With 2016 drawing to a close, attention turns to the possible trends and product forecasts for 2017. Below, we highlight products in four categories expected to shine in the new year.
The integration of home services into an easily managed system will continue to be among the top trends for 2017. In one of the most recent initiatives, Amazon has been expanding its Alexa voice-command line, with GE’s introduction of an Alexa-enabled lamp and Intel integrating Alexa into its Smart Home Hub. Additionally, Alexa Voice Services has partnered with Conexant to create a hardware development kit to encourage more manufacturers to incorporate the Alexa voice-command platform into their products.
On another note, home maintenance items, such as robotic vacuum cleaners and lawn mowers, should also see increased interest, as will other robotic service products. There is even a current Kickstarter campaign for the SmartDuvet, a product that makes the bed for its user through the use of a smartphone application.
Smart technology will also continue to make in-roads into the kitchen, as more consumers will demand large and small appliances that can be controlled through their smartphones. Additionally, wall outlets with integrated USB ports will be in more demand, not only in the kitchen, but throughout the home.
From a decorating standpoint, the use of black and white is still on trend, with consumers looking more toward matte black appliances and contrasting cabinetry, with upper cabinets being one color and lowers or an island in another. Mixed metals are also on trend, with stainless steel, chrome and pewter growing in interest to meet gold and brass fixtures.
Some examples include:
- GE Matte Slate Appliances
- KitchenAid Black Stainless Appliances
- Leviton USB-Integrated Outlets
- Liberty Hardware Manufacturing Co. Cabinet Hardware
According to the American Pet Products Association, U.S. consumers were estimated to spend more than $62 billion on their pets in 2016, which is an increase over the previous year’s spending. Next year is expected to see an increase as well, as more pet parents seek to improve the quality of their pets’ lives through purchases of lifestyle, health and nutrition products. An example of this trend is in the pet food category with specialty diets, such as grain-free foods and treats. Examples include: Blue Buffalo, Natural Balance and Rachel Ray’s Nutrish Zero Grain.
One final category of note for 2017 is Outdoor Recreation. As more consumers desire to become more physically active, they are also looking to purchase products to make their time in the great outdoors more enjoyable. According to a report by the Physical Activity Council, camping and bicycling are the top two activities enjoyed across several age groups. This popularity can translate into potential sales of various products within the outdoor recreation category, including tire repair kits, reflective gear, sleeping bags and tents, hiking poles, backpacks, lanterns, canteens and packable first-aid kits. Additionally, more consumers are interested in higher-end recreational products, such as coolers by companies like Orca and Yeti or sleeping bags by companies like Kelty or Coleman.