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

In the ongoing battle for share of consumer spending, value messaging will continue to play a big role in purchases of home and housewares products. Last week’s blog post focused on affordability and the importance of having lower price points represented in assortments, marketing and merchandising. But there’s also another side to the value coin: Some consumers may not be looking for the lowest price; they could be looking quality housewares for a good investment that’s built to last.

Different Concepts of Value

Value means more than just having the lowest price, Ethan Chernofsky, senior vice president of marketing at, pointed out at an eMarketer virtual summit late last year. “Value doesn’t [necessarily] mean I’m looking for the cheapest product at all costs,” he said. “It means I’m looking for a product that I feel [is] fairly priced.”

In the end, value can mean different things to different people. To begin with, consumers with different levels of spending power are sure to have different sets of priorities. But housewares value perceptions can also be subjective even among people with similar means. Branding can be a factor here, as can a consumer’s prior experience (good or bad) with a type of product, a manufacturer or a retailer.

Good Investments That Are Built to Last

But one concrete way consumers can evaluate their options is on how products are made and how long they can be expected to last. Materials can be a big factor here; think cast iron for cookware, carbon steel for knives and glass for food storage.

Even though the price tag might be a little higher than other options, products like these offer great value because they last longer. Consumers may be comforted to know they won’t have to waste time or frustration having to replace them any time soon. They may also feel better having a longer-lasting option for environmental reasons.

Greater functionality might also be a factor in a consumer’s concept of a good investment (i.e., a toaster oven that also offers convection cooking). The same could be said for features that make products easier to use, easier to clean or easier to store.

Spending a little more money to invest in a quality housewares item may especially resonate with consumers who purchased so many home and housewares items during COVID shutdowns and the supply chain-challenged periods that followed.

This was, after all, a time when many people had to settle for whatever coffeemaker, air purifier or vacuum cleaner was available at the time. They often weren’t able to be very selective about quality, durability or number of functions. These products may be starting to reach the end of their lifecycles soon, or consumers might also simply want to upgrade them if the price is right.

What It Means for Retailers

Just because consumer spending is challenged right now doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities for those willing to adjust their product offerings, marketing or merchandising.

As Don Unser, Circana president, thought leadership, said at IHA’s CHESS event last October, the housewares industry is in what they at Circana call “a market share jump ball period.” In other words, there’s an opportunity for companies to change the way they connect with consumers and “an opportunity for consumers to broaden their horizons in terms of the products they interact with.”

Retailers need to be cognizant of the fact that some consumers are looking for lower-priced items, but others may be willing to spend more money for items that are designed to last. Value messaging for all types of shoppers will likely remain important in the year to come.

Get Ready for The Inspired Home Show 2024!

March 17-19, 2024