CHICAGO – Wilsonart International launched “The Wilsonart HD Kitchen” at KBIS 2012, the kitchen and bath industry exposition running through April 27 in Chicago.

WilsonArt Countertops for Kitchen's Multiple RolesWilsonArt HD Kitchen represents a multi-pronged marketing and positioning move for the Temple, TX-based manufacturer of decorative laminate and acrylic solid surfaces  used in kitchen and bath countertops and walls.

Wilsonart HD Kitchen promotion, which has its own micro-site, will also include research, webinars, videos, spokespeople, social and traditional media and consumer and trade events.

In Chicago, the launch has been accompanied by live comedy kits, "HD Kitchen Encounters" performed by the city's famed Second City comedy troupe. Time-lapse videos show a variety of active family types - empty nesters, families with kids, etc. - in a swirl of movement centered on their kitchen island.

“With the explosion of technology, the changing patterns of work and the new configurations of family, the kitchen has morphed and now plays a new and richer role as the ‘heart of home activities,’" said Alison Pulver DeMartino, director of marketing communications at Wilsonart in an announcing the project. Demartino saus the Wilsonart HD Kitchen initiative will help her company "explore and learn from these changes. It will inform our new product development."

From its study so far, WilsonArt says kitchens are multi-purpose living spaces, with hidden appliances and furniture-like cabinetry. The shrinking footprint of homes is making the kitchen more central to families. This affects remodeling plans, as does an increased emphasis on cost savings, DeMartino says.

Generations also use the kitchen differently. Kitchens may become centers of business activity for work-at-home moms, retrofitted for aging Boomers or elderly parents moving into with children and grandchildren, or fully-wired and digitally controlled for 76 million Gen Y "millennial" consumers.

“As we look at contemporary families, a major trend is being mindful of dollars and cents,” DeMartino says. “At the same time families are living in their kitchens more, they are also returning to frugality in terms of money, time and resources. This has created a mindset where consumers are interested in conserving, not squandering.”

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