Healthy Eating, Smart Home Products Spark Consumer Interest in Housewares

ROSEMONT, Ill. (Feb. 1, 2018) – American consumers are developing a renewed interest in freshly prepared meals as they dedicate time toward their personal health and wellness goals. Smart home products that save time and help prepare those meals are also garnering attention. Housewares companies will be showcasing their latest products highlighting these and other top trends at the 2018 International Home + Housewares Show March 10-13 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

“U.S. consumers have a renewed interest in cooking freshly prepared meals but not in spending more time doing it,” according to Inside America’s Kitchen, an audit on kitchen trends conducted by The NPD Group. “The move towards fresh or clean eating has had an impact on how kitchens are equipped and set up today. Pantries are stocked differently, and kitchen appliances, cookware, technology and tools are evolving to make fresh food prep and cooking more convenient and foolproof.”

“The healthy eating trend is one of the driving forces for the housewares industry,” said Joe Derochowski, home industry analyst for The NPD Group Inc. “Today’s consumers are interested in high-protein, low-carb foods, home-made meals and eating fresh foods.”

Sales of housewares products are growing in large part to this increased desire to prepare healthy meals at home. Derochowski noted the kitchen appliance market category grew 7 percent in 2017 and non-electric housewares categories such as cookware, cutlery and gadgets grew 2 percent.

“Our industry is doing well because we are eating healthier and entertaining at home more,” he said.

The NPD Group anticipates housewares products are poised to make gains in 2018 as well since consumers are deeply focused on home life and are willing to invest in it. Derochowski noted many demographic groups are experiencing key life moments with some getting married, purchasing a first home, becoming empty nesters or retiring. Many of those moments revolve around the home and its epicenter, the kitchen, which in turn is driving growth of the housewares industry.

Plants, Vegetables Dominate the Dinner Plate

Lifetime Brands Inc.Food industry experts anticipate 2018 will center on health and nutrition, specifically plants and vegetables. Restaurant consultant Baum + Whiteman reports about 83 percent of U.S. consumers are adding plant-based foods to their diets to improve health and nutrition, while 62 percent do so for weight management.

“Millennials and Gen Xers are embracing ‘plant-based’ food while still young – and probably sticking with it,” according to Baum + Whiteman. “We’re looking at a generational divide with younger people mainstreaming plant-based diets.”

The NPD Group reports over the past decade consumers under the age of 40 have increased their fresh vegetable intake by 52 percent, while those over age 60 have decreased fresh vegetable consumption by 30 percent.

According to the National Restaurant Association, vegetable carbohydrate substitutes such as cauliflower rice and zucchini spaghetti are among the top 10 trends forecast for this year. Exemplifying the trend toward healthy eating is the new Farberware Rice-n-Slice Vegetable Ricer by Lifetime Brands Inc., which can be used to make cauliflower rice or to rice other vegetables quickly.

For consumers adding fruits and vegetables to their meals, the new Zyliss Twist & Scoop Grapefruit Tool from DKB Household USA Corp. quickly and easily segments clean cuts of grapefruit. Another new product is the Kilner Kombucha Set, which is designed to create and store culture-rich kombucha, a fermented sweetened tea packed with vitamins, antioxidants and probiotics.

Multi-Cookers Add Convenience to Healthy Eating

HousewaresMulti-cookers are a popular category for consumers interested in healthy cooking and convenience at the same time. Sales of multi-cookers as of the 12 months ending Nov. 2017 increased 79 percent to more than $300 million, reports The NPD Group.

“Multi-cookers are hitting all of the hot buttons for today’s consumers — speed and convenience in healthy at-home meal-prep, multi-functionality and ease of use,” Derochowski said.

According to NPD’s Inside America’s Kitchen study, 82 percent of eating occasions are sourced from home, which translates into a renewed interest in cooking and home-prepared meals but without extra effort and time invested in it. In the past, consumers saved time by using frozen or ready-to-eat meals, NPD’s report said, but now they can save time and eat more fresh foods thanks to kitchen appliances like multi-cookers.

One example is the Turbo Pot 5-qt. Turbo Pressure Cooker by Eneron. This stainless-steel pressure cooker for gas stovetops combines the efficient heat absorption of patented “heat sink” technology and the power of high pressure to cook twice as fast as conventional cookware. Double Insight is introducing the Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker. It can be used to replace nine commonly used appliances: a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice/porridge cooker, yogurt maker, cake/egg maker, sauté/searing pan, steamer, warmer and sterilizer.

Consumers Seek Memorable Eating, Drinking Experiences

Housewares“In 2018, Mintel foresees opportunities for manufacturers and retailers to help consumers regain trust in food and drink and to relieve stress through balanced diets as well as memorable eating and drinking experiences,” said Jenny Zegler, global food and drink analyst at the market intelligence agency.

