National Hardware Brings it Home
Casual Living Staff -- Casual Living, 6/1/2012 2:12:13 PM
The 67th Annual National Hardware Show (NHS) started off with a bang. After a few trivia questions about the show's history where the audience had a chance to win American Express gift cheques, Sonya Jarvis Ruff, VP of attendee programs and Rich Russo, event director of National Hardware Show, did an audience countdown that ended with a loud bang and lots of confetti. Thus started the show that featured nine separate product categories representing the $343 billion dollar U.S. home improvement and D.I.Y. markets, for the more than 27,000 industry professionals and over 2,500 individual exhibitors.
To make the National Hardware Show easier to navigate, they broke up the show floor into nine product categories: Hardware & Tools, Housewares, Lawn, Garden & Outdoor Living, Tailgate Products, Storage and Organization, Plumbing & Electrical, Paint & Accessories and International Sourcing. In addition, National Hardware Show added four new specialty areas which showcased Energy Efficiency, Pet Products, Made in the USA product offerings and Innovation Station.
MOTHER OF INVENTION
The second annual Lawn, Garden & Outdoor Living Innovation Awards, presented by Casual Living, drew 33 entries. Cindi DeNatale, National Hardware Show's Lawn, Garden & Outdoor Living Exhibit sales associate and her team coordinated the competition and drew product that ran the gamut from furniture to insect traps. A panel of nine judges reviewed the products and made their selections based on five criteria that included aesthetics, uniqueness, consumer need, overall value and packaging/merchandising support.
Difficult situations often inspire ingenious solutions. From a biology teacher whose wife was fed up with the house Christmas tree lights constantly going out in bad weather to the aerospace engineer who ran out of garage space, each presenter had a story that led to some very creative new products. Entries included vertical walls for flowers and plants, odorless cow manure on steroids, rat and mouse killer that used ground up corn meal instead of toxic ingredients, rain collection barrels, a grill plate that turns a grill into a convection oven, a hybrid wheelbarrow that is seven products in one and programmable solar garden lights.
Honorable mention went to LFS, Inc. Wonder Grip "Nearly Naked" Garden Gloves - sheer, comfortable and flexible hand protection. The Bronze award went to AP&G Co, Inc - GlOStick - Flying Insect Trap by Catchmaster that delivers 200-plus hours of performance on a single set of batteries and can be used both indoors and outdoors without the annoying zap. The Silver award was taken home by Scotts Miracle-Gro Company - Scotts SNAP Spreader System. The spreader system makes it easier than ever to feed the lawn with a unique EdgeGuard feature that keeps product on your lawn.
The Gold Award was bestowed on a product that launched in the marketplace on March 6. Poirier Richard Incorporated's Cookina barbecue non-stick reusable Cooking Sheets was a clear favorite because of its uniqueness and its ability to fill a consumer need. The reusable sheets look like a sheet of plastic except that they are heat resistant and won't burn. They retain the heat just like a bbq plate. Their non-stick quality allows cooking food to perfection without using oils, sprays or foil. The sheets hold no odors or flavors from previous use, so you can cook fish, wipe the sheet clean and then cook pancakes in the same spot.
"We thought we might do well at the culinary show but we never thought we would take first place here with some many unique products. This is just what we need to attract the buyers from the U.S. market," said VP Alain Richard, who was busy high-fiving staffers who were calling home to Quebec, Canada, to share the good news.
From finding the next best-seller to seeing the latest gadget for the home, The National Hardware Show has something for everyone.
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