Programs highlighted at International Home and Housewares Show

The purchasing desires and habits of Boomers, Millennials and GenXers and the differences in how and why men and women shop for home goods are some of the topics trend analysts will address during sessions in the Innovation Theater at the 2017 International Home + Housewares Show, March 18 – 21 at Chicago’s McCormick Place complex.

Four programs outlining age and gender differentiations will be among the 21 executive-level educational sessions at the Innovation Theater, located in the Hall of Global Innovation in the Lakeside Center. Presentations will include discussions surrounding emerging Smart Home products, global lifestyle and retail trends, licensing, future food and healthy living.

Presenting their research findings on age and gender topics will be Stephen Reily of Vibrant Nation; Joe Derochowski of The NPD Group; Marsha Everton and Whitney Ryan of AIMsights; and Steve Katz of Man the Kitchen.

As the gender shifts in the workplace and home continue to evolve across society, a rebalancing of roles and responsibilities in the kitchen impact the consumer marketplace. Opening the Theater series on Saturday, March 18 at 11:30 a.m. with “Man the Kitchen: The Recipe for Strategic Merchandising,” Steve Katz, creator of the Man the Kitchen brand, will offer a contrasting perspective to the housewares industry’s decades of attention to the female consumer. He will present intriguing 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.

“When men cook, there’s a lot more than cooking really going on,” suggests Katz. “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.”

Following Katz will be consumer brand expert Stephen Reily, who will discuss the demographic trends that make GenX and Boomer women the most influential and important housewares consumers today. In his presentation, “Influencer Marketing: Turning Housewares Consumers into Marketers,” Reily 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.

On Sunday, March 19 at 10:30 a.m., Joe Derochowski, NPD’s expert on food and beverage preferences, will present “Disrupt Today’s Trends and Point Them in Your Direction,” revealing 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 remodeling an existing home is a key life moment. There will be a significant number of new empty-nesters deciding to downsize, upsize or remodel in the next eight years,” he explains. “Additionally, this older generation buys items such as slow cookers, toaster ovens, single-serve coffeemakers, at a higher rate than their Millennial children who are in a similar home-related life moment. We will outline opportunities to address needs across the generations.”

AIMsights researchers Marsha Everton and Millennial Whitney Ryan will present “Love the One You’re With—Boomers Spending Big” on Monday, March 20 at 9:30 a.m. Everton, a Boomer, along with Millennial associate Ryan, will outline how the interaction of these generations yields opportunities for housewares marketers. “Baby Boomers, since birth, have changed the perspective on every stage of life and challenging the conventional wisdom,” says Everton. “The leading edge of this generation is now turning 71—and they are rewiring, not retiring. Boomers still control 70 percent of U. S. disposable income and are entering their Third Act of life with big plans and big spending.” An annual favorite with Innovation Theater audiences, Everton and Ryan will share their demographic, psychographic and anthropological research along with insights on how to rethink marketing strategies to reignite brand appeal.