According to the agency’s global food and drink trends for 2018, “The frantic pace of modern life, constant connectivity, pervasive distrust and contentious tones in politics and the media have caused many consumers to look for ways to escape negativity in their lives. Many people who feel overwhelmed are focusing on ‘self-care’ or prioritizing time and efforts dedicated to themselves.”

As a result, Mintel forecasts consumers will be looking for ingredients, products and combinations of food and drink that provide nutrition, physical or emotional benefits. They are also searching for positive solutions – and treats – that can be incorporated into their customized and flexible definitions of health and wellness.

As consumers entertain at home more, their social gatherings require serving guests a variety of beverages from coffee and tea to cocktails. One new product to help with entertaining is Bibo Barmaid, a self-serve cocktail machine that allows users to create single-serve mixed drinks with the touch of a button.

For coffee craft brewing, the Bialetti Glass Pour-over features a reusable double-mesh filter that allows the natural oils from the coffee grounds to pass through creating a more robust cup of coffee. For a personalized cup of coffee, the Brumi Pour Over Hot + Hold Brew Coffee Bottle is a travel coffee brewer that features a double filter that brews a cleaner, more balanced cup and extracts more flavor. The Dash Rapid Cold Brew System lets users make cold brew coffee in just five minutes compared to 12 to 24 hours.

Hydration Category Still on the Rise

HousewaresAccording to market intelligence company Transparency Market Research, the reusable water bottle market, which had a valuation of $7.04 billion in 2015, is predicted to rise to $10.19 billion by 2024. Examples of new water bottles debuting in 2018 include BUILT NY, who will be featuring two new PerfectSeal water bottles crafted from double-wall stainless steel with a vacuum-insulated construction that maintains the temperature of cold beverages up to 24 hours and hot beverages up to 8 hours. Zojirushi America Corp., which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, is introducing new stainless mugs for hot or cold beverages that are made of 18/8 stainless steel and have a 5-year warranty on heat retention.

To help buyers see the breadth of the hydration category, the Show will feature an exhibit called the Trending Today Preview: A Marketplace for Hydration, which will be held on Saturday, March 10 before the Show floor opens. This trending merchandise category is driven by the consumer trends of health and wellness, and the Trending Today event will be centered around hydration bottles, infusion and filtration products.

Smart Home Products Are a Smart Idea

HousewaresThe global smart home market was valued at $21.1 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach $53.45 billion in 2022, according to Zion Market Research. It is estimated more than 130 million smart products shipped worldwide in 2017 with analysts estimating 477 million smart home devices will ship globally in 2020, according to Safe Smart Living, a website dedicated to providing resources and tips for saving money and protection.

“The smart home is the future,” said Derochowski, who believes the industry is at a turning point in the smart home market. “As an industry we have to evolve. We need to understand the consumer’s needs.”

He noted product categories such as coffee makers, cookware and toasters are ripe for growth within the smart home segment.

Now in its second year, the Show’s IHA Smart Home Pavilion will feature nearly 30 innovative product suppliers and developers as well as a strong education program to showcase trends and technologies for the smart home.

One new exhibitor in the pavilion is TasteTro with its TasteTro Spice System, an appliance that stores and creates spice blends at the touch of button. It features 50 pre-programmed spice blends, has Bluetooth connectivity to allow for continual expansion of spices and a database of recipes.

Chefman’s Conveyor Toaster features a new conveyor technology with a targeted, infrared heating that cooks quickly and allows the user to continuously add more foods as one moves to the other side. The Vacuvita One Touch Vacuum Storage System is a complete storage solution that increases food shelf life up to five times longer. The system can be connected to an app that sends reminders advising when a food will expire.

Color Me Purple in 2018

Looking at home décor trends, industry experts forecast purple as the color of 2018.

“Historically, there has been a mystical or spiritual quality attached to Ultra Violet,” said Pantone Inc. when describing its 2018 Color of the Year. “The color is often associated with mindfulness practices, which offer a higher ground to those seeking refuge from today’s over-stimulated world.” In addition, House Beautiful predicts millennial pink, 2017’s color of the year, will morph into lighter shades such as lavender and lilac.

But the color purple is transforming more than home décor. Fragrances like lavender are being used in products such as cleaning agents, odor-removing products and food flavors. Fresh Wave is introducing a lavender odor removing gel and spray, which are infused with ultra-calming lavender oil.

According to Whole Foods Market’s top trends for 2018, floral flavors will be at the top of the list.

“Look for flowers used like herbs in things like lavender lattes,” the retailer notes.

Home Improvement on the Rise

The future looks bright for the housewares industry in 2018 with a forecast for increased spending on remodeling, residential improvement and repair expenditures. According to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA), annual gains in home renovation and repair spending will increase from 6.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017 to 7.7 percent by the third quarter of 2018. And according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies, U.S. homeowners are projected to spend more than $330 billion on home upgrades and replacements as well as routine maintenance.

All good news for the 2,100 exhibitors and thousands of retailers who will convene in Chicago at the industry’s premier marketplace, the 2018 International Home + Housewares Show.

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