IHA hosts Connect FALL virtual event

Connect FALL, an IHA virtual event, is set for October 11-13 with exclusive, in-depth content designed to bring the housewares industry together around critical industry education.

Session topics include opportunities in inflationary times; consumer lifestyle trends; an update on PFAS chemicals regulations and housewares; trends influencing housewares, food, cooking and culture; a preview of the second annual IHA Occasions Report, examining the renewal of key life moment celebrations and how the housewares industry can benefit; and announcement of the Global Innovation Awards (gia) Top Window Award. Two sessions will be held each day between 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

“As the International Housewares Association re-commits to providing valuable in-person industry education at such events as The Inspired Home Show and recently concluded CHESS and Global Forum conferences, the IHA Connect platform continues to serve the growing demand for convenient, virtual content programs at other key planning times throughout the year,” said Leana Salamah, IHA’s vice president, marketing. “This year’s Connect FALL conference will deliver exclusive insights on shifting lifestyle trends and critical business developments to help guide home + housewares decision makers as they navigate toward 2023 and beyond.”

Connect FALL will open on October 11 with a session from The NPD Group on Opportunities in Inflationary Times. Whether or not the country is technically in a recession, inflation is a real challenge – and likely to stay that way for a while. As an industry that thrives when the emphasis in on at-home experiences, where are the best opportunities for growth in the next year? Joe Derochowski, vice president and home industry advisor at The NPD Group, will provide his perspective on where consumers are likely to spend over the next year and how suppliers can be ready to meet their needs. Derochowski wll spend the first half of the session presenting, leaving the second half open for a “town hall” type of interaction. Attendees can submit questions that focus on consumer trends and forecasted home industry category performance. Derochowski will not address questions about specific retailer or supplier performand during the session.

Other education sessions include:

Never Say Normal: Navigating Change and Enabling Growth in the Modern Marketplace

Tom Mirabile, principal of Springboard Futures and IHA’s consumer trend forecaster, will explore some of the trends that will drive products and purchase through 2023. The home + housewares marketplace has never seemed less stable or predictable. Still, this dynamic environment also presents many opportunities for innovation and growth. Seizing these advantages requires a clear understanding of shifting consumer lifestyles, aspirations and pain points, while staying anchored to those fundamental needs that are the bedrock of all consumer demand.

PFAS Chemicals and Housewares: Answering the Critical Questions

IHA and the Cookware & Bakeware Alliance (CBA) continue their partnership to inform the housewares industry about legislation regulating products made with PFAS chemicals. An issue once thought to affect mainly certain non-stick coated cookware and bakeware is impacting a wide range of housewares products that come in contact with food. This installment of this joint educational program by IHA and CBA will provide important updates on enacted and proposed state laws covering products made with PFAS chemicals. Panelists will answer the many questions being asked by industry decision makers about how to prepare for looming PFAS regulation. Panelists: Fran Groesbeck, managing director, Cookware & Bakeware Alliance; Tobias Gerfin, CEO, Kuhn Rikon, and president, European Association for Cookware, Cutlery and Flatware (FEC); and Thomas Lee, partner, Energy, Environment and Infrastructure Practice Group, Bryan, Cave Leighton and Paisner. Moderated by Peter Giannetti, editor-in-chief, HomePage News.

Growth at the Intersection of Food, Housewares and Lifestyle Trends

Consumer lifestyles and food culture are interacting in new and different ways. Leigh Ann Schwarzkopf, principal of Project Partners Network, and Nicki Gondell, founding partner of Trend House, look at key lifestyle and design trends influencing home and housewares, food and flavor, cooking and culture for 2023 and into 2024. This session will explore emerging trends and discuss their implications for manufacturers and retailers in product development and content.

Enhance Your Visual Toolbox – gia Top Window Awards

As consumer behavior and expectations continue to evolve, the strategies and techniques employed to attract them must also advance and sharpen. Even the simplest change in your design approach and presentation can affect how shoppers perceive the store environment’s culture and merchandise. Join gia Expert Juror Anne Kong as she explores both simple and complex techniques that speak visually to consumers. She will look at the power of great visual merchandising design as a language that can invite and promote sales. Merchandising with meaning and elevated communication are just a few of the many ways retailers and suppliers can strengthen the relationship with today’s busy consumer. Enhance your visual toolbox and discover ways to appeal to a broader generation of shoppers.

Part of Anne’s presentation will be the announcement of the gia Top Window Global Honorees of 2022. The gia Top Window competition recognizes and celebrates the best and most innovative window displays in the home + housewares industry worldwide. The Global Honorees – one small company and one large company – win a trip to The Inspired Home Show in Chicago in March 2023.

IHA Occasions Survey 2023: Housewares Joins the Celebration

Leana Salamah of IHA and Peter Giannetti of HomePage News will preview results of the second annual IHA Occasions Survey examining the renewal of key life moment celebrations and how the home + housewares business can join the party. This presentation will highlight key findings and conclusions, including shifts compared to the 2021 Occasions Survey, fielded just as consumers were beginning to envision life beyond the pandemic that paused such in-person gatherings. Learn how special occasions will fill up calendars a year later to trigger new purchase opportunities across several housewares categories. This presentation also will spotlight findings of a recent IHA consumer survey on In-Home Entertaining, exploring the year-round potential for the housewares business to serve the resurgent appetite for in-home gatherings.


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