Sweet home Chicago

Thousands of products will be on display at the International Home + Housewares Show.

By Barrie Dawson

04936-Sweet-Creations-Bake-A-Bowl-2Chicago’s McCormick Place will once again play host to the International Home + Housewares Show, which runs from March 15 to 18. More than 20,000 buyers from at least 100 countries will be welcomed, as will exhibitors from 34 countries.

The show, already a sellout, is a marquee annual event for many manufacturers and it continues to takes on extra importance for grocers. As time-pressed consumers look to make less shopping trips, the supermarket remains the perfect place to make purchases that may have otherwise occurred at mass retailers, say industry observers.

Last year, the show featured more than 2,000 exhibitors eager to show off their newest products. The same number is projected to attend this year’s four-day extravaganza, which opens at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 15. Here is a sampling of the products retailers can expect to see.

Big Time Products
Best known for its hand protection offerings, Big Time Products will also be showing off umbrellas and industrial wipes, says Russ Householder, CMO and executive vice president of sales and marketing for the Rome, Ga.-based company.

In the hand protection line, Big Time has freshened up its digz brand garden gloves for women, giving it an updated design with new colors and patterns. Big Time is also coming out with latex-free disposable food handling gloves as part of its Caring Hands line and, as the licensee for Soft Scrub, it will introduce its Premium Defense reusable natural rubber latex gloves. They are cotton-lined and have a water-channeling cuff.

Big Time’s new True Grip umbrellas, available in various sizes and colors, come in five types, ranging from manual to auto-open/auto-close. Its Big Wipes line includes an industrial wipe with chambers, an eco-friendly wipe that is biodegradable and an all-purpose wipe. www.bigtimeproducts.net

Bradshaw International
Bradshaw International will show new items in its cookware line. Its Sweet Creations Bake-a-Bowl is a two-piece, nonstick baking pan that shapes whatever the user is baking into a bowl. Part of the Good Cook line, officials for the Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.-based company say it is ideal for desserts and appetizers. The Good Cook Microwavable Noodle Cup Holder is designed to add stability to a Styrofoam cup and help prevent spills of hot soup. Inner markings allow the user to add the right amount of hot water to turn a cup of noodles into a hot meal. Also in the Good Cook line is the Bowlander, a combination bowl and colander. To use, wash fresh fruits and other items in the bowl, tilt and pour out excess water through the strainer on top.

An addition to its ProFreshionals line is the Watermelon Bowl, designed to keep a watermelon from sitting in its own juices and becoming soggy. The three-piece bowl includes an inner colander for draining off excess juice. It has a 7-quart capacity and a spout for pouring drinks or frozen desserts. www.bradshawintl.com 

Butler Home Products
Butler Home Products’ recent acquisition of parts of the oneCARE Co. makes it the licensee for Clorox cleaning tools and gives the Marlborough, Mass.-based company the Bounce license from Procter & Gamble for lint rollers.

“We want to make sure our retail partners understand that we are four companies—there are four platforms,” says Michael Silverman, senior vice president of marketing. “There’s lint, there’s sponges, there’s gloves and there’s cleaning tools.”

Butler will introduce a full assortment of lint products, Clorox-branded goods, gloves, sponges, Mr. Clean and Dawn products as well as Gain cleaning tools and laundry accessories. Silverman says that it has been a number of years since oneCARE goods were displayed there, so the fact that Butler is bringing these products back to the show is a new introduction of sorts. www.cleanerhomeliving.com

Candle-lite
There are three newcomers to Candle-lite’s product line. Waves are filled candles that feature a three-wick design inside a jar. Officials for the Cincinnati-based company say it is a fusion of wax that is inspired by nature. The design calls for the base of the jar to be filled with scented wax beads, creating a grains-of-sand look. Scented translucent wax is created for a water effect on top of the “sand” and gold accents in the labeling are designed to make the “water” sparkle. The Waves collection comes in six different fragrances and colors. Its weight is 13.5-ounces.

Bloom ties into the popular floral fragrance trend. Decorative shrink sleeves cover the candle’s cylinder shaped 16-ounce jar. “There’s a pen-and-ink watercolor image of tulips and ivy, and there’s also script there, almost like a note card,” says Mark Cunningham, vice president of sales and marketing. “Every one of these six fragrances and six designs, are filled with white wax, so you’ve got a real nice template for the artwork on the shrink sleeve.”

Aroma Melts is an addition to Candle-lite’s flameless, fragrant segment. It features highly fragranced wax inside an electric circular glass pod, so there is no cleanup. www.candle-lite.com

Cool Gear International
Cool Gear International will unveil several new items at the show, but the key word this year is licensing. Topping the list is a new line of Coca-Cola hydration products. The product line includes items that look like Coca-Cola cans and keep beverages cool. Bottles, serving trays, bottle-cap dots, ice packs and, in celebration of Coca-Cola’s 100th anniversary, Cool Gear is marketing a bottle in the iconic shape of a Coca-Cola bottle.

Cool Gear will also introduce its line of collegiate sports bottles and hydration products, which carry logos and graphics from 25 well-known universities in the country.

“This is a combination of new products to the marketplace and existing products that have been retrofitted for these particular brands,” says Hank Roth, executive vice president and managing partner of the Plymouth, Mass.-based company. “The thing for us is we’re entering the license marketplace, which we haven’t been in for a long time.” www.coolgearinc.com

Danica Imports/Now Designs
Aprons, mitts, tea towels, placemats and mugs are among the additions Now Designs will be showing as part of its Coca-Cola housewares collection. Now Designs was added to the Vancouver, B.C., Canada-based Danica Imports portfolio in 2004, and it creates home and living décor items that are both attractive and functional, say company officials. “Basically, we’re a seasonal company, so every six months we introduce a lot of products,” says major accounts manager Bradley Kalmek.

