TOP Ten Products For Millennials – International Home and Housewares Show 2012

(In no particular order – they are all great)

1. Vitamix Professional Series 750 Model blender

While the price tag may scare some cost-conscious Millennial consumers away, the new Pro 750 Vitamix is a top-quality investment piece for the Millennial kitchen. Vitamix blenders are known in the industry for their workhorse longevity; they are even covered under complete warranty for seven years. They can make every day items like smoothies, but some of the newer models also have settings for steaming soups and decadent ice creams and healthy nut butters. We tasted the “going green smoothie” (made of spinach and fruit) and were blown away not only by how delicious it was, but also how perfectly smooth the solid ingredients became in the Vitamix blender! The new model is great for Millennial kitchens because the bodies are shorter and wider than older models – allowing the unit to fit right underneath kitchen cabinets, clearing up much needed counter space. They also have a self-clean feature: just fill the blender halfway with water and a squeeze of dish soap and put the blender on the “clean” setting, and you’re good to go!

2. KitchenAid Food Chopper – Catalina Collection

KitchenAid debuted a new line at the Housewares Show that we loved for the Millennial kitchen! The Catalina Collection contains new colors including Crystal Blue, Majestic Yellow, Tangerine, Green Apple, and Frosted Pearl. The bright new colors offer a way for Millennials to customize their kitchens with something a little different than the traditional white/black/stainless finishes for kitchen gadgets. Not every product in this line is new, but we especially loved the new smaller, 3.5 Cup Food Chopper for Millennials. With two speeds for chop and puree applications, this food processor is perfect for someone on a budget who is looking for a food processor. The smaller size also takes up less room in Millennials’ space-deprived kitchens, making this product a real winner.

If we could have invented this product ourselves at AIM, we would have! Based on our research, we have been recommending that companies find a way to incorporate technology into the Millennial kitchen without being too in-your-face. QOOQ is essentially an iPad specifically designed for use in the kitchen. At its core, QOOQ is an electronic recipe book. It comes pre-programmed with over 3,500 recipes, and also allows you to add your own tried-and-true favorites. Users can search through the recipes and target them specifically based on ingredient, dietary restrictions, calories, even budget! They can pick out a few meals for the week and QOOQ automatically creates a grocery list, which can then conveniently be accessed from a variety of gadgets, from laptops, to tablets, to smart phones. The recipes themselves are interactive, with access to over 300 techniques on video, so if you come across a technique you aren’t familiar with, you can just click and watch to see exactly how it’s done. QOOQ has full access to the Internet and social media applications, so you are connected while you’re cooking. The tablet is also heat-resistant and spill-proof, so you don’t have to worry about accidents damaging this product.

The new Bed Head Curlipops curling wands is a line containing three different curling irons that help create texture, loose curls, and waves. These irons feature Tourmaline Ceramic Technology to help evenly heat the hair, adding smoothness and shine. Each iron comes with a heat-protective glove to keep your hands safe against burns while learning to use these innovative clipless curling irons. They also come with quick and informative instructional videos, so you can see exactly how to use these tools like a pro. Millennials learn best by watching, (many describing themselves as “visual learners”) so these videos are particularly helpful for this group. The wrap-and-go feature of the clamp-free design promises that you can style your hair quickly, perfect for time-crunched Millennials. With three designs to create three different styles, you can hand-pick your treat to achieve your personal desired style.

The Bambooee reusable paper towels won the innovation award at the IHHS, and it’s not hard to see why. The idea is simple: take the convenience of paper towels but cut down on the waste. Enter Bambooee. These come packaged just like a traditional roll of paper towels, with all the appeal of being able to easily rip off a perforated sheet whenever a spill occurs. However they have one crucial twist; they are machine washable! When you’ve used up your roll, just toss the sheets in the washing machine and you’re ready to start again. We saw one Bambooee sheet that had been washed 50 times and it still looked great. These towels are made of pure organic bamboo, and we were pleased to learn that the bamboo is sustainably farmed, meaning the company is responsible in making sure the bamboo is harvested in a way that it grows back very quickly. One roll of 20 bamboo sheets takes the place of 60 rolls of traditional paper towels…that’s a lot of waste! Both eco- and cost-conscious Millennials will love how easy, durable, and Earth-friendly this product is. BONUS: Bambooee will send you a paper towel to try for free! Just pay $1 for shipping and they will send you a sheet of their innovative bamboo paper towels to see how they work for yourself. Go to to order.

