Trend spotters to share insights at Chicago show

The purchasing habits of Boomers, Millennials and GenXers, and the differences in how men and women shop for housewares, are just some of the topics that will be addressed by trend analysts at next month’s 2017 International Home + Housewares Show.

A series of talks will be delivered in the Innovation Theater (in the Hall of Global Innovation in the Lakeside Center) during the course of the exhibition, which runs from March 18 to March 21 in Chicago.

Among the 21 scheduled sessions, presentations will also include discussions on emerging Smart Home products, global lifestyle and retail trends, licensing, future food and healthy living.

Here are tasters of four talks focused on targeting consumers by age and gender:


Steve Katz, founder of the Man the Kitchen brand

Opening the Theater series on Saturday, March 18 at 11.30 am, Steve will offer a contrasting perspective to the housewares industry’s decades of attention to the female consumer.

In his presentation, entitled ‘Man the Kitchen: The Recipe for Strategic Merchandising,’ he will present insights on the growing importance of men who use and purchase kitchen tools, including the psychology of men in the kitchen and their preferences for high-performance cookware and appliances, which can mean higher revenue for kitchenware suppliers.

Steve commented: “When men cook, there’s a lot more than cooking really going on. Anyone who has witnessed men immerse themselves in dramatic clattering and chopping as they claim their territory in the kitchen or at the grill, has seen their emotional connection and identity triggered by their unique ‘own it’ attitude toward their knives, tools and cookware.”


Stephen Reily, founder of marketing agency Vibrant Nation

Following Steve will be consumer brand expert Stephen, who will discuss the demographic trends that, he believes, make GenX and Boomer women the most influential and important housewares consumers today.

In his presentation, ‘Influencer Marketing: Turning Housewares Consumers into Marketers,’ Stephen will provide insights into what motivates these women to buy and will offer case studies on how to use ‘influencer marketing’ to engage such consumers to become your best ambassadors.


Joe Derochowski, executive director and home industry analyst of market research company The NPD Group

On Sunday, March 19 at 10.30 am, Joe will present a paper entitled ‘Disrupt Today’s Trends and Point Them in Your Direction’.

He will reveal how Boomers and Millennials, in their pre-children and post-children life stages, find themselves at prime decision points for home changes.

“Moving into a new home or remodelling an existing home is a key life moment,” he said.

“There will be a significant number of new empty-nesters deciding to downsize, upsize or remodel in the next eight years.

“Additionally, the older generation buys items such as slow cookers, toaster ovens and single-serve coffee makers at a higher rate than their Millennial children, who are in a similar home-related life moment.

“I will outline opportunities to address needs across the generations.”


Marsha Everton and Whitney Ryan, researchers of marketing consulting company AIMsights

On Monday, March 20 at 9.30 am the pair will present ‘Love the One You’re With—Boomers Spending Big’.

Marsha (a Boomer), and Whitney (a Millennial) will outline how the interaction of these generations yields opportunities for housewares marketers.

Marsha said: “Baby Boomers, since birth, have changed the perspective on every stage of life, challenging conventional wisdom.

“The leading edge of this generation is now turning 71 – and they are rewiring, not retiring. Boomers still control 70% of US disposable income and are entering their Third Act of life with big plans and big spending.”

The duo will share their demographic, psychographic and anthropological research, along with insights on how to rethink marketing strategies to reignite brand appeal.


The International Home + Housewares Show will host more than 2,200 exhibitors from around the globe, showcasing their products to 62,000 attendees.

The full schedule of the Innovation Theater programme is available at or on the Show app, ih+h2017. To register for a show badge, visit

The Show is sponsored by The International Housewares Association which offers its 1,700 member companies a wide range of services, including industry and government advocacy, export assistance, State-of-the-Industry reports, point-of-sale and consumer panel data through ‘Housewares MarketWatch’, executive management peer groups, a web-based community at and group buying discounts on business solutions services.

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