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Fire Heats Up Casual Market

February 2017

With the power to extend the outdoor season and create an ambiance second to none, re products have become the hottest category in the casual industry. Consumers compare the experience to sitting around a glowing camp re connecting to family and friends, and it’s a feeling that record numbers now want to re-create in their own outdoor settings. As Steve Lowsky, president of Pride Family Brands asserts, “Fire is just another addition to make the outdoor room more usable.

Comprised of re pits, re tables, re bowls and re falls, this dynamic product segment has grown like wild re, showcasing new designs and concepts every market season. One of their major attractions is their multi-functionality, being used solely for decoration, or as functional pieces of furniture or even grilling devices. Portability is another strong factor in their popularity, as consumers are able to store them away during the very hot or very cold months. Today’s models, which can include tabletop surrounds, seats and other extras, have come a long way from the simple chimineas that used to provide a backyard blaze.

All of the latest product developments will be heating up the showrooms of some of the category’s leading suppliers at Casual Market Chicago.

Many consumers want to match their re products to the furniture they are buying, and that’s part of the reason why Telescope Casual incorporated its renowned marine-grade polymer into its tables when most featured heavy gauge metal. Its Fire Table Lift Kits also allow its MGP re tables to be available in dining, balcony and bar heights, increasing their appeal even more.

An elevated sense of drama is created with R.H. Peterson’s new Fire Bowls by American Frye Designs, available in both deep and low pro le options and in several sizes. Its Fire Falls offer a twist on the typical, featuring cascading water down the backdrop, dancing ames in the front, and LED lighting set into the inner arch. And for those looking for something really unique, O.W. Lee offers its Fire Pit Builder program, where consumers can customize their Casual Fireside® Fire Pit.

Grills, one of the staples in the re category, will also be sizzling in 2016, as consumers continue their passion for culinary adventures and bringing out the very best avor in their food. State-of-the art cooking units, specialized accessories and the integration of smart technologies all promise to keep the category hot.

Each of these innovations is proof that the category is burning brighter than ever before, with retailers and vendors agreeing that it shows no signs of dying out. And to celebrate the power of re, all attendees of Casual Market Chicago are invited to the Opening Night Backyard Bar-B-Cue party on The Merchandise Mart’s South Drive. This presents a great networking opportunity, as well as the chance to see the latest “ ame” product developments, all while enjoying barbecue-inspired cuisine and cocktails.