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Spring is the air

STEP INTO SPRING

This Spring really is all about the flowers. Whether in fashion, footwear, furnishings or fragrance, whether the scents, the colours or prints, florals is most definitely where it’s at. From the LFW runway shows right down to the NEC Spring Fair (where we walked around 30 miles in 2 days seeking out the future best products ever).

Potential MBPE’s shone through the aisles of the 20+ halls we visited. And it was over these two days we started really interrogating what MBPE is all about, and what its future might look like. We found ourselves pulled from stand to stand, hard-sold to by countless eager product owners. We found ourselves falling in love with marshmallows, saucepans, blenders, linen, and more. And it took an iron will to remain true to our vision. That MBPE is about best evers, and to be a best ever, a product needs to be a cut above the rest, not just cute, not just beautiful, not just desirable. To be a best ever, a product needs to be clever or innovative, have a special feature, work better, be better value, or have never been seen before.

So let’s focus on some of the trends that emerged loud and clear from the Spring Fair…

SO HOT RIGHT NOW

Rainbow shades of silicon cooking utensils cut through and stand out allowing even the starkest of minimalist kitchens sing for joy. From heat resistant mats to the now ever-growing-in-popularity oven mitts, from folding chopping boards, to beautiful little butterfly wing and flower shaped silicon pan lid grips and stunning suction pad mug and bowl lids.

BRAIN PLAY

With the rise in electronic gaming among kids, and increase use of technology in schools, never has there been a better time for new and interesting games for kids and teens and between the rows of plush toys and characters (especially Pusheen who’s going to be massive) the intelligent games stood out loud and proud. The question is, will they be bright enough and exciting enough to capture the hearts and minds of today’s kids who are spoilt for electronic choice.

A GROOMS’ TALE

Male grooming products are on the up. A massively growing category catering for the new wave of beardy boys and men who like to take care of themselves. Some incredible products, infused with essential oils, herbs and masculine floral notes for preening, shining and smoothing. New and beautifully packaged soap ranges, and our most loved black tar facial scrubs. This category is set to keep on growing, question is, do we know enough men who really care??

BALMY ARMY

The latest in skincare has got to be the facial cleansing balm. With most of the major skincare companies now developing their very own essential oil, herb and floral infused delights, we’ve been busy road-testing across the board. Check out the Facebook Group to see what everyone’s talking about right now. Popular floral notes are Rose, Jasmine, and Orange. We’ve selected Green Keratin’s Rosaforte Magnificent Cleansing Balm, but which is your best ever?

BOTTLE IT

It’s been a few years since the Bobble bottle hit the shelves with its promise to give you filtered tap water every day in a way that was kinder to the planet. Since then we’ve seen bottles everywhere. In fashion stores, gift stores and even the supermarkets. And finding a best ever bottle, is (trust me) virtually impossible. There are just too many variables at play, and too many bottles on offer. From the sleek, steel numbers, to the recycled plastics, from the pouches, to the hand-blown glass bottles, and from the rubberised to the sports-style. And now even flat, notebook sized ones. We give up. Different best evers for different days, different people and different office spaces. One thing we do love though are the new bottle + infusers which we think are going to be a must have for many of our members this year. These handy water bottles have an area to fill with fruit, veg or herbs to infuse your water all day long.

LIGHT OF MY LIFE

The growth of candle sales doesn’t seem to be slowing any time soon with Yankee Candle stores opening up everywhere ewe look. But if you’re an MBPE regular, you’ll know we’ve already got our favourites… So, the show was indeed candles galore and we reminded ourselves that most candles, are simply just candles but for an MBPE candle it’s critical to consider burn time, fragrance and aesthetic appeal in equal measure. And back to the start point on floral notes, very flowery candles are all the range! The Sea Salt, Linen and Vanilla notes prominent in 2016 are being fast replaced with Hyacinth, Peony and even Chai scents. We’ve still not beaten our Moonflower and Lilac Tina Ashton favourite, in spite of really giving it a thorough comparison test!

READY STEADY COOK

OK, so not about flowers, but this time flour! A trend that started to hit the craft markets in 2016, is now to hit the convenience and gift stores. We’ve long been selling our fabulous mug cakes, but our friends at BakedIn had a whole wealth of new flour based easy to make cake and cookie ready to go kits. We also noted cheese boxes, gin makers, chocolate making kits and more. So get homely and why not try out some kit cooking with the kids.

So, that’s about it for now, next report will be on the back of the Ideal Home Exhibition at the end of this month.

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