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IHA News Left: Vivienne Cudahy of Auteur (UK distributor for Hip) with Richard Smiedt, founder of Hip, showing the new Clean Straws at the IH+HS.


Top buyers at ‘vibrant’ Chicago

Sipper stars at Chicago With Speciality Beverages the focus of the Trending Today area of Chicago’s IH+HS (March 2-5), re-usable straws were a booming subcategory at the show. Exhibitors recognised the rising demand for functional and aesthetic reusable options as the worldwide movement against the use of plastic straws continues to gather momentum. GoSili’s Guiliana Schwab told PH: “We’ve reacted to demands for longer straws and fatter straws for smoothies, as well as straws contained in a tin so they are easy to carry around.” Hip’s new Clean Straw received a phenomenal reaction from UK buyers, confirms Vivienne Cudahy, md of Auteur (distributor for Hip). The innovative silicone straw can be unrolled for easy cleaning. Continuing Hip’s hydration and ‘on the go’ themes, the brand also showcased a prototype for a new roll-up water bottle. The brand’s stand itself had eco-credentials as it was made entirely of recyclable cardboard. Meanwhile, Asobu (by Adnart) intergrates its stainless steel straws with a band of flexible silicone, making the straw bendable and safer than a fully metal straw (should the straw be knocked into the mouth), explained Asobu’s Steven Ross. The company is also donating 10% of profits from the sales of its Reusable Straws to WWF. In the Inventors’ Corner, D’Vine showed its innovative Wine Aerator straws. Founder Scott Scardino explained: “These straws were created for wine drinkers who do not want to stain their teeth and meet the need for a reusable alternatives to plastic as well as providing an enhanced drinking experience as the design aerates the wine.” Scott has now created various designs: “Our customers are often young professional women who enjoy going out to restaurants and bars and want to take an accessory that looks good.” Below: GoSili’s Guiliana Schwab and Mariah Medina at the IH+HS.

Chicago’s International Home + Housewares Show (March 2-5) attracted a notable turnout of high calibre retail buyers – reportedly the ‘strongest in years’, according to organiser, International Housewares Association (IHA). The Show was sold-out with 2,205 exhibitors from 43 countries. Its special features included a conference bringing together social influencers/bloggers, an area of smart/connected products with associated talks, and a Trending Today focus on beverage products. Above: The popular Trending Today event before the show opened. IHA president Derek Miller commented: “Over and over we heard from exhibitors that the quality of the buyers and attendance of key retailers was the best in years.” He continued: “Exhibitors also noted strong international buyer attendance as well.” This year’s show included the inaugural ‘The Inspired Home Influencer Conference’, which took place the day before the show opened and brought together more than 145 high-quality social media influencers and bloggers for educational sessions and speed-dating with more than 100 exhibitors. Beverage products were also in the spotlight before the official start of the show, with the well-attended Trending Today Preview on Saturday morning (as well as an exhibit area within the Wired + Well Expo). Products for water, coffee, wine and cocktails were all well represented. Presenting the ZOS wine preservation system to the US market at the Trending Today Preview event, CellarDine’s managing director Peter Dunne reports that retailers such as Williams Sonoma, Bed Bath and Beyond, Sur La Table, Cost Plus and The Inset: Peter Dunne of CellarDine with the Grommet have now “either listed the product or engaged in negotiations innovative ZOS wine to trial the product.” preservation system at the Trending Today Other show highlights included trends presentations by Pantone Colour event. Institute’s Lee Eiseman and the Pantone display, the Student Design Competition winners (including cutting tools for the blind) and Inventors Corner (see Leader and news on The recent show was the last to be called ‘International Home + Housewares Show’. (See separate story below.)

The Inspired Home Show 2020 Chicago’s International Home + Housewares Show (IH+HS) will become The Inspired Home Show, IHA’s Global Home + Housewares Market in 2020 (March 14-17). The new name and lifestyle focus reflects societal trends and is part of the IHA’s expansion of The Inspired Home platform. Derek Miller, president of IHA states: “As the premier home and housewares event in the world, our members, exhibitors and retail attendees expect a Show that reflects current trends and attitudes.” In addition to IHA’s current website (, The Inspired Home Show will be supported on a new website found at * The IHA has appointed PR Direct, run by Sarah Selzer and Mark Chapman, as its UK office. The office is the contact point for those interested in visiting or exhibiting at The Inspired Home Show, and for IHA members interested in the UK market. Above: The new logo for The Inspired Home Show.

Tom on ‘buying experiences’ “We need to stop looking at objects and start looking at what those objects deliver,” said Tom Mirabile, trend expert for the International Housewares Association (IHA) in this keynote presentation, Top Trends 2019: New Consumer Insights and How to Thrive in the Retail Revolution’ at the IH+HS. He emphasised the increasing significance of buying into lifestyles and aspirations: “People aren’t buying objects, they’re buying experiences.” Tom provided members of the housewares industry with a series of tenets, which included “Be Flexible” (citing how brands such as IKEA and KitchenAid have reinvented themselves) and “Be Fun” (for Above: Tom Mirabile. example, with amusing advertisements.) “Be Aspirational” was another of Tom’s tips: “Today’s consumer doesn’t dream of owning, but of becoming.” He continued: “Be Sharable,” for example, by inspiring families to cook and eat a meal together. Tom’s and other presentations can be viewed on: PROGRESSIVE



Profile for Max Publishing

Progressive Housewares March/April 2019  

Progressive Housewares March/April 2019