The Trend Talk webinars at last week’s Exclusively Digital week delivered a series of positive messages for housewares retailers and suppliers. Phil Pond, director of trend forecaster Scarlet Opus presented several webinars, focusing on three themes: Soul Searching, Earth Age and Eco-Living (see previous news story).
Understanding these trends “will take the uncertainty out of your marketing and product offering for next year,” Phil told housewares suppliers and retailers. Scarlet Opus’ collection of ‘On Trend’ products [HERE] and short videos are available on the Exclusively Digital website [HERE]. Recordings of Phil’s Trend Talk webinars will also become available.
The ‘Soul Searching’ design trend for 2021 sees consumers wanting to “escape to a happy place,” embracing imagery of spiritual and wellness retreats and sparking desires to “travel with our kitchens.” Significantly, traveling “via the kitchen” (and the food made in it) will replace actual travelling for many consumers.
Moreover, homes and gardens are becoming “restaurants, bars and pubs and holiday resorts” and, Phil emphasises: “The housewares sector has to roll to facilitate that.”
Retailers should highlight products that connect with ‘on-trend’ south east Asian street food (for example, Spice Kitchen’s spice sets and Le Creuset’s rice pot), as well as featuring this cuisine in blogs and cookery classes. Windows are another (under-used) opportunity to engage consumers (and Phil recommended looking to Anthropologie and White Stuff for good examples of inspiring displays that don’t just focus on product).
Key colours for “Soul searching” (and its sense of happy travels) are Mellow Yellow, Papaya (along with the motif), teal, jungle greens and cocoa browns. Popular patterns will suggest “laid back luxury living” as well as far-flung travel, for example: palms, banana leaves, paisley, elephants and tigers.
Phil highlighted various products that fit the “Soul Searching” trend, including DRH Collection’s Tropical Leaves glassware and NordicWare’s flower shaped bundt tins, as well as ‘on trend’ colours from Brabantia, Scoof, My Gifts Trade, Dualit, Stasher and Aladdinfrom Burton McCall.
Meanwhile, ‘Earth Age’ is a nurturing trend that embraces “conscious cooking and conscious eating” (ie enjoying food preparation, evaluating ingredients and appreciating taste and textures).
“Simple rituals in the kitchen have become very important to us during lockdown,” reflected Phil, citing examples such as the baking, cutting and sharing of a loaf of bread, or making a pot of tea and drinking it with family or friends. He also highlighted the fact that: “A huge percentage of under 25s have enjoyed the family meal,” during lockdown.
Natural palettes and materials fit the Earth Age trend, including Indigo Blue, brass, earth and soft terracotta shades, clay, marble and stone. Serve-ware that appears primitive, products that look “rugged, informal, authentic, comfortable,” and patterns inspired by ancient cultural beliefs and mythology (such as the moon and hamsa hand) will be influential. Images of cooking with fire will be important.
Phil highlighted colours used in products from Tower (by RKW), Tala and Navigate (among others), and patterns by DMD and Alliinox, as well as “natural connections” such as the Typhoon Elements Board (from The Rayware Group.)
Re-evaluating the trends announced last year by Scarlet Opus for 2020, Phil acknowledged that the Japanese-influence Satori trend (evident in products and campaigns by the likes of Le Creuset and Mikasa by KitchenCraft) will have an extended life as the world media will focus on Japanese culture and tradition in 2021, when the Tokyo Olympics is set to take place.
Meals are “becoming more of an experience and an occasion,” emphasised Phil, linking this with the ‘Satori’ trend, and time spent on rituals surrounding food and drink. Understandably, the pandemic has “fast forwarded” the trend for people wanting to create experiences in their homes.