All inventors would love to come up with the next hot product to hit the market. That’s the main thing you have in common with manufacturers and retailers, who are also trying to find the next big thing.
If you are inventing a consumer product, you might appreciate some insights that we picked up at the recent International Housewares Show. Lifetime Brands moderated a discussion with both manufacturers and retailers on the topic “Top Trends for 2017”.
A major trend noted was the new definition of the “average household”. In the U.S., the average adult will now spend more of their life unmarried, rather than married. (Factors influencing this include marrying later, not marrying at all, high divorce rates, and longevity.) Across all generations, there’s been a rise in the number of people renting versus owning a home. Multi-generational households are increasing, and they tend to cook at home more often. The kitchen has become more “social”, as evidenced by the statistic that people who renovate their kitchen are making it 25% larger.
Manufacturers were told to look for product ideas that fit these criteria:
- The New Stay-At-Home Culture – This is the year of the “home cook” as people value time spent together in the social, live-in kitchen. This includes family members spending time together, as well as entertaining friends.
- Smaller is Bigger – Think smaller living spaces, single eating arrangements. Smaller also means less time, so time-saving products are important.
- Design More Experiences and Fewer Things – People enjoy social sharing of creative experiences (think Pinterest, Etsy, Do-It-Yourself or Do-It-With-Me). “Making your own lifestyle” is becoming the newest creative expression.
- Make Practical More Distinctive – Consumers don’t have a lot of money, so you need to be relevant, but yet come up with a new twist on common existing products.
- Don’t Forget the Baby Boomers – Take all generations into consideration. Yes, Millennials (ages 20-36) are becoming a new, strong force in consumer spending, but don’t overlook Baby Boomers (ages 52-70) who are living longer than previous generations and still realizing spending growth, as well as Gen Xers (ages 37-51) who are at the peak of earning potential right now.
Hopefully this has inspired you. If so, InventionHome would love to help you market your invention to manufacturers who are seeking these product ideas.