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Housewares Show Speakers Focus on Consumer Trends, Millennials and Color and Design

Colors and design trends, millennials’ shopping habits and  supermarket shopper needs top the seminar agenda
Posted on January 7, 2016 by Maureen Azzato

housewaresshow2016ROSEMONT, Ill.—How millennials shop, turning supermarket shoppers into housewares buyers, and consumers’ mindset about color will be explored during the keynote educational sessions at the 2016 International Home + Housewares Show.

Speakers during the March 5-8 show at Chicago’s McCormick Place include Todd Hale of Nielsen; Warren Shoulberg and Maureen Azzato, editorial director and chief brand officer, respectively, of HFN; leading color forecaster Leatrice (Lee) Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute and director of the Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training; and Tom Mirabile, senior vice president, global trend and design at Lifetime Brands Inc.

A combination of factors have revived interest in cooking and made the kitchen once again a major center of activity in the home. As a result, kitchenware is emerging as a natural complement to food purchases and is one of the most important categories when shoppers make decisions about their health and wellness. Opening the Show at 7:30 a.m. March 6, Hale and a panel of category experts and retailers will explain how the supermarket channel is “Turning Food Shoppers into Housewares Buyers.” The kitchen category is not only a trip driver, but also must be merchandised adjacent to the fresh aisle in order to expand market baskets, according to Nielsen. A simple change such as retailers labelling it “food prep” rather than “kitchenware,” can make all the difference in what retailers buy and how suppliers go to market.

Capturing the Millennial Shopper

There are now more millennials in the home and housewares-consuming marketplace than Baby Boomers. That means a total reset of industry strategies on the part of stores and suppliers alike. At 12 noon on March 6, in the session titled “How Millennials Make Themselves at Home,” HFN editors Shoulberg and Azzato will use exclusive consumer research to present insights and upsets about how the housewares industry needs to change to address this new consumer in select specific product classifications. Following the research presentation, a panel of retailers and vendors will offer a spirited discussion on what it all means and why the business will never be the same.

Mirabile, IHA’s trend expert, will then offer more insights into millennials’ needs and shopping behavior in his seminar titled “Millennials: A Top Trend for 2016,” at 7:30 a.m. on March 7.

Color/Design at a Crossroads

When design decisions are being made, the question inevitably arises about the right color direction to take; this year, the challenge is as great as ever as the industry is at a crossroads. With the consumer’s constant desire to see something new continuing to influence color/design trends, the question becomes what path will best drive success and consumer or client satisfaction? At 12 noon on March 7, IHA’s renowned color/design forecaster, Eiseman, will demonstrate where the trends are coming from and where they are going in future.

As color choices are so closely tied to personal expression, the answer is in developing the ability to better assess and gauge client aspirations and lifestyle needs so that retailers and suppliers can guide and encourage the use of invigorated color/design palettes that will persuade, engage, enlist and enable new directions. For ever-divergent tastes and styling influences, there are nine distinctive signposts leading to specific color palettes that will help show attendees meet the challenge of satisfying their customers or clients. Eiseman will explain each palette and its guidelines for finding the appropriate comfort zone within the future forecasts in her presentation at 12 noon on March 8.

All these programs will be held in the Grand Ballroom/S100 of the South Building and are free to all show attendees.