Recent News

Observations from the International Housewares Show

By Frank von Holzhausen on Monday March 31st, 2014


Chicago in March can only mean one thing – The International Housewares Show. A few things we picked up on:

1/ The Generational Soup: Millennial’s, X’s, Boomers

Conventional wisdom holds that as the Boomer generation migrates to senior status their needs are largely focused on helping to “age in place”.   Certainly a rich and important area to explore but we also see boomers in larger numbers identifying with younger generations in their use of technology, their level and types of interests and activities, so it seems opportunities might exist in those margins. “Dumbing down” and giganticizing type size are not welcome product or packaging attributes for this group.

2/ Downsizing

This common real estate term is shifting to encompass change without losing a single square foot of space. Declutter and simplify – reduce the amount of “stuff”, the footprint of products on countertops, home office areas, everywhere. Innovative storage products and sleeker designs in countertop products seemed to reflect the trend.

3/ New Technology, New IP

Spotted in areas such as coatings, new form factors (vertical –see #2 above) and technology applications (e.g. DC motors), to improve user experiences.

4/ Category Silo’s

We noted intriguing ideas and innovations at the recent and closely related Kitchen & Bath Show (KBIS) yet didn’t see anything related or resembling at Housewares. No matter how one goes about practicing innovation, investigations into adaptable ideas and technologies from adjacent categories is absolutely key.

May 6-8 will bring us to Las Vegas for our 25th year attending the National Hardware Show. As always we will be on hand to see what’s new and who’s stepping up to bring products to market that closely match ever evolving consumer needs.

Comments are closed.