Wellness: The New Status Symbol

Products that enhance health and wellness remain hot commodities in housewares
March 13, 2017David Gill

NinjaAutoIQBlenderThe Ninja Auto-IQ Blender, available on Hayneedle. Blenders are “trending nicely,” said Hayneedle’s Heather Charlton.
By David Gill

Improving health is one of the strongest passions for consumers in all important demographic groups, and is a key driver of housewares product development.

Consumers are willing to spend money to enhance their health, and it’s not just about living longer. “Healthy living is becoming a status symbol, as more consumers opt to flaunt their passion for wellness through paying for boutique fitness sessions, ‘athleisure’ clothing, food with health-giving properties and upscale health and wellness holidays,” said research firm Euromonitor. The company identified “wellness as a status symbol” as one of its Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2017 in a recent study.

The health and wellness trend has elevated certain cooking categories over others. “Health-conscious consumers are interested in new and updated launches of products such as vegetable spiralizers, juicers, dehydrators and air fryers,” said Ryan Gilchrist, director of housewares at Wayfair. “This trend is particularly noticeable among Wayfair’s Registry shoppers, who are looking for tools, gadgets and kitchen classics that allow them to cook at home with ease. We’re also seeing launches of smaller versions of classics like Vitamix blenders and KitchenAid stand mixers, which, in addition to convenience, also bring mindfulness to smaller food portions.”

“The biggest products for us in this trend are pressure cookers for both healthy eating and canning, which helps keeps items fresh,” said Heather Charlton, divisional merchandise manager for Hayneedle. “Blenders and air fryers have also trended nicely. Juicers? Not so much. Blenders are more understandable to consumers and allow them to create juice with more of the nutrients kept intact.”

HarleyPasternakCompactPowerBlenderThe Harley Pasternak Compact Power Blender is joining Salton’s line of blenders created with the celebrity personal trainer.
Juicers are a popular category for Macy’s, however. “Today, whole-food juicing and at-home detox juice diets are continuing to reign supreme,” said Roberson Keffer, vice president and fashion director for Macy’s Home. “Customers are sparing no expense by going for the best since it is for their health and their family’s health.”

Both Hayneedle and Wayfair have zeroed in on the potential for these products as gifts, especially during holiday selling seasons. “The trend has developed over several years, and now shoppers are tying in the desire for healthier lifestyles with gift giving,” Charlton said. “I’ve seen canners take off around New Year’s Day when people are making their resolutions to eat healthier.”

“As couples register for products to build their dream kitchens, we have even launched group gifting functionality for registry customers, which makes a broader variety of products, including gourmet brands, much more accessible,” Gilchrist said.

Manufacturers continue to turn out products that enable consumers to live healthier lifestyles. Recently, C+A Global, the consumer products manufacturer, entered into an agreement with international chain Gold’s Gym for a line of small kitchen appliances such as blenders, juicers, grills and others, along with a grouping of protein powders.

“Diet and nutrition play a significant role in a healthy lifestyle, and we couldn’t think of a more appropriate and recognizable brand than Gold’s Gym to connect our products with consumers,” said Chaim Pikarski, CEO of C+A Global.

CuisinartPrepExpressCuisinart’s PrepExpress Slicer, Shredder and Spiralizer creates wide ribbons or spiral cuts of fresh fruits and vegetables.
New Products Abound
This month’s International Home + Housewares Show will put several health-related cooking products in the spotlight. Cuisinart will introduce two such products: The PrepExpress Slicer, Shredder and Spiralizer is a three-in-one small appliance that creates wide ribbons or spiral cuts of fresh fruits and vegetables; while the Hurricane Compact Juicing Blender can break down whole fruits and vegetables, along with mincing herbs and spices, to create nutrient-filled juices and smoothies.

Canada-based Salton will be at the show with the newest addition to its line of Harley Pasternak blenders, the Harley Pasternak Compact Power Blender—a downsized version of the original Power Blender, which launched two years ago. Pasternak, a celebrity personal trainer, is also an author on health issues and has made appearances on television shows with advice on how to improve one’s health.

In the food-freshening category, the Excalibur brand will spotlight the 10-Tray Dehydrator with Digital Control. This product removes water from foods such as fruit and vegetables to create taffy-like snacks or rolls, and features two drying zones, allowing it to dry food at varying temperatures, which cuts the drying time and makes the process more efficient.

Dehydrators have a unique place in promoting healthier eating, said Meagan Bradley, vice president of marketing for The Legacy Cos., parent of the Excalibur brand. “Dehydrated veggies are being added to salads and dried fruit slices to accent desserts,” Bradley said. “Kale chips, Brussels sprouts and broccoli and parsnip chips are being served as a new healthy snack.”

These introduction are catering to retailers that believe the trend toward products that promote health and wellness will have plenty of legs down the road. “Health will certainly be a long-term trend in housewares, as it’s an entire lifestyle shift that is continuing to make its way across the country,” Keffer said. “There is the drive and desire to better oneself and the family, and proper nourishment is key.”

While all demographic groups are keen on products that can help them live a healthier life, the fact that Millennials are such a group will also continue to increase this trend’s stamina.

“This trend is likely to continue long-term as we see particular interest among registry customers, many of whom are Millennials,” Gilchrist said. “Brands are continuously introducing new products that meet consumers’ needs and will continue to innovate with new options that cater to this lifestyle.”

David GillDavid Gill | Senior Editor
dgill@hfnmag.com

David Gill covers home textiles, small electrics housewares, personal-care products, cleaning products, mattresses, consumer electronics and major appliances. He also reports on retailers and writes about the business and financial side of both vendors and retailers. He has more than 30 years of experience in business journalism, and has worked for other publications and websites that cover consumer products from both the manufacturer and retailer sides. His outside interests include sports (he is a big fan of the New York teams and of British soccer), cooking, movies and theater. He occasionally enjoys a good cigar as well.

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