The 2024 Ambiente trade show in Frankfurt, Germany, takes place January 26-30, 2024.
Messe Frankfurt/Jean-Luc Valentin The 2024 Ambiente trade show in Frankfurt, Germany, takes place January 26-30, 2024.

When it comes to trade shows about consumer everyday household products, Ambiente design fair, held in Frankfurt, Germany, has long been celebrated as the zenith of consumer product showcases worldwide. After a two-year forced break because of COVID-19, the trade show returned in February of last year, where its annual congregation of industry professionals, cutting-edge innovations, and a diverse array of products made it an unparalleled event in the consumer goods industry. Last year’s fair had over 100,000 visitors and exhibitors from 168 nations, filling its 27 halls with over 250,000 square meters of exhibition space. From January 26-30, 2024, Ambiente promises to again captivate with themes like Sustainability, Lifestyle and Design, New Work, Future Retail and Digital Expansion of Trade. The sheer size and variety of Ambiente's exhibition space means that there is always something for everyone. Spread across multiple halls, each section of the show offers a different focus, from kitchen and household goods to gifts and home decor. This extensive range allows visitors to experience the full spectrum of the consumer goods industry under one roof.

A Legacy of Excellence in Trendsetting and Innovation
Ambiente’s history is marked by consistent excellence and adaptation, reflecting the evolving global market. The fair’s organizers are dedicated to staying ahead of industry curves, ensuring that each iteration of the show is more dynamic and inclusive than the last. Unlike American trade shows with a narrow focus, such as CES for electronics and NeoCon for office products, Ambiente offers a comprehensive view of the future of consumer goods. Here, global companies debut products and designs that set industry trends.

Actiu's Fluit Chair
Actiu Actiu's Fluit Chair

One of the event’s highlights is the German Design Awards, which recognize innovation across various sectors – from branding to packaging to digital products, and from consumer goods to architecture. The winning products all reflect how social and ecological factors play a decisive role in all areas of design as they respond to current social challenges. Last year’s competition had 4,200 entries from 57 countries who competed across 68 categories with the highest “gold” prize being award a total of 98 times. For the 2024 awards, winning designs include a range of products such as the KIDFIX i-SIZE child’s booster seat by Britax Römer, the 100% sustainable Fluit chair by the Italian studio Archirivolto Design for Actiu, and the Tenways CGO800S commuter e-bike.

Championing Sustainability

Original Home stand
Messe Frankfurt/Jean-Luc Valentin Original Home stand

Ambiente has increasingly emphasized sustainability, mirroring the global shift towards responsible consumerism. The Ethical Style by Ambiente exhibition featured 253 exhibitors showcasing eco-friendly and ethically produced goods. Notable examples include Iris Handverk’s handcrafted brushes made by visually-impaired craftsmen; Peugeot’s reusable Monbento lunch boxes, Ocean Bottle’s initiative again plastic pollution.

The Kitchen sector is also notable for making inroads in creating better, more long-lasting products that are either made of reusable materials or manufactured in some climate-neutral way. Socially sustainable circularity is the new mindset of many of the companies that were exhibiting. For example, Krill design’s 3D-printed zero waste object like their Duna lemon fruit bowl, are made with leftover food peels, and the Berlin-based Kaffeeform’s coffee cups are made from old coffee grounds and plant-based biopolymers.

Spotting Trends

Quality of Silence Trend
Messe Frankfurt Quality of Silence Trend

Trend agency bora.herke.palmisano will unveil their trend research into three style worlds at the show, reflecting current societal shifts. Furthermore, Ambiente will hold conversations for the Designer Community, featuring themes like “Material Health,” and a mini-exhibition on humorous design, curated by Milan-based designer Elena Salmistraro, who is also the 2024 Ambiente up-and-coming designer.

The Future of Work
The “Future of Work” section, introduced last year, will continue showcasing innovative workplace solutions, like Vario’s “M1” modular system and König + Neurath’s versatile “Nook Shell” chair.

A Global Melting Pot

Messe Frankfurt/Petra Welzei

Ambiente stands out for its incredible international diversity, with participants from over 150 nations. It’s a melting pot of cultures, featuring major brands like Rosenthal, Georg Jensen, and Eva Solo, just to name a few, in addition to smaller, family-owned brands that have strong showings reflecting where contemporary design is headed. Take Norwegian textile manufacturer Roros Tweed for example, which showcased the work of Oslo-based designers Anderssen and Voll in 2023. Moreover, as Ambiente has a significant portion of exhibitors from Northern Europe, the show will continue to emphasize Scandinavian designer in addition to design from Japan.

Embracing the Digital Age
Embracing digital trends Ambiente offers virtual experiences, allowing a global audience to participate and interact, regardless of their physical location. The 2024 edition will discuss AI in retail through an online event by Ian Scott, Director of Retail Consulting Ltd., where he argues that AI technology should be effectively combined with human experience in order to enhance the point of sale. “People are social beings who seek human contact. That's why the physical point of sale will remain an important aspect of retail that can benefit from AI,“ says Scott. He argues that the opportunities AI offers the industry are diverse and range from a personalized approach to the customer via free in-store Wi-Fi and cost savings through automated processes or theft prediction.

Making a Better World

Made51 stand
Messe Frankfurt/Jean-Luc Valentin Made51 stand

A notable initiative at the fair is MADE51, a United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) project offering sustainable livelihoods for refugee artisans, showcasing a collection of fashion, gifts, and home accessories. Workshops are created around the world in which market-ready products are manufactured. With over one hundred million refugees worldwide in 2022, whose average length of stay has risen from 17 to 20 years in camps, MADE51 can offer refugees employment. For example, the organization collaborated with the French luxury brand Chloé to create a limited production series of high-quality, well-crafted artisanal products made by refugees.

Messe Frankfurt/Pietro Sturera

Exploring the Exhibition Halls
Ambiente is more than just a trade fair; it’s a cultural and business phenomenon. It provides invaluable insights, connections, and inspiration for anyone in the consumer goods industry, blending innovation, diversity, and business potential. Ambiente is undeniably the best trade show for consumer products, making it a pivotal event for anyone looking to make their mark in the consumer goods industry.

The next edition of Ambiente is from January 26-30, 2024.