Christmas in June: A Sneak Peek at 2012's Hot Holiday Houseware Gifts

Polyflax serving bowl
Polyflax serving bowl

Expect to see housewares products that are sleekly-designed, eco-friendly, and health-and-wellness oriented when you shop this coming holiday season.

Home brands offered a glimpse of what will line retail shelves during the gift-giving period at the Hot Housewares for the Holidays press exhibit in New York, held by the International Housewares Association.

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Suppliers are upping their game to meet the needs of savvier shoppers, who themselves are starting to influence what ends up on the store shelf, Perry Reynolds, vice president of marketing and trade development of the IHA, told DailyFinance. The web has become a key platform for armchair critics to review all manner of products, including housewares. Shoppers are "giving their input on product development via online forums," he said. And they have the ear of manufacturers.

Hence, suppliers have been nudged to offer housewares that move beyond the merely functional, and also deliver that je ne sais quoi that appeals to smarter shoppers. "We're no longer just popping out widgets, as we might have been some 25 years ago," Reynolds said.

Here are eight of our favorites from the show.

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