What’s up with housewares? A new consumer purchasing report examines home entertaining plans for 2024

ROSEMONT, Ill. (Jan. 2024)— After a wild ride of unpredictable life- and business-altering ups and downs over the past several years, the home and housewares industry is primed for market stability and is eager to celebrate the next wave of enduring growth, according to the just-released 2024 HomePage News Occasions Report and collaborative 2024 At-Home Entertaining Report.


One way to spark such growth is to serve a consumer base embracing relative normalcy after living the same volatility and eager to celebrate just about everything. Results from the 2024 IHA Occasions Survey and At-Home Entertaining Survey, conducted in partnership with market researcher Morning Consult, underscore the product development, marketing and sales opportunities available to the home and housewares industry by serving key life moments and increasing frequency of at-home entertaining for all sorts of get-togethers.

The reports created from survey results present data-backed insights on why and how retailers and suppliers should continually consider and prioritize their roles as gift providers for such major life events as weddings, new home purchases, the birth of children, off-to-school and retirement events; for such annual occasions as birthdays and anniversaries; and for “anytime moments” when families and friends want to turn just another day into a time to celebrate. Both reports are published exclusively on HomePageNews.com.

“The pandemic and its economic aftermath scrambled long-established occasion-marking and in-home gathering traditions,” said Dawn Evans, IHA director, marketing. “Results of these complementary consumer surveys chronicle how consumers have rescheduled and reimagined key life events as they settle into a new groove and how their reinvigorated zest for at-home entertaining shows no signs of abating. That has created a wide, new sweet spot for the housewares industry to connect with consumers in a celebratory mood.”

Much discussion surrounds the wariness of shoppers to spend discretionary dollars, but the 2024 Occasions Reportsuggests that they are more willing to consider laying out some cash in the year ahead when it comes to celebrations. Whether it’s weddings or pet ownership, survey participants demonstrated that they remain willing to spend when it comes to festive occasions. Although the numbers aren’t dramatically above those generated in last year’s study, responses demonstrated significant enthusiasm for spending on occasions in the coming 12 months versus 2023.

In demographic terms, the youngest adults were the consumers most willing to spend on gifts, especially housewares gifts for occasions in the upcoming year. Consumers in the age range of 35 to 44 followed. In terms of household income, the most affluent consumers were the ones most likely to anticipate participation in an occasion over the next few months, but middle-class households were right behind them. 

Entertaining at home becoming the new normal

The At-Home Entertaining Survey was first conducted in 2022 and results were used in a collaborative way to expound on the 2023 Occasions Report. The survey was conducted again in 2023 and the results published in its own report. Eight-out-of-10 consumers expect to entertain at home in the coming year, continuing and building on the trend from last year. “Because of this, we strongly feel that at-home entertaining is the new normal and is here to stay,” Evans said. “In fact, it’s really become part of our lifestyle and natural behavior as consumers still have great enthusiasm for inviting people into their homes.”

Other At-Home Entertaining Survey results include:

  • 73% said they planned more intimate gatherings of 10 or fewer people.
  • 67% said they planned to prepare the food themselves versus catering the event.
  • 50% said they preferred to serve buffet style rather than sit-down.

Clean-up and cooking and serving the dishes at the same time so food is hot were the main challenges facing survey respondents. In addition, 95% of respondents planned to send food home with guests.

The 2024 IHA Occasions and 2024 IHA At-Home Entertaining surveys were conducted by Morning Consult in September 2023. For the Occasions Survey more than 2,200 interviews were conducted online, and the data was weighted to approximate a target of adults based on age, gender, race, educational attainment, region, gender by age and race by educational attainment. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points. The At-Home Entertaining Survey had a sample of 2,203 adults. The interviews were conducted online and the data was weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on age, gender, race, educational attainment and region. The data was then subset to adults who have hosted a gather in the past year and represents those 1,407 respondents. Results from the subset have a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

The 2024 HomePage News Occasions Report and 2024 At-Home Entertaining Report are published onHomePageNews.com here.

The International Housewares Association is the 85-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 1,300 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; 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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