HFN STaff Report
Some of the biggest trends in housewares, judging by the introductions at last month’s International Home + Housewares Show, center on snacking, savvy storage and colorful, whimsical options for utilitarian items.
Cake pop makers are a trending treat, following the popularity of cupcakes. The Entenmann’s brand from Durakleen has a new cake pop set, as well as a mini set; Chicago Metallic offered a Cupcake Creation Station; and TTU’s Bella line of cookware, bakeware and serveware items is designed to complement Sensio small electrics and includes a full range of cake pop-oriented SKUs.
Several brands launched fun kitchen electrics for preparing other treats. These included a popcorn maker and snow-cone maker from Waring, which used this year’s show as a platform to extend beyond toaster-ovens and other food-prep items. Holstein Housewares debuted the Fun Line of electrics, which includes a brownie maker, a doughnut maker, a pound-cake maker and a cupcake maker. The West Bend brand of Focus Electrics rolled out the Jelly Belly Cotton Candy Machine, a line of popcorn makers and other novelty items.
Another standout trend from the show was the continuing infusion of color into product design. Cuisinart introduced new spring-shaded colors into its Mini Prep line of blenders. KitchenAid expanded the palette of its Artisan Stand Mixer with a number of eye-popping colors, and introduced metallic chocolate and crystal blue to the colorations on stand mixers, coffeemakers, blenders and food processors.
Several celebrities launched housewares collections at the show, encompassing cookware, gadgets and kitchenware. Isaac Mizrahi provided a lot of pop with his cookware at Gibson USA, which included colorful cast iron and patterned fry pans. At Lifetime Brands, Food Network star Guy Fieri debuted his collection, which includes designs he developed with his tattoo artist for the bottom of his fry pans.
Television journalist Joan Lunden brought her healthful cooking approach to the new Twiztt line at the Cookware Company. Celebrity chef Curtis Stone also showed his line of cookware, bakeware and serveware at the Housewares Show for the first time.
Cast iron proved to be a popular cookware material and was part of several new collections, including Guy Fieri’s and a new Fiesta licensed line at the Cookware Company. Tabletop company Denby also branched out into cookware with its new cast iron line.
In cutlery, there’s been a return to wood handles—rosewood, olivewood and the like—among the high-end steel makers, while several other manufacturers—such as Lifetime’s Farberware division and Kuhn Rikon—expanded their ceramic knife options by adding more colorful handles or decorative elements to the surface of the blade. Resin-coated novelty knives—designed for cutting specific fruits or vegetables—have added a whimsical element to the business. The category has also been enhanced with more decorative as well as functional cutting boards in a variety of materials including glass, plastic and the ever-popular bamboo.
Among the categories in personal care which received major play during the show were handheld massagers. HoMedics unveiled a broad line of new massagers in all configurations; one cute addition to the company’s lineup was the Ribbit massager, a handheld product with a scaly design much like the skin of a frog, which comes in green, brown and blue.
Items that fold up, nest or otherwise take up less space were huge at the show. New additions ranged from the Squish kitchenware line from Robinson Home Products to the Mini Max cookware line from WMF’s Silit brand to the nesting bowls from Trudeau.