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Trends at the International Home + Housewares Show

The International Home + Housewares Show spotlights new products and growing trends in the housewares category. Visit TheRedT.com/chef-chad for a video from Hardware Retailing exploring more of the small appliances trending in the housewares category.

The March 2019 event in Chicago is the International Housewares Association’s yearly trade show. Jon Jesse, vice president of industry development for the association, describes the burgeoning trends attendees could expect to see at the event and that have gained traction with consumers.

Connected smart home technology continues to grow in popularity and consumer use, with large and small home appliances incorporating features such as voice control. Trending smart housewares include pantry storage units that can sense when a consumable product is running low and order more of it.

In addition, new technologies in mechanical air purifiers and humidifiers overlap with consumers’ expanding interest in products that contribute to healthier living. Plus, smart home technology allows for customization, which is appealing to many homeowners.

“A lot of today’s consumers have more control over products than ever before. They feel more empowered and they want to make their homes individualized rather than cookie cutter,” Jesse says.

Specialty Beverages
The craft beverage market is getting bigger and bigger, according to Jesse. Consumers are interested in buying the products necessary to make custom cocktails, beer, specialty coffee and tea, as well as purify their own water and infuse their teas and water with flavors, scents and health products.

Customers are looking for barista-type appliances and accessories to make craft drinks at home. Popular items range from unique drinkware and pour-over coffee makers to high-end espresso machines.

“Coffee continues to be evolving as a trend,” Jesse says. “Millennials are driving a significant piece of this trend.”

Healthy Living
Products for healthy living are big sellers in a number of categories, including cookware and small appliances. Healthy eating and healthy home environments are on trend, Jesse says. For healthy eating, consumers are drawn to grill pans, air fryers, pressure cookers and food dehydrators. Those products are favorites among consumers who want to make flavorful food but also reduce the amount of unhealthy oils and fats they use in cooking, Jesse says.

For healthy home environments, new technologies in air cleaners and water purifiers are important trends, he says.

Jon Jesse is vice president of industry development for the International Housewares Association, where he is responsible for overseeing member and retailer relations and developing programs to attract young talent to the housewares industry. He is known for his work as an executive at Kohl’s, where he helped build the retailer into a leader in selling home and housewares products.

About Kate Klein

Kate is profiles editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. She reports on news and industry events and writes about retailers' unique contributions to the independent home improvement sector. She graduated from Cedarville University in her home state of Ohio, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English and minored in creative writing. She loves being an aunt, teaching writing to kids, running, reading, farm living and, as Walt Whitman says, traveling the open road, “healthy, free, the world before me.”

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