New IHA/HomePage News Report Examines Consumers’ Purchasing Plans

ROSEMONT, Ill. (Feb. 17, 2022)—Over the last two years amid the pandemic, the ways consumers celebrated special occasions changed, but their desire and need to celebrate did not. The birthrate dropped and weddings were postponed, as were college send-offs. With consumers working and schooling from home more often, many sought out more space for a new remote work life by buying new homes. And pet ownership rose.

Exclusive new research commissioned by the International Housewares Association taps into what life-moment occasions consumers plan to celebrate in the coming year and how that will affect the home + housewares business. The IHA/HomePage News 2022 Occasions Report showcases analysis and insights into consumer gift preferences and shopping behaviors based on each of eight key life events expected to shape special occasions in 2022: engagements, bridal showers, weddings, new home ownership, new pet ownership, baby showers, off to college and retirement.

Results are based on a survey of more than 2,200 adults nationwide in late 2021, measuring their expectations on life events in 2022 for themselves, friends and family. For each event type, the survey identified tendencies and preferences related to home + housewares product purchases.

Select survey results will be included in the “State of the Housewares Industry” keynote session on Sunday, March 6 during The Inspired Home Show at Chicago’s McCormick Place Complex.

 “In 2020, births were down nearly 300,000 from past years, weddings and engagements were put on hold and new pet ownership went up dramatically,” said Leana Salamah, IHA vice president. “Things changed in life during the pandemic. With this report, our goal is to benchmark and understand how consumers will behave going forward.”

Consumers’ Mixed on Celebratory Frequency

Survey respondents were mixed on whether and how often they, friends and family will experience celebratory occasions in 2022. Overall, new pet ownership (32%) and new home ownership (32%) were selected as the life events most likely to take place in the coming months. The largest share of adults (60%) said it was not likely friends or family would be leaving for college in the next year, all of which reflects current consumer pandemic behaviors.

Respondents aged 18-34 said they and/or their friends would experience all of the key life events, except retirement, in the coming year. As for responses from men versus women, there was a slight uptick among men who expect friends to leave for college (20%) and retire (25%) in the coming year.     

In one notable demographic indicator, respondents in the Northeast were the most likely to purchase gifts for bridal showers, baby showers and new home/housewarming purchases, according to the survey.

 “This suggests the nine states in that region of the country may have a disproportionate sense of confidence in gathering in large groups once again,” Salamah said. “This happens to correlate with vaccination status, as these states were all within the top 15 in terms of rate of vaccination at the time the study was fielded, so it is likely that this plays a role in their pronounced confidence.”

Key findings relating to gift-giving include:

  • 57% of adults surveyed stated they are the primary decision-maker for purchasing decisions
  • 19% said they equally share the responsibility
  • Cash and gift cards top the list across the board
  • Home and housewares goods are top of mind, especially to celebrate events such as a new home, leaving for college and weddings, with most of the expected buying activity taking place in July to September

Of the most popular home and housewares products mentioned for gift-giving, adults are most likely to say they would purchase a:

  • Kitchen product for a wedding (51%) or housewarming (56%)
  • Bathroom/personal care products for a baby shower (42%)
  • Cleaning/home environment products for new pet ownership (51%)
  • Bedroom products for someone leaving for college (53%)  

The 2022 Occasions Report is published on HomePageNews.com here.

The Inspired Home Show, IHA’s global home + housewares marketplace, will be held March 5-7 at Chicago’s McCormick Place Complex. For more information about the 2022 Show and to register for a Show badge, please visit TheInspiredHomeShow.com/register. Before picking up their Show badge at McCormick Place, all exhibitors and attendees will be required to demonstrate proof of vaccination OR produce a negative Covid-19 test that had been administered in the previous 72 hours. Information on what precautions are being taken to ensure the health and safety of the industry is available on the Covid Readiness webpage.

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The International Housewares Association is the 84-year-old voice of the housewares industry. The not-for-profit, full-service association sponsors the world’s premier exposition of products for the home, The Inspired Home Show, IHA’s Global Home + Housewares Market (TheInspiredHomeShow.com), and offers its 1,400 member companies a wide range of services, including industry and government advocacy; export assistance; industry and consumer trends through the IHA Market Watch Report; executive management peer groups; a B2B community at Housewares.org; group buying discounts on business solutions services; direct-to-consumer engagement through TheInspiredHome.com; and an independent news and information platform through HomePageNews.com.

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