s grocers head into the new year on the heels
of a successful retail holiday season, many
are asking how they will remain relevant in
the highly competitive housewares landscape in 2018.
Staying on trend and offering a compelling assortment
of fairly priced, strategically merchandised products will
be critical to success. Style, color and healthy lifestyle-inspired items add to a winning equation.
There are billions in business at stake. The recently
released International Housewares Association (IHA)
2017 State of the Industry Report puts the global house-
wares industry at $355.4 billion. The U.S. share of that
business is just over $87 billion for 2016, the most recent
year that numbers are available.
What is grocery’s piece of the pie? Supermarkets come
in at 8.5% of all U.S. housewares sales, or about $6.8 billion, ranking fourth among U.S. channels behind mass,
department store and specialty stores, according to Rosemont, Ill.-based IHA.
“Although we do not have specific numbers for 2017 as
yet, reports are that housewares were a strong driver for
supermarkets and all channels in what is shaping up to be
the most successful retail holiday since 2011,” says Debbie Teschke of the IHA. “Multicooker/pressure cookers
have been widely reported to be a best-seller in electrics,
and other categories such as kitchen gadgets, cookware
and cutlery have been noted as strong performers as
Health and Wellness Made Easy
From innovations in cast-iron cookware to vegetable ricers and spiralizers to all things hydration-related, many of
today’s top housewares trends are designed to streamline
healthy living and eating.
A look at Amazon’s best-sellers in kitchen utensils and
gadgets in January speaks to America’s obsession with a
healthier lifestyle. Among the top 20 items were multiple digital kitchen scales, as well as vegetable spiralizers/
slicers for making veggie pasta and spaghetti for low-carb,
paleo and gluten-free meals.
Traditional supermarkets, mega retailers and big-box
stores are also vying for a share of the health-focused
Last month, Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart’s website
invited shoppers to “Power Your Healthy Resolutions”
On the supplier side, housewares companies are
launching a host of new products to meet the growing
demand for health and wellness made easy.
“Our newest products are developed with the food
channel in mind, and they follow major food trends,”
says Steve Campise, division president of kitchenware for
Lifetime Brands Inc. in Garden City, N. Y. “These products include vegetable tools that offer ease of preparation,
encourage healthy eating and make entertaining easier.”
For example, Lifetime offers a new tool that helps con-
Prepping the Aisles
for Modern Eaters
Eating- and living-well trends imply robust sales of kitchen
tools, gadgets, serveware and more this year. By Jennifer Strailey