Normal will return one day soon, but not soon enough for this year’s The Inspired Home Show.
With three COVID-19 vaccines now in play, signs are hopeful that we will soon begin winning the fight against a virus that has taken too many and changed so much.
At its foundation, the Housewares Show as it’s still known to many has long been that time of year when the industry gathers to get a look at new products, new trends and gain insight into the happenings at retail for the rest of the year.
It’s also the time when big news breaks. At the 2019 Show, then-Corelle Brands announced the acquisition of Instant Brands, the parent company of Instant Pot. Several years prior while I was on the editorial team at HomeWorld Business, I had the opportunity to break news about Oxo’s entry into the kitchen electrics category.
For me, the most enjoyable aspect of the show was reconnecting with friends. I would run into folks while walking the aisles of the expansive McCormick Place halls, online grabbing a bite to eat or crossing the bridge over Lake Shore Drive.
With the show on ice for another year, the industry will no doubt remain focused on the remaining nine months of 2021, looking to build off a strong 2020. COVID has changed much and the time consumers have spent at home has led many to sharpen their culinary skills, which is a good thing for the industry.
When the world of housewares gathers again in Chicago in March of 2022, it will be interesting to see how product supplies and the show itself evolve to meet the new needs of consumers.
Until then, wear your mask and when you can get vaccinated. Both will play a major role in regaining normal and allowing The Inspired Home Show to be a reality next year.
Be safe and stay healthy!
Greg Sleter is the editor of Kitchenware Today.