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

It’s not always easy to keep up with food and drink trends. Some have staying power (cue the charcuterie boards), and others quickly fade (ah, butter boards). But consumers today are especially craving newness… whether it’s new flavors, new recipes, new products or new ways to use what they’ve got.

“We really are craving innovation as an industry,” said Joe Derochowski, Circana home industry advisor, during a keynote at The Inspired Home Show 2024. “We need innovation not just in products, but in marketing, in merchandising and along the path to purchase.”

Though the timeline for developing new products may be too long to keep up with some trends, those who find ways to tie existing products into new trends are likely to be rewarded. In a recent white paper on food trends, 67% of consumers told Datassential recently that they want to see fads and short-term trends represented at restaurants and retail.

So, what up-and-coming concepts is the restaurant world talking about?

Global-influenced Soups and Stews

The National Restaurant Association named World Stage Soups and Stews as its top trend for 2024. And no, this isn’t about grandma’s chicken noodle soup. Think Thai chicken tom kha, Malaysian laksa, Spanish salmorejo and upscale ramen.

These represent “a safe way for customers to experience new ingredients” and an “economical way to diversify a menu,” according to the association. Retailers selling cookware designed for soups and stews can share globally inspired recipes, offer cooking classes or merchandise items alongside globally inspired products or ingredients.

Seacuterie Boards

Yes, you read that right. Yet another riff on the charcuterie board trend is a grazing platter that focuses on seafood. But that doesn’t mean it has to break the bank, says Restaurant Business magazine in its 2024 trend overview, adding that these boards typically feature an assortment of smoked, pickled, cooked and raw fish and shellfish. In fact, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants predicts more tinned fish, such as sardines and anchovies, in restaurants in 2024.

For housewares retailers, getting on “board” with this trend may be as simple as showcasing seafood-focused spreads on existing boards. Of course, you could also mix it up with themed boards like this surfboard-shaped one from Totally Bamboo.

Creative Cocktails

The popularity of the Aperol Spritz will continue to spawn a number of different spritz cocktails in 2024, according to several sources. Yelp predicts the Hugo Spritz—a light, low-alcohol cocktail made with elderflower cordial or syrup and topped with Prosecco and soda water—may be the drink of 2024. (Searches were up 1,121% by the end of 2023.) Restaurant Business likes the Campari Spritz, the Cocchi Americano (herb and spice-infused white wine) and other fizzy low-proof cocktails.

These cocktails may feature ingredients most customers aren’t familiar with, so offering tastings or product pairings may be a good strategy for retailers. Unique glassware should also be highlighted, like this set with a trending tropical theme from Artland.

Another fun—and easy—cocktail drawing attention is the Carajillo. This two-ingredient treat features caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee, typically with Licor 43, though there are different liquors used in different versions originating from Spain, Mexico and other Latin American countries. This trend is another good candidate for tastings or in-store product pairings. Restaurants are promoting it at brunch, happy hour and as a post-dinner digestif.

Heat and Eat—but Better

For all the creative new food trends out there, we all still need to have time and energy to work, sleep, go to school, take care of family and more. In fact, Circana’s Derochowski said in his Show keynote that consumers “heat and eat” more in challenging economic times. In fact, they’re always on the lookout for products that help frozen foods taste better, cook faster and store easier, he added.

Maybe that’s why Food Network Magazine predicted the countertop oven will be “Appliance of the Year” in 2024. They specifically named compact, multicookers ovens—like the 14-in-1 Multifunctional Full Air Fry Oven by Mic Products—as making an impact in the months ahead.


Video and/or audio recordings of all the keynote sessions at The Inspired Home Show 2024 are now available online.