Top 10 Products for the Changing American Family from IHHS 2015

This year at the 2015 International Home and Housewares Show, the AIMsights Group continued our yearly tradition of selecting the Top 10 Products that appeal to a specific housewares market segment. This year, we searched for top products for the Changing American Family and a fit with the Kaleidoscope Marketing TM that will reach these new households.

As Millennials form independent households, they are challenging the old models of what defines a family. There were roughly 23 MM married couples with children in 1960, the so-called “ideal” family of that era– and the same number of this type of family in 2010! This statistic is crucial for home and housewares marketers!  In the 50+ years since 1960, the number of households in the U.S. has doubled…while this number of married households with children has remained the same. Over 99% of the growth has been in other types of households – with the most dramatic growth in one and two-person households.


This growing complexity of the American Family creates fresh and ever-changing opportunities and challenges in the creation of successful products, businesses and marketing strategies.  Kaleidoscope Marketing reaches these families through a lens that is many-faceted, multi-colored and ever-changing as we look to the marketplace.

Below are our picks for the Top 10 Products for Kaleidoscope Marketing to the Changing American Family. Click on each item to read more about how it fits in with these new families.

Which item would you most like to have in your home and for what reasons? And please share your observations about your experiences with the Changing American Family!


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1. OXO GreenSaver Produce Keeper

The greatest new household growth is in the creation of single and two-person households. -And anyone who’s ever lived on their own knows how quickly produce ripens and rots when you don’t have a large family to help eat it! OXO’s new GreenSaver Produce Keeper uses an all-natural carbon pack to absorb the ethylene gas that causes produce to ripen, extending the life of your produce by days or even weeks. A single-person household can eat healthy and smart — purchasing produce without worrying that more food will be wasted than eaten.



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2. Fortessa Plaza Dishes

As the American family evolves and changes, many traditional housewares items are a poor match for their needs. The 16-piece sets that worked well in the 1960’s do not make sense for many of today’s households.  Today’s families need the dinnerware pieces that work for one or two-person families, as well as multi-generation and self-defined households — all with different needs than the traditional “mom, dad, and two children” model.  Fortessa has clearly responded to this trend. Their display at this year’s Show invited customers (and consumers) to choose, mix and match — and select just the right tabletop pieces for their lifestyle.  Individuals and families can buy what they need, select specific sizes and shapes that work for their household, and skip what they won’t use – and have fun choosing! The versatile white color combined with Fortessa’s restaurant-quality strength means they’ll be gracing the Changing American Family’s tabletop for years to come.




3. Swiss Diamond Nonstick Double Burner Griddle Pan

In smaller one and two-person households, space is at a premium. Multi-function products that simply work are sure to hit a sweet spot. The Swiss Diamond Nonstick Double Burner Griddle Pan is a “must have” for the space-conscious household. On the stovetop, the pan works as a griddle, cooking eggs, grilled sandwiches, meats and more. In the oven, the pan works as a baking and roasting tray and can safely take the heat — to 500 degrees, perfect for everything from roasted vegetables to cookies. And the nonstick surface makes cleanup fast and simple – with no hard-baked greasy residue. 




4. Lodge 10.25 Inch Skillet

Single and two-person households are increasingly a very deliberate lifestyle choice.   People are actively choosing to remain single or live a child-free life.  This purposeful decision-making extends into the kitchen and home. These consumers evaluate the purpose and need for products and are drawn to quintessential, tried-and-true staples. And what’s a more perfect representation of this quest than cast iron? Lodge has been a trusted cast iron producer for 100 years and the 10.25″ skillet is one of their classics. Moving from the stovetop to the oven, this skillet does the job of multiple kitchen products. The 10.25″ is “just right” — large enough to handle most jobs but small enough to fit nicely in cabinets. And it is one of the few pieces in the kitchen that gets better with time, so savvy customers know they will have it (and love it) for life. 




5. Holstein Housewares Dog Treat Baker

Pets are members of the American family.  The 1960’s concept of “owning” a pet has been replaced by being a “pet parent.” 55% of pet households use the terms “mommy” and “daddy” when talking about their relationship with their pets.  In the Changing American Family, there are more households with a pet than a child. And these “pet children” are nurtured, treated, celebrated and much-loved. What better way to treat your pet and visiting pet guests than natural, healthy homemade treats!! The new Holstein Housewares Dog Treat Baker (coming soon to retailers near you!) makes it simple and easy to whip up an absolutely fresh batch of treats for special occasions and every day.



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6. Blendtec Classic 575 Blender

Today’s brides and grooms are not only older than in past generations, they have a different mindset.  Marriage has shifted from an act of “optimistic beginners” to “established winners”.  And many of these couples live together for years before tying the knot.  As a result, they’ve already acquired many of the items historically found on wedding registries. Their gift registries now include high performance, commercial grade, higher ticket items like the Blendtec Classic 575 Blender.  And popular crowdfunding websites make it easy for wedding guests to chip in together to help the new couples upgrade their kitchens and lifestyles.




7. Trudeau Bamboo and Melamine Mixing Bowls

It would be hard to have a conversation about quintessential products without mentioning Trudeau’s Bamboo and Melamine Mixing Bowls. These colorful, clean design bowls not only look great on the counter, they work!  Form truly follows function. They are perfectly balanced in your hand and have a non-slip base which works at an angle as well as flat surfaces for comfortable, “see-in” mixing. The no-drip pour spout makes it easy to transfer the contents and they nest perfectly for compact storage. They are lightweight, yet sturdy enough to handle tough jobs. All-in-all, a classic product that gets the job done, and is sure to be appreciated by the function-conscious Changing American Family.




8. Joseph Joseph Extend Dish Rack

Contrary to popular notions, the single-person household in this Changing American Family is not a lonely one. Quite the opposite, in fact. Singles are closer with friends, siblings, parents, and neighbors than couples with children. They love to entertain and invite friends and family to share their homes. The Joseph Joseph Extend Dish Rack is a perfect fit for this type of household. Its small size makes it ideal for use in a single-person household, freeing up valuable counter space while still providing room for daily dishes. But the beauty is in its extension feature, nearly doubling in size to accommodate more dishes when entertaining. Combined with the versatile draining system and the moveable (or removable) silverware tray, this product fits well in any single-person household.




9. Dash Rapid Egg Cooker

When it comes to purpose-driven single- and two-person households, niche products really have to earn their place and space. For these conscientious consumers, function is the ultimate goal, so products with a highly specialized purpose will only be welcome if they perform extremely well. The Dash Rapid Egg Cooker does exactly that. It makes it almost effortless for users to perfectly cook eggs a variety of different ways. The time and attention required to prepare eggs makes them an unrealistic choice for many single-person households. With the Dash Rapid Egg Cooker, users spend just a few moments prepping the machine and breakfast cooks itself. Its versatility allows users to prepare and serve eggs however they like — hard-boiled, poached, or in an omelette — no hassle and perfect every time.




10. Salter High Capacity Touchless Tare Scale

The large size and bulk of traditional kitchen scales make them unrealistic for the kitchen of the Changing American Family. The simple design and slim profile of Salter High Capacity Touchless Tare Scale (produced by Taylor Precision Products) makes it easy to use and store in single-person kitchens – or any kitchen where space is at a premium. As consumer tastes evolve, home “chefs” are experimenting in the kitchen. And scales are becoming a more popular and precise method of measuring, replacing traditional measuring cups and spoons. This small but high performance scale allows purpose-savvy chefs to precisely measure their ingredients – and then easily store it for future use.