Getting connected in Chicago

By Martin Griffith June 20, 2017 International

The connected home was one of the key aspects of this year’s International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago over 18-21 March. Martin Griffiths reports.

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

The 2017 International Home + Housewares Show (IH+HS) has been garnering rave reviews from buyers and sellers, exhibitors and visitors.

The show was sold out, with 2,204 exhibitors from 47 countries and featured a focus on smart home and connected products, while also covering its traditional core areas of electrics and home healthcare, cleaning and home organisation and home and kitchen products.

“We are very pleased with buyer attendance, which was nearly on par with last year’s record numbers, particularly international, which was very positive with buyers coming from over 125 countries,” says Phil Brandl, President & CEO of the IHA (, which owns and operates the IH+HS.

This year saw a concerted focus on smart and connected products with the inaugural IHA Smart Home Pavilion, featuring 18 new and current exhibitors displaying emerging technologies and the latest in smart and connected products, as well as 70 other exhibitors throughout the Show.

The Discover Design Expo, in its second year in the North Building, was the design destination at IH+HS 2017, while another positive sign was the New Exhibitor Preview which attracted more than 600 buyer and media attendees.

This event offered buyers and media the opportunity to meet with 90 first-time exhibitors, up from 60 last year, in advance of the show opening.

As usual, IH+HS also included a series of educational sessions, including keynote programs on colour and design trends and how consumers’ emotions affect colour choices; a panel discussing the impact of the smart home on housewares; an overview of consumers’ values and expectations and a focus group of millennials discussing housewares.

In addition, the Innovation Theater offered 21 presentations on smart home and connected products; age and gender marketing; and retail and consumer lifestyle trends.

Audio and video recordings of these sessions can be viewed at

The 2018 International Home + Housewares Show takes place over 10-13 March in Chicago Illinois. In the meantime, check out our choice of some of the coolest new products from IH+HS 2017 on the opposite page.


Kiwi among homewares global best

At the recent International Home + Housewares Show, Kiwi homewares retailer Nicole Ward (left) and her store, Green With Envy, were named among the top five GIA Global Honorees for Retail Excellence in this year’s Global Innovation Award (GIA).

In 2017, for the first time in a number of years, New Zealand had a national GIA programme of which Wares was the national sponsor and organiser.

GIA winners from 27 countries were considered by a global jury of retail and visual merchandising experts and the Editors and Publishers of housewares trade publications from around the world.

The 2017 Global Honorees were:

  • Green with Envy (New Zealand).
  • The Loft Co (Japan).
  • Rustan’s Department Store (Philippines).
  • Borough Kitchen (United Kingdom).
  • Potten & Pannen – Staněk KitchenAid Concept Store & Gourmet Academy (Czech Republic).

For more information about the 2017-2018 New Zealand GIA programme and the chance to represent New Zealand at the 2018 International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago, contact Martin Griffiths on 021 662 228 or email

2017 International Home + Housewares Show product round-up

A collection of some of the cooler products seen at this year's International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago:

Sobro Coffee Table – Designed to “support the modern connected lifestyle”, this coffee table features not only Bluetooth speakers, LED lighting, a tempered glass top with touch controls, USB charging ports and two power ports that can power a laptop and connects to your TV via Bluetooth, but also a refrigerator drawer!

Brewista NutraMilk Nut Milk Maker – An alternative to real honest to goodness dairy milk, NutraMilk makes nut milk in less time than it takes to brew a pot of coffee. Able to make wholesome fresh milk from virtually any type of nut in minutes, it is capable of producing 2 litres at a time.

SproutsIO Smart Microgarden – Designed to monitor and nurture home-grown plants, SproutsIO is wi-fi-connected and equipped with environmental sensors to monitor your plants and the ambient conditions. It also has a camera, high efficiency LED lighting, and an electronic mister. A modular system, multiple units can be controlled through the dedicated app.

GeniCan Garbage Can Grocery Reminder – GeniCan was invented to remind you to buy more of what you’ve just thrown away. Attached to your trash can, GeniCan proactively adds to a virtual list products whose barcodes have been intentionally scanned or verbally added, having prompted you when it didn’t scan the barcode of an item just trashed… What’s more GeniCan is linked to Amazon’s Dash Replenishment programme, which automatically delivers the required items to your home or office.

SmartChef Tru-Infrared Gas Grill – This connected outdoor cooker delivers real-time alerts through the SmartChef Gas Grill app so consumers can select the precise cooking time they need, all the while easily monitoring and controlling temperatures and being alerted to flipping times from their smart device. Featuring the TRU-Infrared Cooking System, this grill provides even heat, prevents flare-ups and cooks juicier food.

Stinkboss Shoe & Gear Deodouriser – Designed to kill odour in shoes and sporting gear, Stinkboss uses ozone, the most powerful disinfectant found in nature, to kill bacteria, viruses and germs. The appliance circulates mild heat (21°C) and ozone around the gear inside its case, the heat wicking away moisture in the gear and the ozone taking care of the bacterial stink.

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