Now Designs will unveil its Fall  2014 textiles and hard goods, which will feature Christmas and Harvest themes. Now Designs will also unveil its Dumpling Cube, which allows the user to press four dumplings into shape at a time and includes a pastry cutter. With a nod to nostalgia, the company also offers coated metal mugs that are made from tin and come with designs and in solid colors. www.danicaimports.com

Evriholder Products
Evriholder Products is a player in the household, kitchen, cleaning, storage and organization and bath and personal care categories. The Anaheim, Calif.-based company’s catch phrase at the show will be “to go,” as in Yogurt 2-Go, Juice-2-Go, Portions-2-Go, Dressing-2-Go and Razor-2-Go. All are new offerings with portability in mind.

Yogurt 2-Go holds most single serving containers and has an 18.7-ounce capacity for bulk yogurt. It comes with a folding spoon, a freezer ice pack and a lid that holds 5.2 ounces of yogurt toppings. Juice-2-Go comes with an embedded straw and holds 6-ounces of juice. Portions-2-Go comes in a 6-pack of clear containers and colorful lids. It is designed to hold 4-ounces of fruits, nuts, salad toppings and other healthy snacks. Dressing-2-Go comes in a 3-pack and features a squeezable container with brightly colored, leak-proof, flip-top lids. It holds 2-ounces of salad dressing. Evriholder’s Razor-2-Go holds most standard-sized razors and an additional blade. It is TSA compliant for carry-on bags during air travel. Suction cups allow the razor carrier to adhere to mirrors, tile and glass. www.evriholder.com

Idea Village Products Corp.
Idea Village Products Corp. is a developer and marketer of many products in the “As Seen on TV” category. “We’ve got a lot of good items that we’re introducing at the show,” says Ronald Boger president and chief operating officer of Wayne, N.J.-based Idea Village Products Corp.

Snackeez is a two-stage plastic cup that allows the user to hold a 16-ounce drink in the bottom chamber, while the top one holds a dry snack. The straw goes through the top compartment and into the beverage below, allowing the user to hold a drink and snack in one hand. The Yoshi Grill and Bake Mat is nonstick fiberglass that goes on top of grill grates or into the oven. Food is cooked on the mat, which allows the grill marks to come through onto the food. The roll-up mat is designed to eliminate the need for cleanup and to prevent dripping grease from causing a flare-up.

Stufz can be used by chefs to make stuffed hamburgers. Stufz presses the hamburger meat and creates a cup in the ball of meat, which can be stuffed with onions, cheeses or other fillings. A lid pushes more meat over the cup, sealing the ingredients. The stuffed burger is then removed and grilled. The Microtouch One shaver is a single-blade safety razor made from solid brass. www.ideavillage.com

Wahl Clipper Corp.
Wahl Clipper Corp. will introduce bathing wipes for pets that have the same scent and all-natural formula as its shampoo. The wet wipes were created for between-baths use. The Sterling, Ill.-based company will also extend its pet shampoo line with a whitening formula that enhances a pet’s white fur or hair and brightens its other colors.

On the human side, Wahl will unveil a Quick Style trimmer with a disposable lithium ion battery that features a personal head for nose and ear trimming as well as a touch-up head for light facial-hair grooming. It is geared toward the young adult male who wants to do some light grooming and the older male whose hair is not quite as thick as it once was, says Steve Yde, director of marketing.

A new Elite Series corded clipper will break the $50 price point and will be nearly 30% more powerful than its predecessors, says Yde. It features new blade geometry, guide combs with stainless-steel inserts and high-end blade technology. Wahl will also unveil a hot and cold therapy massager to accompany its existing heated therapy massager. www.wahl.com

Whink Products
Whink Products recently introduced its Uniform Wash, and that will be among the products the Eldora, Iowa-based company will feature. Uniform Wash, which comes in a 32-ounce, squeezable, pyramid-shaped bottle, is a blend of three different cleaning agents—surfactants, borax and three state-of-the-art enzymes. Steve Throssel, president and CEO, says it is made for uniform-wearers in the foodservice, medical and other industries whose work clothing is routinely blotched by difficult to remove grime. The product is also effective on blood and grass stains.

Another new entry in the Whink product line is its Carpet Stain Remover, which relies on oxidizers to reduce odors—particularly pet odors—as well as attack stains in the fabric. Whink will also introduce Septic Treatment, a price-point product that comes in packets and relies on enzyme technology. Throssel says the treatment is the lowest cost per dose on the market. It is manufactured for people in rural areas who use septic tanks. www.whink.com

Zero Odor
The mission of Zero Odor is not to merely mask odor, but to eliminate it through molecular bonding, say officials for the Litchfield, Conn.-based company. Zero Odor currently has a line of odor removers on the market— many designed for pets odors—as well as a stain remover. Now, it is heading in a new direction, says president and founding partner Jim Huffstetler.

“We have a very exciting new product that we are just launching at retail, starting in March,” he says. The new product is Zero Odor Laundry, which is an additive to conventional detergent. Huffstetler says the product is a response to two emerging laundry odors: One is the proliferation of Microfiber garments in sports apparel, which are designed to absorb perspiration. Huffstetler says that they also trap odor that traditional detergents do not eliminate. The other odor is the sour smell that sometimes permeates clothing being cleaned in front-load washers. The additive comes in a squirt bottle, and the user can measure out 2-ounces per laundry load or squirt the bottle four times per load. www.zeroodor.com 

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