Posted by Kelsey Ness on May 1, 2012
Last month’s High Point Market gave us an opportunity to see and experience trends in the bedding industry. It’s clear that consumers are becoming more discriminating both in terms of the environmental impact of their bedding products, as well as in how those products may improve their ability to consistently get a good night’s sleep.
Three trends worth noting:
• Gel is the buzz word! At High Point Market, there were mattresses and pillows marketed using such phrases as “gel-infused”, “cool gel ventilated”, “swell gel” and “gel comfort”. It’s all about helping consumers achieve cooler, more restful sleep. Cargill is on point with our new BiOH® polyol, which can replace 100 percent of the petroleum polyols in gel products today, reducing the dependency on oil and increasing the renewable content in finished foam products. The urethane gel made from this new BiOH® polyol can be used in mattresses, mattress toppers, pillows, upholstered furniture, carpet cushion, automotive seats & more.
• Organic/Eco-Friendly = growing demand. The focus on sustainability and the health of our planet continues to increase. Case in point was the debut of the Alexander Julian Couture line, a Made In America line featuring sustainably harvested hardwood frames. There were also numerous examples of natural décor and nature-inspired furniture on display. Watch for high profile designers including Kathy Ireland and Alexander Julian to participate in a consumer print campaign for green home furnishings.
Retailers: The future is where natural meets wired
When we saw that one major mattress manufacturer is actually debuting a mattress with a built-in iPad station, we wondered how adults ages 18-29 are changing our industry. Just in time for High Point Market, Furniture/Today released results of a survey conducted with Millennials: the generation born between 1981 and 2001. 100 percent of those responding said that they regularly shop for furniture at lifestyle furniture stores, such as Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel. The report offers tips for attracting more of these young adults into traditional furniture retail stores, such as offering WiFi so shoppers can access in-store specials; battery charging stations perhaps in a coffee bar setting; and using end caps and front-of-store bins to encourage impulse buys.