Destination Chicago: International Home + Housewares Show 2019
It’s the place where art intersects with engineering; where technology informs style, and where exhibitors display innovation.

As an agency firmly planted in the housewares industry, the International Home and Housewares Show is a must attend to show support for our current clients, and a place to search for future collaborations.

Since 1927, the International Housewares Association (IHA) has hosted one of the United States’ largest trade shows, based out of sweet-home Chicago.

This year’s trade show featured over 2,200 companies from nearly 50 different countries, with an attendance of well over 60,000 people. The products showcased throughout the expansive halls of North America’s largest convention center fell under a variety of categories, including tabletop / kitchen essentials, cooking / bakeware, cleaning, appliances, robotics and smart home products.

The show aims to bring home and housewares manufacturers to a central location to display their best and most innovative products annually. This includes updating the industry with future market trends, and introducing how technology has maneuvered itself to the forefront of new innovation, highlighted by this year’s theme, “IT’S SMART.”

Brace yourself, you will need the four days to capture this in full. From celebrity chef theatres, educational workshops, and innovative theatre topics, to the smart home pavilion, and the brilliant vendor exhibits throughout the event. Truly the best of the best. 

Show Highlights:

Smeg USA:

Their fashion designed Dolce & Gabbana line is nothing short of pure artistry, while for higher caliber clientele, Smeg’s bar fridges – featured in all Virgin hotel properties – are beautiful, handy, and attainable.

The  20/20 Colour Story:

Where vibrant patterns of paisley meet the dynamic solids of yellow, pink and teal, to adorn the countertops for this upcoming season. Inspiration for appliance design is being drawn from all kinds of undiscovered territories – how many can say they’ve seen a tattoo-inspired popcorn maker. Gone are the days with limited selection – enter a year filled with customization and variety. (Echelon Reflect):

Smart mirror display that transforms from a conventional mirror into a video fitness training system. Now you can see yourself with a virtual trainer, competing and hitting your goals from the comfort of your own home; perfect for the time-starved new moms, sore from a fantastic trade show!

Express Yourself:

Among the buzz-worthy themes at the show is a new trend that allows customers to express their own personality and tastes with unique “do it yourself” kits. This includes everything from creating your own signature whiskey, to chai teas and 3D cupcakes. Just don’t consume together.

A Breath of Fresh Air:

Several product categories seem ready to explode based on the number of companies introducing their own unique versions. These include products to improve the air quality of your home using humidifiers, aroma diffusers and air purifiers, as well as air fryers which count your calories while cooking, keeping a smart journal for a year based on your consumption. This definitely confirms the saying, “abs are made in the kitchen.”

Eco Watch:

Mixed materials were also found in many of the merchandise on display, including several eco-friendly products with clever usages such as aprons made from recycled plastic, reusable food wrap made from beeswax, eco-friendly straws in a variety of colours and storage baskets made from a new material called cellulose nanofiber.

Overall, the home housewares industry continues its streak of growth, hitting an average lift of 5% year over year. The IHA show demonstrates the need for brands to have a focused marketing strategy throughout the year to stay competitive in the market, and keep sales consistent.

As an integrated marketing agency, we need to rethink the way we approach this category. It’s very cluttered and brands need a targeted marketing strategy which includes understanding purchase behaviours, influencers, motivators and channel dynamics, in order to rise above the clutter and win at shelf.

Interesting Insights:

  • Espresso makers grew 33% in ’18 with a 16% higher sale price
  • 36% of Juice extractor sales came from online purchases
  • 73% of all toaster ovens sold were a planned purchase
  • 40% of dinnerware is sold between August and October
Reach out to Influence with all inquiries: