus efforts to provide consumers with what they want.
“We need to stop looking at objects and start looking at what those objects deliver,” he said. “People aren’t buying objects, they are buying experiences.”
Here are some of the takeaways from Mirabile’s talk.
- Generation Z is on track to be the most educated generation, with liberal attitudes and openness to emerging social trends. This generation may also be a generation where cooking isn’t a “gendered task,” viewing cooking as a task or a skill rather than a chore.
- Millennials prefer staying home to going out. But they are less likely to eat around the kitchen table; many eat in their bedrooms and even bathrooms. They also report replacing one meal a day with snacks. “Millennials don’t see brand as a religion,” Mirabile said. “Loyalty does exist, but you have to constantly earn it.”
- Generation X is small in numbers but is entering its prime earning years. Thirty-one percent of discretionary spending in the U.S. right now is coming from this generation, one that does more product research than any other generation. Also unique to Gen X is that they enjoy both in-store and online shopping, Mirabile said.
- Many Baby Boomers are retiring, moving or remodeling their homes, which means they will be buying more items for their homes. Many are also in a period of personal reinvention. “Boomers are still looking to Millennials and Generation Z to see what they want to be,” according to Mirabile.
- Seniors are still economically active, but much of their consumption has shifted to experiences and healthcare. By 2035, 1-in-3 U.S. households, up from today’s 1-in-5, will be headed by someone over 65.
A video recording of the program is available at www.housewares.org/education/video. For more information about The Inspired Home, IHA’s Global Home + Housewares Market (formerly the International Home + Housewares Show visit TheInspiredHomeShow.com or Housewares.org