GreenPan’s new Hot Pot is a product that will satisfy a range of Millennials, from Generation G(ourmet) chefs to Goodie Two-Shoes greenies. We’ve all faced the dilemma of having to serve a cold meal because not all family members can eat at the same time. The Hot Pot is the solution! This product uses a stainless steel pot and an insulation bowl to create a double wall with air insulation to trap heat after cooking. When a meal is ready, the Hot Pot can go straight onto the table and keep food warm for much longer than traditional products. We immediately thought this would be perfect for young Millennial families with staggered schedules; hot meals for everyone! The Hot Pot saves energy and prevents foods from drying out or overcooking by reheating. The insulation bowl can double as a mixing and serving bowl, with measurements on the bowl itself. Like all GreenPan products, the Hot Pot contains no PTPE or PFOA and has the patented Therolon non-stick coating. The set also comes with a bamboo spoon and fork, and the double-walled stainless steel lid comes with a convenient “smart spoonrest” built in. The company operates under a central idea of “constainability”, a combination of convenience and sustainability – two very important goals for Millennials in the kitchen.

We won’t ask you to mentally recall all the dirty places your cell phone has been in the past week, but we’re sure we can all agree that your cell has seen its share of germs. For Clean Freak Millennials, the Violight UV Cell Phone Sanitizer provides an easy and convenient way to keep your cell phone and other small gadgets clean. Originally known for their toothbrush cleaners, Violight uses a germicidal UV light to kill germs and bacteria on household items and and leave them squeaky clean. A Clean Freak Millennial can set their phone into the unit, wash a few dishes, and in under 5 minutes their phone is clean! This product can also be used with other small gadgets, earbuds, keys, and practically anything else that can fit inside the unit. We know that Millennials clean their kitchens religiously, so a product that takes that their obsession to a new realm is sure to be a hit with these consumers.

The Quick Clean line is a new line from the creative minds at Casabella. What is different about the Quick Scrub mop is that you can use a variety of cleaning solutions, making the mop perfect for all sorts of surfaces. For the more eco-conscious Millennials, they can fill the spray bottle with water, vinegar, or other natural cleaners, or the hardcore Clean Freak can fill it with bleach. Users can buy multiple storage bottles to easily switch from one type of cleaner to another. The microfiber scrub pad is wonderful for targeting even the most stubborn dirt, and is machine washable to cut down on waste. The head flips around, proving two times the cleaning surface over other mops. The mop was ergonomically designed and can fit into corners and under furniture, making it easy to tackle any cleaning task.

Don’t laugh…but this is the Mercedes of garbage cans. What first attracted us to this garbage can was its size; it holds 48 liters but is only 11.4” wide, perfect for the tight space in a Millennial’s kitchen! The Multi-Sense technology in the butterfly can is responsive to your behavior. Not only does the lid smoothly open when your hand passes over the sensor, but it then adapts to your behavior. It senses when you are doing a task like peeling vegetables or removing the garbage bag, when you don’t want the can to close, and remains open until you’re finished. The Odorsorb filter compartment in the lid to absorb smells and the fingerprint-proof stainless steel finish are two more features that set this garbage can apart.

10. (Tie) HoMedics myBaby Automatic Soap Dispenser with Training Song Melody

HoMedics introduced a whole line of products for all those Millennials who are starting to have babies. It was really hard to pick just one product from their line, but this touch-free soap dispenser not only solves a real problem, but is also really fun for the kids and their Millennial parents! It automatically dispenses soap when a hand is detected in front of the devices sensor. AND, after the soap is dispensed, the device plays a 30 second hand washing song that teaches children how (and how long) to wash hands.

