KBDN-RICKI Event Explores Major Kitchen & Bath Trends

Las Vegas — Consumers are reporting that their budgets have increased across all categories of kitchen purchases – including major appliances, storage-organization features, countertops and cabinetry – while a majority of kitchen/bath designers believe business will continue to improve in 2016. Those are among the key insights, culled from recent surveys of homeowners and designers, that were explored at an hour-long presentation sponsored by Kitchen & Bath Design News during last month’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas.

KBDN’s third annual KBIS breakfast presentation, entitled “Form, Function & Fantasy: Kitchen & Bath Trends Through the Eyes of Homeowners & Designers,” drew an audience of more than 100 product manufacturers and marketers. The presentation was produced in conjunction with two of KBDN’s strategic partners: the Research Institute for Cooking & Kitchen Intelligence (RICKI) and Wray Ward, a Charlotte, NC-based advertising agency representing several brands in the home and building sector.

“As 2016 gets underway in earnest, what seems clear is that the housing market – along with its residential remodeling and kitchen/bath niches – is poised for steady, sustainable growth, fueled by several key economic, demographic and lifestyle factors,” said KBDN Publisher Emeritus Eliot Sefrin.

The KBIS presentation, said Sefrin and KBDN Publisher Paul Degrandis, was motivated by two core beliefs.

“The first is that the kitchen and bath industry, irrespective of economic cycles, is a dynamic, fast-changing, fashion-driven entity that requires product manufacturers and markets to remain not only closely attuned to the key forces constantly reshaping the market, but armed and ready to turn on a dime as the market continues to evolve,” Degrandis said.

“Our second core belief is that timely, actionable research is a critical tool that can help manufacturing decision-makers pinpoint trends, better understand their customers and make astute product and marketing decisions,” he noted.

KBDN’s goal as a market-leading information source, Degrandis added, “is to marry those core beliefs – to examine the latest research into the key forces shaping today’s market, and to suggest how manufacturers and marketers can leverage that intelligence to pinpoint opportunities, map strategy, drive innovation and generate greater profits.”

Among the research findings presented to attendees were the following:

  • While 29% of surveyed homeowners say they’d prefer a smaller home if they were purchasing one now, relatively few (14%) would give up kitchen space. If reducing the size of their kitchen, the last thing they’d want to sacrifice is counter space.
  • Among the items homeowners consider “very important” for their next kitchen are a natural stone countertop (49%), a walk-in pantry (41%), central island (39%) and small-appliance storage (34%). Among kitchen “must-haves” are full-extension drawers, a trash recycling bin, deep drawers and accessible storage. At the same time, consumers say they are most likely to splurge on countertops, an island and custom or semi-custom cabinets.
  • Bathroom must-haves include “his-and-her” vanities, water-saving showerheads/toilets, customized storage, radiant-heated floors and natural stone countertops. They are most likely to splurge on countertops, shower systems, vanities, faucets and storage features.

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