Our kind of town, Chicago (still) is

By Wares May 10, 2016 International

Wares made its annual pilgrimage to Chicago, the Windy City, to take in the 119th International Home + Housewares Show (IHHS).

To view a PDF of the complete feature as it appeared in Wares magazine, click the download button at the bottom of this page.

The 2016 International Home + Housewares Show received great reviews from buyers and sellers alike. The show was sold-out with 2,224 exhibitors from 47 countries, including no less than 453 new exhibitors who attended the event for the first time.

Attendee numbers also reflected the importance the show still holds internationally, and saw 62,000 total visitors from around the globe.

“We are very pleased with US and international buyer attendance, which were a virtual match with last year’s record numbers,” says Phil Brandl, President and CEO of the International Housewares Association, which owns and operates the Show. “This is very positive given the recent retraction at retail and the strength of the US dollar, which makes exporting more difficult.

2016 was a year of substantial transition with the complete rebranding of the Show to the new “It’s SMart” theme (mixing Smart and Mart, get it?), along with the re-categorisation and location of the Discover Design Expo to a new area.

The new Exhibitor Preview on Saturday morning attracted more than 500 buyer and media attendees, increasing attendance over last year.

This event offers buyers and media the opportunity to meet with 62 first-time exhibitors in advance of the official 10 am show opening and response from buyers was positive about this new feature.

The show once again also included a series of thought-provoking educational sessions, including keynote programmes on colour and design trends, how the consumer’s emotions affect colour choices an overview of core consumer values and expectations, the impact of millennials on housewares and turning food shoppers into housewares buyers.

With more than one eye on the future of homewares, the Innovation Theatre also offered 21 presentations on the Internet of Things, global shopping and retail and consumer lifestyle trends.

And by the way, audio and video recordings of the educational sessions are available at www.housewares.org/education/presentations-webinars


Which were the most globally innovative proucts?

More than 500 products were entered in the IHA Global Innovation Awards from which 60 finalists across all categories were chosen and featured in New Product Showcases throughout the show.

From these, a dazzling dozen houseware products, ranging from well-established brands to first-time exhibitors, were then singled out as winners and announced during the dinner on the first evening of the show:

  • Bath & Personal Care: Simplehuman for Spin Cabinet.
  • Cleaning: Kuhn Rikon for Stay Clean Scrubber.
  • Cook & Bakeware: Alessi USA for Pulcina.
  • Home Décor & Gifts: Eva Solo A/S for Window Birdfeeder.
  • Home Organization & Storage: Stasher for Stasher.
  • Household Electrics & Home Environment: Bruno SmartCan for Bruno SmartCan.
  • Kitchen Electrics: Aquarius Brands for AquaBoy Pro II.
  • Kitchen Hand Tools & Cutlery: Smith’s Consumer Products for Compact Digital Scale – Plastic.
  • Kitchenware: Prepara for Adjustable Oil Pourer.
  • Personal Care: Jobar International for Color Changing Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor.
  • Pet Products: Enchanted Home Pet for TheraCool Pet Mat.
  • Tabletop: Eva Solo A/S for My Flavor Carafe.

See below for Wares’ selection of some of the other cool products from the show.

If any or all of this tickles your professional fancy, why not plan a visit for next year’s show? The 2017 show dates are 18-21 March 2017 and the following website has all the information you could wish for to help you plan your visit.



DéLonghi launches Livenza Collection

DéLonghi used the International Housewares Show to launch its new Livenza Collection of premium brushed and polished stainless steel countertop appliances.

The collection includes the Livenza Oven with ThermoShield System; Livenza 5-in-1 Grill with FlexPress System and Livenza Deep Fryer with EasyClean System.

Products in the Livenza Collection are pitched as “thoughtfully designed products” – a convection oven that maintains a constant, even heat; an indoor grill that can sear everything from a porterhouse to a panini, any time of year; and a deep fryer that conserves oil while turning ingredients into “crispy perfection”.

Yum. Word is that we may see some or all of these new Livenza products in the New Zealand market at some stage.



A pick of the most interesting IHHS products


Homeright ElectroLight Fire Starter – Designed to start charcoal and wood fires safely and easily. It uses super high temperature 1300°F air to ignite and then fan the flames with a built-in blower. No need for lighter fluid and other starter chemicals. Advantages include a higher temperature output and greater airflow for faster fire starting and ergonomic design with soft-grip handle for comfort.


bObsweep PetHair Plus
– Specially designed for pet owners, second generation product “Bob” simultaneously vacuums, sweeps, mops, UV sterilises and filters with a HEPA filter. Sensors help Bob detect obstacles, stairs and steep drops and, when finished with the cleaning, he automatically returns to his charging station. PetHair Plus is tough on tufts, pet dander and litter, claims outstanding suction and offers an extra-large dustbin.



LaCrosse Technology Professional Weather Station – How about your own Weather Station? This product records temperature and humidity, wind, rain and lightning. With atomic time, perpetual calendar and indoor temperature with trend indicator, Weather Station also indicates heat index, dew point and lightning indicator with approximate distances.



Bradley Smart Smoker – This new automatic, electric food smoker features iSmoke Technology that allows you in real-time to connect with and control the smoker from Bluetooth-enabled devices or the touchscreen on the smoker. Bradley’s automatic feed system drops smouldering wood bisquettes into a bowl of water at regular intervals, extinguishing the wood when it turns to ash and making for cleaner burning and better flavour. With room for 10 racks of food it also has two removable temperature probes to measure heat in different areas simultaneously.



Salton Lazy Susan Hotray Cordless Round Warming Tray – How to banish cold entrees or appetisers? Whether you’re enjoying a pizza, throwing a party, or are gathered around the TV for your favourite sporting event, Hotray ensures your food stays warm. Simply plug in for 8 minutes, detach the cord and enjoy warm food for an hour.



Bosch Universal Plus Kitchen Machine – 800 Watts of power with 4 speeds plus pulse function. Boasts a belt driven transmission for long life, professional dough hook to replicate hand kneading, locking bowl holds up to 15 lbs of dough, includes wire whips, and covers with suction feet for stability, removable drive shaft for easy cleaning and a 3-year motor and transmission warranty.



Brother ScanNCut – Use the 1000+ designs and fonts to draw or cut paper, fabric and balsa wood. Scan your own designs, or wirelessly transfer files from a PC, phone or tablet using free cloud-based software. 




Spherificator Automatic Caviar Pearls Former – Aimed at foodies, chefs, bartenders etc, this hand held device will produce up to 10kg of pearls per day. In case you were wondering, “spherification” is simply the culinary process of shaping a liquid into spheres which resemble caviar or pearls. Spherificator is easy to clean has a 200ml capacity, variable speed control and two nozzle sizes.



Black Diamond Vitamix Professional Series 500 – Not just another blender, Series 500 not only features three pre-programmed settings to automatically process the dishes you blend most often – smoothies, frozen desserts and hot soups – but it can also make cold sorbet without a freezer and steaming hot soup without a stove. The tamper helps users process thick or frozen mixtures with perfect results every time.




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