IHA Offices and Representatives
IHA brought insights from around the world to Global Forum attendees with short presentations by its offices in varied regions to close the day’s programming.
Top Five Trends
Monica Lee, IHA Representative – Taiwan
- “Glamping” is the newest vacation trend in Taiwan. With the COVID-19 pandemic restricting international travel, families are turning to outdoor activities such as picnics, BBQs, hiking and “glamping.” Items such as portable coffee grinders, easily storable kitchenware or innovative products combining two features, for example: water bottle + sound system, are gaining popularity.
- With the surge of cafés, the coffee culture has been growing rapidly and consumers are not only enjoying more coffee but also making it at home. There is an increased demand for coffee-related products.
- “Japandi” Style: A blend of Japanese and Scandinavian designs focusing on simplicity, minimalism, natural elements and comfort. Currently this style is found in designs from furniture to tableware.
- Taiwan’s retail scene has seen a drastic shift, partly due to the impact of the pandemic on consumer shopping habits. Department stores lost their top spot to convenience stores, whose sales have outperformed its 2019 rate. Supermarkets have also surpassed their 2019 sales, surpassing hypermarkets. Convenience stores and supermarkets do not buy directly, therefore, it’s key to find an importer or a retailer in Taiwan to manage importing.
- Finding a distributor that works with omnichannel retailers is key – top 3 Taiwan retail channels that have been successful in the last few years and are still growing despite the pandemic all integrate offline with online channels.
Robert Parker, IHA Representative – Australia and New Zealand
Continual pressure on distributors as retailers continue to increase direct purchasing, primarily from Asia. The few large players are continuing to grow and smaller importers are disappearing.
- Consumer demand has increased dramatically during the pandemic with huge increases in anything focused on home cooking. Product categories seeing expansion include cookware (especially cast iron), bakeware/accessories, kitchen scales, pizza and pasta making products, cocktail making equipment, tools and gadgets.
- Products related to “experimental cooking” and sophisticated/self-sufficient cooking, including appliances, bread making, cheese and yogurt making have seen increased sales. There is a trend toward higher quality products. Consumer demand for home storage has increased, particularly storage containers for bulk food buying. In addition, there is strong growth in all aspects of cleaning and hygiene products.
- Traditional brick & mortar retailers have increased online presence during the pandemic.
- Pureplay ecommerce retailers have seen tremendous expansion.
The speakers answered questions from the audience including how to find a distributor in Taiwan and about store reopenings in Australian cities.
For more information on the Global Forum presenters, contact Lori Szudarek, IHA senior manager, member and international buyer relations, at +1.847.692.016 or email Lszudarek@housewares.org.