Gifts Today magazine

IHA Chicago announces show programme

Housewares industry forecasters peer into the future of consumer trends – colours and design, Millennial shopping habits and supermarket shoppers

Turning supermarket shoppers into housewares buyers, how millennials shop, color and design trends, and consumers’ mindset about colour will be explored during the keynote educational sessions at the 2016 International Home + Housewares Show, March 5-8 at Chicago’s McCormick Place. These programmes are held in the Grand Ballroom/S100 of the South Building and are free to all Show attendees.

Speakers include Todd Hale of Nielsen; Warren Shoulberg, editorial director, and Maureen Azzato, chief marketing officer, 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.

Turning Food Shoppers into Housewares Buyers

A combination of factors has revived interest in cooking and have made the kitchen once again a major centre 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 according to shoppers when making decisions about their health and wellness. Opening the Show at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, March 6, Todd Hale and a panel of category experts and retailers will explain how the supermarket channel is “Turning Food Shoppers into Housewares Buyers.”

Hale and his panel will provide an understanding of the major shopper segments of kitchenware to help attendees define their needs and preferences. The kitchen category is not only a trip driver, but also must be merchandised adjacent to the fresh aisle in order to capture more basket fill related to consumer health and wellness. A simple change of how retailers view this category, such as labelling it “food prep” rather than “kitchenware,” can make all the difference in what retailers buy and how suppliers go to market.

How the Millennials Make Themselves at Home

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 Sunday, March 6, HFN editors Maureen Azzato and Warren Shoulberg will use brand new, 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 again.

Millennials: A Top Trend for 2016

Millennial is the trend buzzword for 2016. Tom Mirabile, IHA’s trend expert, will offer more insight into this influential consumer group, in his seminar at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, March 7.

Colour/Design at a Crossroads: Finding the Most Directional Trends

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 Monday, March 7, IHA’s renowned color/design forecaster, Leatrice (Lee) 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.

Colour and Emotion: Mining the Consumer Mindset
Research reveals that there are nine specific moods or themes for interior décor that are most meaningful to consumers. Each of these themes is defined by color palettes that will appeal to differing segments of the population, providing the emotional pull that can lead to sales of home furnishings products. At 12 noon on Tuesday, March 8, Lee Eiseman will explain these major moods and how they can help retailers and suppliers to both understand and appeal to current consumer mindsets.

The 2016 International Home + Housewares Show will feature more than 2,100 exhibitors and attract 62,000 total attendees. The Show opens at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 5 and closes at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, March 8. To register for a Show badge or for more information, please visit

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