Year In Review 2020: Pandemic Fueled Diverse Home Storage Preferences

The COVID-19 pandemic drove increased interest in the storage category as consumers focused activities and meals in the home, increasing the need for products that could help consumers keep their various pursuits organized and food fresh.

The NPD Group recently noted that the coronavirus crisis is the big engine driving home organization but others have prompted consumer attention, such as the Netflix series “The Home Edit Life” and Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”

When it looked at the office supply business, for example, NPD determined that storage category sales advanced 9% year-over-year for the six months ending September and 13% year-over-year for that month alone. Among the top growing NPD subcategories in September was All Other Filing and Storage such as storage boxes and totes, up 20% from the year previous.

In the home business, as NPD tracks it, sales of food storage products increased by 27% year-over-year for the six months ending in September, and 17% versus September 2019. All segments of food storage have been growing, with canisters/jars leading the way.

Of course, vendors have been working to develop new storage merchandise as the stay-at-home lifestyle so many consumers already had assumed prior to the pandemic has only become the more prominent in the pandemic.

Other trends continue to evolve independent of the pandemic, particularly the environment and health. Sustainability is an issue for many, who are responding by turning to materials that are more environmentally friendly. At the same time, they are providing a wider variety of products that can help consumers conveniently carry along healthy meals prepared at home, a move consistent with wellness trends.

HomeWorld Business 2020_Year_In_Review

Moving & Shaking

  • United Solutions named David Reilly president. United manufactures storage, trash, organization and paint products under the United Solutions, Rubbermaid and private label brands.
  • Whitmor’s Peter Felsenthal plans to retire as CEO effective January 1, 2021. Peter passes the CEO reins to his son, Scott, currently executive vp; while Peter’s brother and current company president Sandy Felsenthal adds chairman responsibilities.
  • EcoVessel acquired the U-Konserve food storage and reusable container company, with Jon Fox, founder and CEO of EcoVessel, becoming CEO of the combined business.

Brand News

  • Sterilite introduced Gasket Totes in 20- and 30 gallon sizes, products that feature gasketed seals that safeguard stored content from air, moisture, dust, pests and other undesirable elements and domed lids that allow for packing above the body rim. The company also introduced 160- and 120-gallon Wheeled Storage Bins.
  • iTouchless launched a new collection of bins, its first plastics line. The company designed the SlimGiant Waste & Storage Bins for home and business use where space is limited and in five color options.
  • United Solutions upgraded its website to give visitors a clear and easy way to learn more about the company, products and the people who make them.
  • Whitmor debuted a new Clip & Cube Collection as an affordable and customizable cube storage system for any space in the home.
  • FHE inked a deal with Disney and Lucasfilm for licensed versions of its Kvell storage furniture.
  • The Spruce launched the New Organization Collection, including a range of original containers and bins that can be mixed, matched and stacked in more than 100 different ways. The Spruce teamed with iDesign to create the product line, which will continue exclusive to Lowe’s.
  • Mastrad introduced the new Stor’eat connected food storage system, which is supported by an app where consumers can record details.
  • Prepara has unveiled the Latchlok storage system, which allows consumers to stack, steam and store food in containers made of Tritan by Eastman plastic and features a unique latch and venting function.

Product Pipeline

  • Brabantia debuted multiple products in champagne for the 2020 holiday season including pedal bins.
  • The collapsible Flipshelf Closet system from Thinkspace got an upgrade: Each of the three shelves in the system, which provides 24 configurations, now has a 75-pound capacity.
  • Rubbermaid introduced Brilliance Glass food storage, the latest addition to its line of Brilliance plastic food storage containers, following the debut of EasyFindLids food storage containers with antimicrobial product protection.
  • Bradshaw Home pushed the new GoodCook EveryWare food storage line, which emphasizes durability, greater lid capacity and color-coded packaging across a range of shapes and sizes.
  • Designed to be leak-proof, Zoku rolled out the Neat Bento as well as the Neat Bento Jr.
  • Oxo added new sizes to the Pop line including a slim rectangle that is available in 0.4-quart mini, 1.2-quart short and 1.9-quart medium sizes.