‘All-time classics and future-oriented’ trends were evident at last month’s German trade fair Ambiente, according to show organiser Messe Frankfurt.
The exhibition, which took place at at Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre from February 12-16, attracted 137,000 buyers from 143 countries. They came to view the wares of 4,387 exhibitors from 96 countries across 27 halls.
The 16 exhibition halls of the Dining section (traditionally the largest part of the fair) were characterised by a rich variety of products and a striking polarity in terms of the colours, patterns and textures used.
Messe Frankfurt said: ‘Stringent purism and monochrome design, for example, came face to face with playful floral motifs or strictly graphic patterns.
‘Tactile polarisation in surface design means that a variety of contours and finishes could be seen, ranging from completely smooth, or velvety soft, to textured surfaces and patterns.
‘What this meant for the colour worlds of this year’s Ambiente was that a riot of colours, including red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple, were juxtaposed with a colour palette that conveyed a minimalist look.’
Taking a lead from the blending of two shades – Serenity and Rose Quartz – that have been chosen as Colour of the Year for 2016 by Pantone, the spectrum ranged from white and cool smoky grey tones to beige hues, ending up with a deep dark blue.
Messe Frankfurt continued: ‘Among the bright, vibrant colours, the presence of different shades of green (even including a turquoise blue shade), was particularly striking.The colours mint, pink, and antique pink, as well as fuchsia, and even orange, provided accentuating points of contrast. And this year there was a deliberate move to introduce contrasts by using different levels of brightness as well. This wealth and variety of colours was complemented by metallic colours and materials. Copper as a material was already emerging as a major trend last year and this was clearly reinforced this year.
‘Another trend to emerge was product sustainability, which is manifested in long-lasting design and new materials. The manufacturers of the Dining products are addressing these issues by using more eco-friendly materials as well as rapidly renewable raw materials. The theme of energy efficiency, in the case of cookware and food processors for example, is becoming increasingly important in this context.
‘Finally, the theme of portability played a prominent role. Products geared to the takeaway market (or food ‘to go’) are becoming increasingly refined in their function and more ambitious in their design.’
In the small electrical appliances section, healthy nutrition and efficient preparation were the main consumer-oriented features, with juicers, mixers and multi-functional kitchen machines particularly popular.
Buyers also gave an enthusiastic reception to products in the BBQ section, Messe Frankfurt reported. ‘For consumers, barbecuing is no longer just a summer treat, which makes it one of the expanding segments at Ambiente,’it said.
Stephan Koziol, chairman of the European Lifestyle Association, commented: “Ambiente is the world’s market leader for kitchen products and a must for the sector. Ambiente brings together the key manufacturers and brands. Moreover, the short distances at the fair and the perfect links to the airport represent a genuine locational advantage. The customers are optimistic about the future, and the propensity to order is correspondingly high.”
Next year, Ambiente will be held from February 10-14 2017 and spotlight British design.