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IHA Occasions Report Examines Consumers’ Purchasing Plans

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Consumers are embracing key life moments after the COVID-19 pandemic and are planning to continue doing so in the year ahead and beyond, according to the International Housewares Association’s 2023 Occasions Report.

Results from the survey suggest that housewares retailers and suppliers should consider their role as gift providers for not only major life events but for annual occasions including birthdays and anniversaries, as well as “anytime moments” when a person wants to turn just another day into a time to celebrate. The report is sponsored by Newell Brands.

The report features research commissioned by IHA updating the results of its 2022 Occasions Survey, which examined consumer gift preferences and shopping behaviors based on each of eight key life events expected to shape special occasions: engagements, bridal showers, weddings, new home ownership, new pet ownership, baby showers, off to college and retirement.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its economic aftermath have scrambled long-established occasion traditions, and year-over-year results in the report chronicle how consumers have both rescheduled and reimagined life events that were delayed by coronavirus-related fears and restrictions.

According to the survey, the proportion of respondents who plan to attend a family or friend wedding during the next 12 months or so declined. In the 2023 survey, just under a quarter of respondents were looking at attending a friend or family wedding in the next 12 months versus 29 percent in the year-prior survey. Those expecting to be involved in a family and friends engagement event in 2023 totaled 21 percent versus 25 percent a year earlier.

The survey identifies opportunities for retailers and suppliers in terms of market parameters and dynamics. An important factor to consider is the survey’s delineation of life events. Leana Salamah, VP of marketing at IHA, said the opportunity isn’t confined to a given occasion, but it often extends well beyond as consumers re-equip for their next life stage. After an event and its related occasion occur, a consumer’s lifestyle and needs evolve.

“These are inflection points,” Salamah said. “They fundamentally change something about the consumer. We talk about retirement as an occasion, but after the occasion has passed, this is a different consumer. A retired consumer. What do they need moving forward?”

The 2023 IHA Occasions Survey was conducted by Morning Consult in September. More than 2,200 interviews were conducted online, and the data is weighted to approximate a target of adults based on gender, educational attainment, age, race and region proportionate with the general U.S. population. 

The 2023 IHA Occasions Report is published on HomePageNews.com here.

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