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

IHA talked with health and food expert Kim Kirchherr to learn about the many aspects of the food journey from farm to table, such as consumer food choices and the business of promoting health and well-being, that she will discuss at the 2020 Show. The Inspired Home Show’s Innovation Theater will feature 21 presentations over four days. Topics will include successful retail practices, consumer research findings, digital commerce, sustainability and global market trends.

Kim Kirchherr, MS, RD, LDN (Illinois), FAND, ACSM-CPT is president of K2 Outcomes LLC. She specializes in the connection of agriculture, food and health for individuals and organizations. A registered dietitian and certified personal trainer (ACSM), Kirchherr’s unique background includes leadership, program development and spokesperson experience in agriculture, supermarket, media (traditional and social), and hospital-based health and fitness centers. She served as the Chair of the Food & Culinary Professionals Dietetic Practice Group (FCP) in 2017-2018, previously chaired both the FCP Agriculture and Supermarket Subgroups, and served as President of Illinois Dietetic Association 2012-13 (now Illinois Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics). Kirchherr creates unique solutions that mesh logic, current science, values and emotional connections. Both sides of her family have ties to agriculture.


Kim, what is the most exciting or rewarding part of your work?  What fuels your inspiration?


The convergence of food, nutrition, agriculture and health is where important connections happen in health and well-being. The science behind lifestyle choices is complex and ever-changing.  I like to figure out how to help people connect with what matters to them so it’s easier for them to make informed decisions in support of their health. Honoring family recipes passed through generations, monitoring new trends and eating styles, keeping up with the latest research, and then taking all of these elements to come up with a plan.

It’s inspiring to hear the unique perspectives of each audience I encounter to help them find their way to more informed choices, literally from farm to table. There are many right ways to support well-being. It’s a unique path and an individual journey for individuals and organizations alike.


Kim Kirchherr


Can you name a pivotal event or project that impacted your career or company?


I chose dietetics as my career because of a personal interest in health and well-being for myself, so it is easy (and fun!) to connect with people when they are eager to learn more about this for themselves, too.

We all have favorite foods, different comfort levels with meal planning, and different activities we like to do. Figuring out how to bring values and science together is one of my favorite things to do. Science and knowledge only matter if it means something to a person. Watching that “lightbulb over the head” moment is one of my favorite things because it means you’ve helped someone, which in my line of work means they are on their way to better health. Authentic connections build trust and can lead to success for all involved.

In the past few years, what has changed most in your business?


Both the conversation and the ways we communicate continue to evolve. People are asking more complex questions about food and health than ever before. Their questions start on the farm and travel all the way through to the end of the meal. It’s not that these are new topics, necessarily, but the level of importance in decision making and the cadence with which we hear them requires deeper answers from more subject matter experts in agriculture, food and health.

My focus is helping individuals and organizations engage in the entire conversation from a practical application perspective because knowledge becomes powerful when we know what to do with the information we receive. Through this knowledge transfer we can build relationships that matter with our customers. What’s most exciting to me is when businesses think about themselves as problem solvers. Knowing they can help people (consumers) by providing solutions that take care of people, animals and the planet – and through a lens that honors values and considers the total well-being of all involved.

How do you de-stress and find balance in the demanding 24/7 workplace?  


Our bodies require certain things to perform at our best. Learning how to prioritize time, be efficient in our choices and honor what we need is a concept most people agree upon, but how to live it is different. It’s essential to put our health at the top of our to-do list. If we care for ourselves, everything else that matters to us can be better. Consider how you feel after a good night’s sleep, after a workout or after eating balanced meals over time.

It’s not about being perfect, it’s being committed to do the best you can each day.  Perhaps a workout is cut short due to travel – but it’s still a priority so instead of a treadmill, you walk laps at the airport while waiting for your flight. Perhaps a meal is provided for you at a meeting – choose the best option from what is offered. If you like to pile instead of file, own it and make those piles work for you! These individual decisions collectively support our commitment to overall well-being.


Kim, tell us what you will be speaking about and how this topic is important for Show audiences.


In the past, health and wellness was treated as a program or a campaign by many entities. As our population continues to be more curious about their own well-being, defining it more broadly and encompassing so many topics, it’s the perfect time to rethink how we go about the business of health and well-being. Integration of well-being into the overall culture versus treating it as something that has an end point.  Considering the “why” of our interest in health and well-being. It’s about engagement, relationships and becoming a solutions provider. This is what we will be talking about.



What do you see as consumers’ biggest concerns regarding housewares products or how to shop for them?


People want to support companies and products that align with their values and what matters to them. These are ways that people can show their personality and who they are as they make their house a home.


In addition to functionality, what things are made of, where they come from and the story behind the company matter to people now more than ever. It’s no longer separate conversations, it’s about connecting the dots and helping tell the full story. We’re not selling things; we are selling solutions and lifestyle. If we start to see products and services in this light, we will be more able to share the “how and why” of the items and services we offer and why someone would want to purchase/have them.


What are some of today’s trends or issues that new product development professionals and/or retailers face in the housewares market?


There are many! I think the easiest and most productive way to approach this is to think of it as a two-way conversation. The ways we communicate and the amazing innovation that is happening in the housewares market has opened the possibilities to have a fresh approach to engagement and a deeper connection to customers. People want to believe in what they buy and who they support with their dollars. This is an opportunity to consider changing the outcomes from a public health perspective, a happiness perspective and a business perspective all at once. I look forward to the dialogue about this at the Show.



Thank you, Kim, for giving us a taste of the tempting menu of topics related to food and health that you will offer in your presentation. Your discussion will be relevant to products from smart kitchen appliances, food storage containers or tableware, and might touch upon shopping behavior in grocery stores or with online replenishment services. It is most fitting that your program on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. will kick off four days of exciting sessions at the Innovation Theater. Learn more here about Kim’s varied work.


How Authentic Health and Wellness Efforts Help Build Trust and Relationships with Customers

Saturday, March 14, 11:30 a.m.—12:20 p.m.

Lakeside Center, Innovation Theater – Room E350


Be sure to attend the free executive-level educational sessions at the Innovation Theater to hear about successful retail practices as well as the latest research and analysis of home trends and forecasts for products in the smart home, kitchen and health care categories.  These programs will give you a fresh perspective as you walk the Show and will inspire, inform and improve your business. All programs will be audio-recorded and will be available at The Inspired Home Show after the Show.