To get a sense of just how much excitement was building up in advance of The 2015 International Home + Housewares Show, consider this: the show sold out in late December, more than 10 weeks before opening day. Owned at operated by the International Housewares Association, the show ran from March 7-10 at McCormick Place in Chicago.
The show hosted more than 2,100 exhibitors from around the world, including 400 new companies that exhibited for the first time. The show attracted exhibitors from 49 countries and more than 60,000 attendees.
The 2015 International Home + Housewares Show also featured former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who was the featured speaker during the annual Industry Breakfast at the show. In addition to Romney, International Housewares Association Chairman David Elliott, general manager KitchenAid Small Appliances, outlined the association’s accomplishments in 2014 and its objectives for the future.
Other events included Discover Design, the destination for buyers seeking unique products from high-design, design-focused and innovative companies. Discover Design was sold-out for the 2015 International Home + Housewares Show. Among the 100+ exhibitors in the category, buyers discovered new companies including Bengt Ek Design, Deejo, Gramovox, iittala, Jia, PO: Selected, Pomegranate, Poppin, Rice Cube, Vasta International and Prestige Identity featuring the brands Cookut, Lina Forlino, Philippi, OA1710, Welton of London and Fire Design. Returning exhibitors included Alessi, Black + Blum, Blomus, David Rasmussen Design, Dreamfarm, Eva Solo, French Bull, Guzzini, Infusion Living, Joseph Joseph, Inc., Parallax Horizon, Sempli, Robert Welch, Three by Three, Yamazaki and Zoku LLC.
In addition, the show included the New Exhibitor Preview on Saturday morning before the show opened; the Hall of Global Innovation featuring the show’s special exhibits, including Pantone ColorWatch, Going Green, IHA Innovation Awards, Global Innovation Awards and the IHA Student Design Competition; the Innovation Theater with 20 presentations exploring the crucial role of design, social media, consumer lifestyle trends and new platforms for product launches.
As for the awards, the finalists for Global Innovation Awards for product innovation included Best Collection Design finalists iittala for Ruutu; JIA Inc. for Steamer Collection; and Parallax Horizon for Heat THAT!! The finalists for Best Product Design included Â Alessi USA for Cheese Please; Big Dragon Studios for TurbineUSA Pizza Cutter; David Rasmussen Design for Wud Tumbler; Dreamfarm for SAVEL; Eva Solo for Digital Kitchen Scale; Joseph Joseph for Can-Do Can Opener; Parallax Horizon for Scoop THAT!!; and PO: Selected Company Limited for Pao Thermo Mug.
Among the highlights of the show was Savor Home, a revitalized gourmet food and specialty products category. Located between Discover Design and Tabletop in the Dine + Design Expos in the South Building, Savor Home provided buyers with a destination centered around the celebrated Cooking Theater.
The event attracted it share of celebrity chefs, as Top Chef Masters champion Rick Bayless and Top Chef “Fan Favorite” Fabio Viviani headed the line-up of celebrity chefs appearing in the Cooking Theater. Also appearing were Food Network chef Aarón Sánchez, “The Queen of Southern Cooking” Paula Deen, “The Pioneer Woman” Ree Drummond and James Beard Award winner Ming Tsai.