Ice, snow and the most horrible traffic in America could not dissuade buyers and exhibitors from attending the big January Gift Show in Atlanta. That alone should give us a good heads-up for 2011 turning out to be a good year for retailers.
I have to hand it to the resourcefulness of the City of Atlanta… What do you do with 1” of solid ice and hilly streets? cover them with sand! And in short order the city was under a blanket of sand that kept both motorists and pedestrians upright and moving for the most part.
It’s about color…
Every time I go to the show it is because I’m looking for developing trends and this year I found plenty… and it’s about time. We have been stagnant in the trend department due to the sluggish economy of recent years.
I think one of the predominant differences between January 2010 and 2011 is “color”. Last year we saw muted colors of grays, mists, browns and muted greens, but this year they took on more depth and variety. The use of lots of color was everywhere. Colors were bolder, more saturated but still holding to the colors found in nature. Colors were matched with new textures, materials and ideas. For example, I noticed kitchenware with a high-gloss, deeply-saturated color on one side with natural wood on the flip side.
Pantone, the premiere color matching and trend system, has announced “Honeysuckle” as the color of the year for 2011. Honeysuckle is a bright reddish-pink shade and reflects an energetic, uplifting mood hoped to be felt in the new year. Pantone says, “It’s a color for everyday – with nothing ‘everyday’ about it.” We saw many shades of pinks, oranges, greens, purples and blues at the show.
Like last year where we started seeing repurposed gifts and housewares, they were even cleverer this time. It seems that companies and buyers are thinking more “green” (it’s about time), and that the green materials and products look good. It’s a philosophy that certainly is working for Nashville Wraps.
In the gourmet-products side of the show, I noticed what seemed to be more vendors, and more packaged products. The packaged products (fancy food and confections pre-packaged for retail) allow practically any type of retailer to pick up revenue from the creature comfort of gourmet foods.
Packaging still rules retail, and the products need to “look good” as well as be good. We think the winner of gourmet food packaging has to be “Toffee To Go”, with their custom-made presentation boxes (above). They just simply “pop”… with such quality on the outside the retail customer just has to believe there is the same quality on the inside (and there is).
I would be remiss in my duties and not mention Nashville Wraps. While our warehouse people are going crazy, looking for more space, our product staff has added 6 stunning packaging designs so far this year. And yes they use green materials and plenty of color…right on trend!