Even More Favorite Finds from 2017 International Home and Housewares Show

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  • April 11, 2017

After spending four days walking the International Home and Housewares Show at Chicago’s McCormick Place, over 2,200 exhibitors from around the world and 400 NEW companies, sharing all my favorite finds was going to take two posts. So, in part two of my summary, you will learn about the following:

  • Millennials are making an impact on trends.
  • Eco-friendly products are gaining momentum.
  • Colors are most welcome, wanted and defined in the housewares world.
  • Housewares Industry professionals are extremely generous.
  • McCormick Place and its three massive halls are huge. 16,000 steps a day. Next year, wear better shoes!
  • Too much to share in one post. This is Part 2!

5 years ago, the opportunity to have a sous-vide machine in your kitchen would set you back over $1,000. Now, with its popularity growing, you will find options that are far less expensive, complicated and with fewer parts. The technique behind using a sous-vide is to ensure even cooking and moisture retention. The eggs or meat are sealed in a vacuum-sealed plastic bag and then placed in a water bath. The water is exactly kept at your desired temperature. While using a sous-vide takes anywhere from an hour to 10, the completed food is perfectly cooked. Here are a few of the varieties now available in the marketplace.Livliga is helping you with portion control with their tableware. Circles for each food category of protein, carbs, vegetables/fruit and sauces subtly indicate serving sizes in their creatively designed patterns. Kids plates too:


Do your storage containers have mystery contents? And the masking tape you wrote on is now blurred so you really don’t know what is in there. Well, Chef Geoffrey Zakarian has a solution for you with his Pro For Home Refrigerator Storage Containers. With the included erasable markers, you can write directly on the lid what you are saving and the date. Exactly how it is done in restaurant kitchens.Eco friendly housewares continue to grow with brands creating a natural alternative to plastic wrap for food storage like from Bee’s Wrap who infuses organic cotton with responsibly harvested beeswax, organic jojoba oil and tree resin. The resulting food storage solutions are durable, washable and reusable.
And from Maple Origins who took maple wood (think old cabinets) recovered from U.S. manufacturers or other organic materials like flax, rice hulls or coconut shells and combining it with safe, certified plastic polymers. The result is serving pieces and bowls that are extremely durable.

Cookware manufacturer, All-Clad Metalcrafters, has launched their all in one Prep & Cook that is designed to let you use one machine to accomplish many tasks including the following categories: cooks, slow cooks, steams, stir fries, mixes, stirs, kneads, whips, crushes ice, chops nuts, and more all at the touch of a button. In other words, that food processor, blender, slow cooker and mixer may no longer be needed. If you like the pre-sets that many machines are offering these days, this has it too in the form of sauce, soup, simmer, steam, pastry, and dessert. For more details, check it out here and to see it in action, click here

 Art and design make for practical purposes too like this sculpture/bowl from Alessi:
For anyone looking for a fun gift to give a wine lover, check out these clever ideas from True Brands and Blush:

A flask bracelet:

Carry your box of wine in style in this purse:

Color presents itself in every context and representation. With the Millennial generation using color to “explore”, we are seeing a deliberate mix of different prints, patterns and colors. A few color take-aways:Pink – rosy and healthier pinks vs bubble gum pink; bold pinks leaning toward magenta or fuchsia

Orange – growing in popularity

Green – Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year; nature, health. Deeper mossy greens are showing up in home interiors.
Black and White – Classic and “don’t disappear”

Metallics and Iridescents – Metallics are the newest neutrals; iridescents are “always attractive to the consumer eye”

Fun lesson question for you. Where do you keep your butter? In the fridge or on the counter? If you think leaving it on the counter is totally fine, you are RIGHT! Thanks to the team at Butterie who investigated this by submitting butter to a food safety lab,  the official conclusion to leave butter out for up to 21 days is totally acceptable. In fact, to make it less messy to store the butter on the counter, the Butterie folks even created a dish to hold the butter for every day use.

Food brings people together. We know that. The housewares world provides the equipment to help us serve and prepare that food. So, when the Housewares Charity Foundation’s 20th annual gala has Chicago’s finest chefs (Rick Bayless, Lee Wolen, Andrew Zimmerman, Paul Virant, Stephanie Izard, Abraham Conlon) presenting their dishes during the cocktails and appetizer portion of the evening, amazing silent and live auction items and an energized and extremely generous guest list, we shouldn’t be surprised to learn that the evening raised nearly $2 million. The live auction alone raised $290,000! Money raised benefited the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the No Kid Hungry campaign by Share Our Strength that aims to ensure that all children in the U.S. have access to food.  Recognized this year was Janet Hayes, president of Williams Sonoma with the Lifetime Humanitarian Award, Richard L. Boynton, Jr., president of JURA Inc.,, with the Humanitarian of the Year Award and Phil Brandl, president and chief executive officer of the International Housewares Association, with the Lifetime Leadership Award. Click to see a little peak into the cocktail and appetizer hour and the dinner

After walking the halls of McCormick for four days, seeing a vast assortment of innovative products, talking to brands and inventors so proud of what they have to offer, learning about culinary techniques, seeing how technology is now incorporated into the kitchen and catching up with international colleagues, I am grateful this show is just once a year! Frankly, so are my feet after walking 16,000 steps a day. Thanks to Wellness Mats and M Cushion for my moments of peace.

Having worked in this industry for 15 years, I look forward to the International Home and Housewares Show every year with great anticipation. Thanks to IHA for the spectacular industry show. Until next year!

Thanks for stopping by!

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