Gourmet Show Provides Recipe for Success

Polder's Soft Prep line

Polder’s Soft Prep line

NEW YORK-The Gourmet Housewares Show has delivered on its promise to widen the playing field for housewares vendors who want to expand their channels of distribution and seek out specialty store and gift accounts, show attendees said this week.

The show, which made its debut here alongside the New York International Gift Fair, wraps up today. It leaves a swath of satisfied exhibitors, many of whom pledged to return to the venue next year.

“I intend to come back and I intend to get a bigger booth,” said Kerry Cooper, vice president, marketing and sales for Polder. Polder had written many orders by Monday, the second day of the show, and “if we do another day of the show like this, we’ve paid for the show,” Cooper said earlier this week.

On Sunday, he said he saw mostly smaller retailers and interior designers, while on Monday he saw larger retailers and corporate executives. The show “is a nice accent to what we have at the [International Home +] Housewares Show,” Cooper said.

While some companies, which primarily fell into the serveware, gadget, and wine and beverage accessory categories, promoted products introduced earlier this year, others unveiled new products and still others were new to the industry altogether. Corkcicle, for example, is a brand new company that made its U.S. trade show debut here and is going home with a Best New Product Award, for its wine chiller.

Show owner and organizer GLM promoted the show as third quarter buying and selling opportunity and as a complement to the existing housewares trade show calendar. One of its biggest selling points to vendors was the opportunity to interact in New York with specialty, lifestyle, gift and gourmet stores, particularly those in the northeast that they may not ordinarily do business with. “I think the success of the show was based on products with relevance to the gift, home and lifestyle resources,” said Dorothy Belshaw, NYIGF director and senior vice president at GLM, told HFN. “Otherwise, some of the value would be lost.”

Brian Shaw, business development manager at Clean Cut, said, “Compared to the Housewares Show, I’m seeing smaller retailers here. More gourmet shops, more e-commerce sites and a higher percentage of northeastern retailers. New York City is a great location for this show, because we are headquartered in Pitman, N.J., right outside of Philadelphia. Business has been good at this show. We’ve placed orders here, which I didn’t expect.”

Though Chef’s Planet didn’t bring any new products to the show, “we have seen so many new eyes,” said Audrey Parker, business manager. As some of its product has a gift aspect, it’s a natural fit to some of the independent gift stores it saw at the show, and that’s an expanding channel for the company, she added. “We’re already in all of the big, national stores…This could really work out for us.”