Housewares Show Recap: Cupcakes & Shopping Carts

Earlier this week I was at the International Home and Housewares show where 2,000 exhibitors displayed their hottest products for 21,000 U.S. and international retail buyers and 60,000 professional attendees.  The show is packed with innovative products from LED light bulbs to green cleaning products, modular furniture, trashcans, coffee makers, reusable grocery bags, wine accessories and everything in between.  What caught my attention this year were cupcakes and Spanish influenced shopping carts.

The cupcake trend continues to live on with everything from fashionable cupcake wrappers like Bella Cupcake Couture to baby cupcake makers like Babycakes Cupcake Maker.  What’s not to love about a cupcake!

Shopping carts are not something I was expecting to see at the Housewares show.  These trendy, eco-friendly shopping carts are originally from Spain, but there were a few manufacturers at the show including Playmarket.  These new shopping carts feature trendy color fabrics, are lightweight, compactable, functional and help reduce the use of plastic bags. The only downside is these shopping carts are mostly targeted at urban dwellers.  Being a beach bum myself, I would love to see a version for the beach with wheels that would easily glide over the sand.

Green is still the new black at the show with companies like Replenish, GreenPan and RuMe promoting eco-friendly cleaning products, pots and pans and reusable bags respectively.  However, most manufacturers promoting green products realize their products are not going to sell just because they are green.  While consumers would like to say they purchase green products to save the environment, it is necessary to promote a more prominent benefit like convenience first with the environmental benefit coming secondary.

And finally, I had to laugh at the good old guerrilla marketing one manufacturer was using to get buyers’ attention at the show.

Jennifer Manocchio


After starting her career with Edelman in Chicago, Jennifer joined Sweeney and quickly established herself as an exceptional industry innovator. In 2004, she opened Sweeney’s first full-service office outside of Cleveland and quickly rose through the ranks to become agency president. Jen leads by example and without fear. She has been critical to agency growth throughout the past decade and continues to lead the agency into the future.