Welcome 2024

Well, here we are again. Another year in the books and another year stretching out ahead. What will 2024 hold?

Navigating 2024 Horizons. What will 2024 hold?

Last year brought company mergers and acquisitions, and the dual challenges of soft consumer demand and inflation. In a word, 2023 was tough. Several of our bedding industry leaders spoke on the challenges of 2023 and what they are anticipating in this new year. Despite industry headwinds, most have a cautiously positive outlook on the future and have their goals firmly in place.

Several are keeping an eye on the U.S. presidential election, geopolitical unrest and the economy as factors that will affect consumer confidence. Within the industry, many are watching to see how Tempur Sealy’s agreement to purchase Mattress Firm plays out. 

One thing many of us are looking forward to this year is the biennial ISPA EXPO March 12-14. It’s so exciting to see all the new concepts and innovations that suppliers and machinery makers bring to the show. Our industry never fails to surprise me at this trade fair in some way. I’m also eagerly anticipating a new-to-me venue and city — Columbus, Ohio. 

In another attempt to peer into a crystal ball of sorts, color forecasters have chosen the hues they think will best represent what people will gravitate toward in 2024. Perhaps, not surprisingly, they feel we’re looking for serenity. From Pantone’s Peach Fuzz pick to Sherwin-Williams’ Upward (a soft blue that makes me think of the sky on a sunny day), these colors evoke nature and create a peaceful state of mind. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Especially for those of us in the sleep products industry. Kathryn Greene wrote a wonderful article delving into all these shades.

Also on the positive side, I’ve seen several news articles that speak to the growing importance of sustainability to consumers. A Harvard Business Review article by Ashley Reichheld, John Peto and Cory Ritthaler stated: “Our research suggests we’re on the brink of a major shift in consumption patterns. … We’re fast approaching this tipping point where sustainability will be considered a baseline requirement for purchase, and companies should prepare now.”

The subject of this month’s profile — Masias Maquinaria, a machinery maker headquartered in Sant Joan les Fonts, Spain — made a pivot toward sustainability about a decade ago and in May introduced its Flexipad, which creates new filling layers and felts by mixing a thermobonding fiber with foam or fiber waste. Scraps become something new.

Here’s to the new year. May it bring all of us peaceful nights. 

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