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

Bring on the sunshine, the popsicles and the grills! Summer is here and even though outdoor entertaining hit new heights during the pandemic, many consumers are looking for new ideas or ways to expand on what they’ve got.

Data from the HomePage News 2023 Consumer Outlook Survey—produced in partnership with the International Housewares Association (IHA)—shows that many consumers who have made outdoor-living purchases in recent years are prepared to shop again in 2023: 24% said outdoor-living purchases would be updated products with new features and 10% felt they would be impulse buys.

“With more meals being prepared at home, grilling fans are looking to expand their outdoor cooking options to include a variety of backyard cookers such as griddles, pizza ovens and even an outdoor air fryer,” Sarah Fishburne, director of trend and design at The Home Depot, told Better Homes and Gardens. “We’re seeing homeowners looking to create experiences when they are hosting people and becoming more adventurous by incorporating dining themes like By the Sea grill parties, Hawaiian BBQ and even Around the World grilling.”

Some people are hoping to enhance their outdoor gatherings with new accessories or décor, while others are adding completely new elements to outdoor spaces. One up-and-coming trend? Livingetc says they’re charmed by small outdoor seating areas the Scottish refer to as “sitooteries.” Think quiet places in a yard designed for conversation with just a few people.

Products to Meet the Need

Consumer Outlook respondents said they were most likely to purchase a full-size grill in 2023 (47%). That was followed by grilling tools (42%), grilling cookware (27%), thermometers (23%) and a portable/tabletop grill (22%).

When it comes to outdoor living accessories, respondents are most likely to purchase fire pits (35%; up 3 points from last year). Fire pits were followed by planters (28%), decorative items (26%), portable lights or lanterns (26%), powered insect control devices (24%), tableware/drinkware (21%) and outdoor portable heaters (21%).

For consumers looking to put a creative spin on their outdoor cooking, consider the Party Grill/Raclette by Salton or the Hot Dog Shaped Hamburger molds from Mobi Creations. The Legacy Cooler by Creative Outdoor and Dipware Serving Tray by madesmart are examples of innovative and attractive ways to serve guests, and outdoor lights like these from Brightz, Ltd. set a fun and festive mood.

Entertaining on a Budget

Whether it involves a large group or a chosen few, outdoor entertaining doesn’t have to break the bank. For one, it’s easy to capture a casual vibe when you’re sitting outside and firing up the grill. And just because consumers are looking for adventure and newness, it doesn’t mean they want fancy or fussy.

Marketing and merchandising should include fun and creative entertaining ideas that are also budget-friendly. That could mean recipes that emphasize fresh local ingredients or ways that guests can all contribute to and participate in a theme.

When it comes to outdoor party ideas that are fun, practical and budget-friendly, The Spruce recommends campfire/s’mores parties, creative topping bars for hot dogs or ice cream sundaes and grilling or pizza oven cook-offs for a little friendly competition. Among HGTV’s suggestions are a sheet pan shrimp boil (even better if served communally over a red-checked tablecloth) and sangria ice pops (budget-friendly white wine—no problem).


Access the HomePage News 2023 Consumer Outlook Surveycommissioned in partnership with IHA—for more insights on outdoor living and 17 other home and housewares categories.


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March 17-19, 2024