10. (Tie) OXO No-Spill Ice Cube Tray

This is the perfect product for small, apartment-size refrigerators. The innovative silicone lid seals water into the Tray and keeps it from leaking out – at any angle! Just fill the Tray with water, press the silicone lid over the Tray and smooth the lid while pouring out any excess water. The silicone lid forms a seal, so you don’t have to worry about tipping or tilting the Tray when you carry it from sink to freezer. The lid allows for stacking multiple ice cube trays or other items on top and prevents freezer odor from permeating your cubes.

Honorable Mention:
These products didn’t make AIM’s top ten, but they were close contenders! Be sure to take a look at these, too…

Lodge Seasoned Steel

Lodge has been one of the most trusted brands in cast iron cookware for years, but its new Seasoned Steel products help spice up the scene. The new carbon steel pans have been seasoned with Lodge’s proprietary vegetable oil formula. This is the first time carbon steel has ever been seasoned; usually the consumer has to spend months home seasoning, as steel is much smoother than cast iron. The skillets come in 8”, 10”, and 12” sizes and are Made in the USA, which AIM has found is particularly appealing for Millennials, as it means jobs for their peers.

TIE: Keurig Vue & Nespresso Gran Maestria

Coffee lovers: the world just got a little better. The two new models from Keurig and Nespresso are sure to be a hit with Millennials. The Keurig Vue takes personalization to the max and allows users to change not just the beverage size, but the brewing strength, and temperature as well(perfect for those of us who like our coffee strong or hot-hot-hot!) The machine uses a new type of pod that is partially recyclable, which Goodie Two-Shoes Millennials will love. We love that Keurig is striving to move forward so quickly, instead of just sitting on top of its successful product line. We were also happy to see one of our favorites, Nespresso, with a new model at the show. The built-in Aeroccino on the new model, Nespresso’s milk frother, was a winning feature for us. For the Millennial who hasn’t yet developed a taste for espresso (cough:Whitney) but loves milky lattes and capuccinos, the Aeroccino is an essential part of the at-home barista system.

Three by Three sort it out! bamboo wall caddy

This wall caddy is perfect for organizing the busy Millennial’s life. Made of eco-friendly bamboo, this piece has a weekly calendar and lots of room for storage. You can use this caddy however you want: by the front door as a place to hang keys and keep mail, in the kitchen to hang utensils and hold spices or recipes, in the bedroom to hang jewelry and store books, and wherever else you can think! You can customize your caddy with additional magnets and hooks to personalize it to suit you best.

Verilux solar cell phone charger

This small solar charger packs a punch! These cell phone chargers use energy from the sun to power your phone, and can hold up to 20 hours of charge. They are small and compact, and would be the perfect accessory to bring on a camping trip or outdoor adventure, or just to have as a last resort when you need to charge your cell phone on the go.

Holstein Burger Grill

Who says you need to wait until summer for the perfect burger? Holstein has a new line of fantastic cooking accessories to make creating your favorite dishes easier. Our favorite was the new burger grill, a small colorful piece that grills two burgers on your countertop, without all the mess or effort often required when making burgers. Just place your filling of choice into the burger compartment, close the grill, and in a matter of minutes you have a perfectly cooked burger. We love that you can use any filling with the enclosed burger compartment, allowing you to be creative in creating your burgers, using differently spiced meats, or even beans or veggie-based fillings!

Lifetime Brands Universal Storage Block (for knives, etc.)

What a wonderfully simple idea for Millennials. This storage block was displayed at the show with awesome mixed-and-matched colored knives that could be arranged in any pattern. We are interested to see what other uses Millennials could find for it — in the office for pens and hiliters, in the bathroom for toothbrushes, in a kid’s room for markers and crayons…

Black & Blum Lunch Pot

Made up of two self-contained pots, both with watertight screw top lids. There’s a seashell additive to the polypropylene to make it feel like ceramic. The lid is made of Eastman Tritan copolyester, which gives it the look of glass. Dishwasher and micro-wave safe.

The Top Ten Products for Millennials were selected at the March 2012 International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago by Albing International Marketing’s Millennial Associate, Whitney Ryan, and reviewed by selected members of AIM’s Millennial MOVERS panel.