The World’s Leading Home + Housewares Show

March 2–4, 2025 | McCormick Place | Chicago, IL

The World’s Leading Home + Housewares Show
March 2—4 | McCormick Place | Chicago, IL

School is almost back in session—for an estimated 50 million U.S. schoolchildren in grades K-12 alone. But the bell that’s about to ring will signal much more than the start of class. It will mark a dramatic shift in routines for their families, as well as all the teachers and staffers heading back to school too.

And that’s why back-to-school means much more than new notebooks and new shoes. All of a sudden, parents will be back to getting kids ready, fed and out the door by a certain time. Kids and teachers alike will need new ways to transport lunches and beverages. And parents will be looking for creative ways to get dinner ready quickly and easily in between all the activities that go along with a new school year.

In a nutshell: This back-to-school time of year is a terrific opportunity for those in home and housewares to connect with shoppers. Those connections can involve anything from promoting new products and posting new recipes to sharing time-saving hacks and showing you’ve got their back as they embark on a new beginning.

Mornings and Breakfast

Most parents will say there’s no bigger pain point related to back-to-school days than getting kids awake, fed and out the door bright and early. (There might not be a cure for a sleepy kid, but if you’ve got a secret, by all means please share!) It’s a great time to promote products that help save time in the morning, like the Y-Brush—the only electric toothbrush that works in 10 seconds (and yes, it was developed by dentists and removes 21% more plaque than manual brushing).

Quick and easy breakfasts are also a huge piece to the puzzle. Make sure to highlight any products like breakfast sandwich makers that can help lighten the load, as well as recipes and ideas for making large batches in advance (think egg bites, muffins and homemade granola bars.) Shoppers may appreciate a cookbook like this one focused on breakfast sandwich recipes.

Lunch and Beverages On the Go

On that note, how about some products to make packing back-to-school lunches fast and easy? Think about items like this 2-in-1 tool from Talisman Designs that helps scrape both peanut butter and jelly out of the jar and easily spread it on a sandwich. Or something that easily adds some novelty to a child’s back-to-school lunch like these cute dinosaur-shaped sandwich cutters from Handstand Kitchen.

And of course, water bottles and lunch bags, totes or boxes are always popular this time of year. While there’s no shortage of kid-focused items out there, don’t forget options for teachers. French Bull is one company that offers a number of attractive lines for adults. Teachers will also appreciate portable containers for hot and cold beverages, as well as healthy options for on-the-go like the Handy Gourmet RevMix by Jobar International, a portable blender designed for juice, smoothies and protein shakes.

What’s for Dinner?

Dinner can become even more complicated when kids and teachers go back to school, not just because of the school day, but all the afterschool and evening activities that tend to go along with it. You can show shoppers you’ve got their back by sharing easy dinner recipes, time-saving hacks or even just a few words of encouragement.

Emphasize products that help save time, not just in terms of prep work and cook time, but also planning and clean-up. Consider items like the Total Chef 4-in-1 Grill, which is a sandwich maker, waffle maker, grill and griddle with non-stick cooking plates that are dishwasher safe. And don’t forget that while “fast” and “easy” are big draws, today’s consumers are especially focused on health and wellness. Make sure that any time-saving back-to-school solutions are still healthy and nutritious.

Get Ready for The Inspired Home Show 2024!

March 17-19, 2024