At an event set to highlight its annual catalog drop, Ikea focused on something that many might find unexpected: food and the kitchen. Its overarching theme for the current marketing cycle isn’t furniture, although furniture fits in, but rather Ikea’s evolving position as a whole home lifestyle retailer, which even involves offering vegetarian Swedish meatballs.
The event, held in New York yesterday, focused on urban gardening, kitchen organization and cooking more so than the furniture that is at the heart of the retailer’s operation. Furniture was presented, essentially, as a piece of a larger home and living picture. A major point of emphasis, for example, was Ikea’s promotion of below-counter drawer organization, pitched as a means to keep homes efficient and even to get kids involved with family dinners. After all, if consumers take the plates out of the cabinet and put them into a low drawer, kids have no excuse for not setting the table.
Officially, the theme of the 2016 Ikea catalog is “It’s The Little Things That Matter” and the focus in this year’s edition focuses on everyday life in and around the kitchen including, as Ikea characterized it, how food brings people together.
As for products, Ikea pointed out, the spotlight is items that help in the growing, cooking, serving and storing food.
Among the featured products is the Sinnerlig product line, one of the company’s Vitality collections, which are limited-time introductions, this one hitting stores in October. The product line, from designer Ilse Crawford, includes cork table surfaces and corked food storage containers, presented as forwarding a long-time Ikea priority: developing items that promote environmental sustainability.
Ikea grouped the 30 pieces in the collection into three segments, working, dining and lounging, and, in terms of furniture, includes a dining table with a canvas sling underneath that can accommodate papers, files or a tablet computer as a means of simplifying task conversion for the consumer who likes to work and eat in the same spot.