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March 22nd, 2012
Gourmet Housewares Suppliers Debut New Products at January NYIGF

Leading gourmet housewares suppliers unveiled a variety of new products and programs at the January edition of the New York International Gift Fair® (NYIGF®). Based on the successful premiere of the Gourmet Housewares Show® at NYIGF in August 2011, many suppliers chose to return during the January Show in order to preview new 2012 collections and gain additional exposure to gift and home buyers.

“Due to substantial interest from a number of gourmet housewares companies, we decided to reformat the NYIGF Tabletop & Housewares division to highlight a concentration of these suppliers at the January Show,” points out Dorothy Belshaw, director of NYIGF and senior vice president for GLM, producers of NYIGF. “These companies reported a very good response to their products at the January Show, and are looking forward to a very successful return to the Gourmet Housewares Show at NYIGF this August.”

The January NYIGF featured more than 2,800 exhibitors, including 500 new companies. The Tabletop & Housewares division included more than 300 exhibitors in total as well as a collection of approximately 100 gourmet resources, including suppliers of cookware, bakeware, kitchen gadgets, kitchen textiles, bar and wine accessories, small electrics, specialty food, cookbooks, storage/containers, picnic/barbecue accessories, tabletop and specialty food. Additional design-forward housewares suppliers exhibited in the adjacent Accent on Design segment of NYIGF. Total attendance was up more than 7% over the previous year, with 35,000 visitors representing all 50 states and 74 different countries.

“Growth in both individual and company attendance reflects an increasingly healthy economy and amplified the positive mood of the market,” Belshaw comments. “Exhibitors reported a week of strong order writing, especially within home product categories, including gourmet housewares, textiles, tabletop and home furnishings.”

Newcomer CapaBunga featured its line of reusable wine bottle caps (left) in January. “We felt it was a very good show for us; we featured our new Slogan Line, a two-pack of CapaBungas with whimsical sayings,” notes partner Máire Murphy. “The ‘Me Time’ and ‘I Earned It’ ones sold the best. We also had a lot of interest in customization. We have a unique product that is fun and easy to use.

“The Show was a benefit, as it opened us up to a much wider audience than the California wine country.” Murphy continues. “We were able to introduce it in many states and in stores both large and small.”

Another newcomer, Australian-based KeepCup, showcased its bright and colorful “barista standard” reusable cups. “They are barista standard because they replicate standard takeaway sizes and fit under the group heads of most espresso machines,” explains CEO Abigail Forsyth (right.) “Made from plastic they are BPA-free and non-toxic. Their function replicates disposable cups, so they are lightweight, easy to carry and have low embodied energy in manufacture. The KeepCup is dishwasher safe and microwaveable with the lid off.”

Forsyth says the company received a great reaction at the Show. “KeepCup had a positive experience at the January NYIGF,” she notes. “There was a high level of interest from potential buyers and we came away with a good number of new leads in the U.S. market and a healthy number of orders with our target resellers.”

United Kingdom-based gourmet housewares supplier Joseph Joseph premiered a wide variety of new items at the January NYIGF. “We have a very aggressive new product development strategy and twice a year launch around 20 to 30 products,” explains Damon Willmott, senior vice president of sales. “This year’s favorites were the 2 in 1 whisk (Twist) which enables a balloon whisk to be transformed into a flat whisk for additional function and storage; and our new cookbook stand (left) that is styled like a book but automatically folds and unfolds when opened or shut. Another favorite was the nesting utensil set that is held together by magnets and offers a compact yet great looking solution to storing everyday kitchen tools. My personal favorite is the simple but clever folding draining mat – it allows you to easily fold and pour the drained water away mess free.

“The New York International Gift Show has always been a major part of our show calendar, we meet many new customers; retailers are there to actually buy and not just collect information, and we get to meet some really inspirational retailers,” Wilmott adds. “Feedback is important to us and we get to talk with hundreds of buyers that have a wealth of experience. We use the show as a perfect vehicle to showcase our brand, and we love to spend time in New York City.”

Another UK-based supplier, Black + Blum, introduced its Eau Good filter water bottle at NYIGF. The Eau Good is designed to make tap water tastier by using a filter system with binchotan active charcoal. Also new was the Thermo Pot (right), a stainless steel vacuum flood flask with a cork top and stainless steel spoon which magnetically attaches onto the side. The Thermo Pot will keep food and drinks hot for six hours.

French gourmet supplier Mastrad highlighted myriad new items at the January Show, including ice pop makers, cutting boards, digital thermo-spoons, nutcrackers, colored TopChips makers (left), colored spice grinders, wine stoppers, pie cutters, ceramic peelers, colored ceramic knives, a set of two macaron sheets, ice balls, mini mandolins, and food savers. “Combining function, quality and eye-catching design, the diverse and expansive collection of products are carefully created to make every kitchen professional, yet fun and colorful,” comments Eirene Cruz, sales and marketing coordinator.

Longtime exhibitor Bella Cucina debuted a large line of gourmet food and received an enthusiastic response in January. “The show was overall a success,” enthuses spokeswoman Jo Torrijos. “We received very positive feedback about our new line, as well as had continued success with our other product lines. We’re excited to introduce our new line of artisan-crafted products made with all organic ingredients! All our organics received a wonderful response from our customers. Our Tuscan Italian Grills also received some of the best response, with record breaking sales in this item. As always, our line of pestos did exceptionally well, with our Artichoke Lemon Pesto (right) being at the forefront.

“The Show was a benefit to our company because we were able to provide show attendees with tempting tastings of our products, so as to give a well-rounded view of our products,” Torrijos continues. “We find that when a customer can taste the products, it makes all the difference when making a sale and bringing someone into the Bella Cucina family.

“We’re excited about being a part of the August Show,” Torrijos adds. “We’ve always found that to be a very strong Show, as it’s where most of our customers are purchasing for the fourth quarter holiday season.”

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