May 4, 2015
Everyday Party Pleasers
Leigh Jajuga, Assistant Editor

What hosts and hostesses are looking to have in-house in 2015

Every day is a cause for celebration. With that in mind, retailers need to remain on-trend to keep their customers prepared for any party.

While gold-foil, printed products have carried over from last season’s party trends and are fast becoming a decor classic, customers are seeking the latest product lines and accessories to customize their events. With this demand for detail, there is a plethora of recently developed items for 2015 to showcase any retailer and entertainers’ creativity.

“The way to impress during that special event is presenting decor that is unique and creative in its coordination,” said Colin Littler, marketing director for Design Design.

Party & Paper Retailer was able to visit with a mixture of retailers, designers and manufacturers to talk about which new party essentials are being sought after this year and which products are imperative for any entertainer to create a milieu of amusement for his or her party.

Basic and beyond

Whether your customer is an impromptu or more persnickety party planner, basic color assortments and products are key for any entertainer to have on-hand.

“Keeping a stock of basic white serving pieces is ideal for the frequent entertainer,” said Kelly Lyden, owner of WH Hostess. “You can change up the look by using patterned linens, colored glassware and flowers.”

But, basic doesn’t mean customers’ cupboards need to be stocked with all- white products. Providing customers with a variety of colors for essential party products can help create a great basis for the entire party’s decor.

“Calm, natural color palettes coordinate with all party decor, so they are worth the investment,” said Ellen Fruchtman, public relations director for Mud Pie.

Going beyond the essentials, there has been a wealth of new trends that are not fading from consumers’ minds. Any gold foil party products have been hugely popular for entertainers since they appeared and have started to become more adaptable for retailers’ and customers’ budgets alike.

“Gold foil popped into the entertaining market last year, and is still out there in a big way.” Lyden remarked. “Foil-stamped napkins, coasters, etc., add a touch of luxe elegance to any event and are offered in different price points in the market now.”

Littler agreed on-trend entertainers are not tiring of gold foil. “Our popular Kenzie collection of paper tableware combines dot and stripe patterns in hot colors with impressive accents of real gold foil,” Littler said. “Gold foils continue to be hot and mixing with fashionable design is sure to impress. “

Getting the detail in your retail

More and more, crafting and do-it-yourself projects are gaining steam and changing retailers’ in-store stock as the market demands a shift toward accessories.

This is apparent in party planners’ decor, which has become much more detail-oriented as entertainers look for ways to make their event truly customized. Valerie Federici, ECommerce Content Specialist at Grasslands Road, said Pinterest as well as Etsy, have been big proponents for those who may not have the natural touch.

“Thanks to Pinterest and Etsy, crafting is on the upswing, but for the not-so-crafty, consumers can buy the look,” Federici said. “Don’t underestimate a cute toothpick holders, spreaders or dip (and) condiment holders that are fun and unique. Chalkboard signs and picks are also on-trend.”

Because entertainers are now seeking more nuanced decor to make their party unique, it’s important to have the right products available to help them customize their events. Products ranging from paper straws to cake toppers are taking the industry by storm.

“The key to memorable entertaining is truly in the details,” Littler said. “We offer unique sculpted birthday candles that coordinate with our paper tableware to add that extra layer of personalization. Cup decor and straw decor are also small accents that add a big impression.”

Your customers’ gala guru

Helping customers plan their event decor not only builds great relationships with clientele, but also helps facilitate opportunities for add-on sales. After all, you – the retailer – are the expert and the person customers look to for leadership.

Follow your customers’ budget, but if they’re having trouble coordinating decor, knowing about the latest party themes and trends is a recipe for retail success.

Lyden said she’s been seeing a lot of parties trending toward a Hollywood glam and a classic decor look. “Monochromatic parties are making a big splash, especially the ‘white’ parties,” she observed.

Suggesting a simple decor is a great way to keep your customers’ parties on-trend, as well as a perfect opportunity to sell add-ons – patterned or gold foil partyware can also serve as a perfect contrast, depending on the style of party your customer is looking to host.

Parties centered around locally produced craft beers and liquors have been gaining in popularity, as microbreweries and specialty distilleries are popping up all over the country.

“Classic cocktails, like old fashioneds and mint juleps, are making a comeback, especially when they are made using crafted liquors from small-batch distilleries,” Federici said. “Consumers also have an increased interest in using appropriate glassware for cocktails and craft beer to optimize the flavor profile of the beverage.”

And what will customers guests’ set their cocktails on? The perfectly color-coordinated napkin or coaster their party guru helped them choose.

Photo Courtesy of Design Design

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