By: Dominique Lescalleet

Every September, manufacturers from across the globe exhibit their newest products in the outdoor living industry at the International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market, or Casual Market for short. The show took place at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, Illinois, Sept. 16-19, 2015, and it did not disappoint the K&A trend-spotting team.

While scoping out new product innovations, I noticed shades of pink were everywhere I turned. From hot pink and coral-colored fabrics to fluorescent pink light fixtures, the growing trend of incorporating this color palette into the casual industry took over by storm. And, truthfully, I’m not shocked. As many of our readers live and breathe the home and building industry, you probably have already seen Pantone’s Spring 2016 Color Report. Rose Pink and Peach Echo are among the mix. According to Pantone, these colors offer a unisex appeal, and have the ability to bring excitement and optimism into our lives.

Below is a mixture of pink-themed product s that captured my attention at this year’s Casual Market.

CM pink

  1. Brown Jordan is one of the industry’s leading outdoor furniture manufacturers. This pink love seat and side chair with an ottoman stood out among the company’s wide selection of furniture. Part of the Calcutta collection, the frame’s design was inspired from classic 18th century Chippendale furniture. It’s constructed from sand cast aluminum and detailed with a faux bamboo pattern. The frame is finished in the company’s hot pink gloss finish and accompanied with Sunbrella’s hot pink cushion fabric.
  2. Surya Outdoors’ new Aura rug embodies the “shades of pink” trend right to the core. It’s made from 100 percent polypropylene, and features a latex backing. This design was concepted by Kate Spain, a Rhode Island School of Design-trained artist. The whimsical, exuberant and sophisticated textures of the Aura rug were inspired by the vibrant colors and energy found in Spain’s home garden.
  3. Vondom’s design culture is considered to be the company’s key to success. Its new Chrismy lighting collection for the outdoors is unique and playful. And more importantly, it was showcased in a fluorescent pink color. The initial design was inspired by the natural and elegant shapes that climb towards its peak. The light fixture is constructed from polyethylene resin, and is 100 percent recyclable.
  4. Part of The Heritage collection from the Little Cottage Company, this pink dining collection is another example of the “shades of pink” trend. Made from HDPE resin and high-quality stainless steel fasteners, the Heritage collection requires very little maintenance, and is easy to clean. Other available products in the pink finish are the two-seat swing, two-set glider, Adirondack chair, pub table, and much more.

While these home and building product companies are making smart choices, they are far from being able to claim intellectual property from these pink products… they are simply playing into a much larger trend. Just as the Spring 2016 Color Report from Pantone suggests, pink hues are becoming more gender neutral. In fact, if the demand for the new rose-gold finish iPhone 6s is any indication, men really are starting to prefer pink even more often than women according to Ad Age. The Color Association of the United States also reports that pink hues are trending for men this fall while women are pivoting toward more muted tones.

Trends like this one are especially applicable for building products centered on design and aesthetics, but others can consider color for their own branding opportunities like the classic Owens Corning pink. We live in a highly visual society where color and composition play a huge part in a consumer’s buying choice so it is imperative for building product companies to track these trends and leverage the momentum in 2016 product research and development.