NEW YORK — During the a very dank and wet weather day, a surprising number of journalists turned out Tuesday for a sneak preview of the International Home + Housewares Show, which takes place in Chicago at McCormick Place, March 6-8.
Perry Reynolds, vice president of marketing and trade development, International Housewares Association, told SN the upbeat mood of the 63 exhibitors attending the preview at the New York Hilton here was a good reflection of the positive momentum preceding this year’s annual event.
Reynolds said to date 350 new exhibitors have signed up for the show and he expects the list of exhibitors to top 2,000, slightly more than last year. Retail buyers attending the show are up with a bump in supermarket buyer participation, he noted.
“Many retailers have discovered that adding food is an important adjunct to their business even if it is not their core business. I think it is perfectly appropriate for food retailers to have a presence in all products required to create a home — whether it is cooking, cleaning, home organization or bath. When shoppers go to supermarkets they are filling all those requirements that relate to their homes. I think increasingly supermarkets are becoming destinations for some home product categories. These are very profitable products.”
The IHA has put a call out to the food retail community for its best housewares merchandising ideas. Reynolds hopes to list these ideas in an updated white paper report on the grocery channel later this year.
The Travel Goods show will co-locate with the housewares show. Discover Design is a new exhibit area that showcases well-designed products.
The big trend that bodes well for the industry is those consumers who continue to stay at home and cook at home.
“You’ll see at this event today a lot of innovation in cleaning and organization. Consumers have better appreciation about the quality of life they provide inside their homes,” said Reynolds.
The demand for natural products and local produce also has spurred innovation in cookware, he added.