Consumer interest in new fireplaces, barbecue grills, and outdoor furnishings is on the rise nationwide, and the industry’s manufacturers are in Nashville this week for the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Expo, unveiling new products that are trending equal parts retro, eco-friendly, and technologically advanced.
“HPBExpo is the nation’s largest trade show for indoor hearth and outdoor patio, arriving just as retailers prepare their spring barbecue and patio displays and decide on their fall hearth promotions. Consumer tastes are always evolving, particularly as millennials’ home purchasing power expands, and we are excited at the wide array of new technologies, creative designs, and clever innovations manufacturers are displaying at this year’s Expo.” - Jack Goldman, president & CEO of HPBA.
To celebrate this year’s HPBExpo, which will have its highest attendance in three years, HPBA shares six top trends expected at the show:
· Retro Colors: Retro is the new neutral. This year, brightly colored grills are replacing the typical black and stainless-steel grills. Colors are also a big trend when it comes to the patio. Overall, outdoor spaces are becoming more vibrant and colorful in 2018.
· Digital Monitoring: Technological advances continue to surge. Grills have had smart capabilities for the past few years, but most controllers have only worked locally while the user remains in range. This year, new technologies allow monitoring grill and hearth temperatures from farther distances.
· Outdoor Fireplaces: According to industry research, outdoor fireplaces are gaining popularity. One in 10 consumers are planning to add fireplaces and heaters to outdoor kitchens. Even indoor fireplaces are starting to mimic the outdoors. A trending fireplace design is including media that mimics nature, such as rocks and branches.
· Pellet Grills: In terms of ownership, wood pellet grills are among the fastest rising. Pellet grills are versatile and will grill, roast, and smoke. They hearken back to our earliest cooking technique, while creating great flavor with convenience. Because of their small size, wood pellets burn cleanly and quickly to a fine ash to create the ultimate wood-burning fire.
· Year-Round Grilling: Summer holidays continue to be the biggest grilling days of the year, but grilling is starting to become a year-round pastime. Many consumers are braving the chilly temperatures to grill for the Super Bowl (23 percent), Thanksgiving (14 percent), Christmas or Chanukah (10 percent), and New Year's Eve/Day (9 percent). Retailers are responding with accessories supporting cold-weather grilling, including heat lamps and hearty cookware.
· Recyclable Packaging: Sustainability is top of mind this year, and the industry is embracing the eco-friendly mindset. In an effort to reduce waste, manufacturers are creating more recyclable packaging.
About the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA)
The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), based in Arlington, Va., is the North American industry association for manufacturers, retailers, distributors, representatives, service firms and allied associates for all types of barbecue, patio and hearth appliances, fuels and accessories. The association provides professional member services and industry support in education, statistics, government relations, marketing, advertising and consumer education.