The New York Fall Tabletop Market, held Oct. 12-15 at 7 West and 41 Madison, was filled with new products, value-priced items and bursts of color.
Here are some of the new and ongoing trends observed:
Judging from the displays, the casual dining-at-home trend still is the most vibrant segment of the market. Whether it was Waechtersbach’s new ceramic covered loaf pan or newcomer Welcome Home Brands’ disposable paper bakeware, there were many new items competing in the fridge-to-oven category. Even Michael Wainwright, known for his signature 24k-gold porcelain collections, introduced a line of handmade, freezer-to-oven dinnerware and accessories, all made in the USA.
“We’re seeing lots more of serveware, more bowls, trays and chips and dip-type things,” says Su Hilty, director of marketing at 7W New York.
This spring, expect to see more pieces for dips, nibbles and tasting, such as Tag’s Carnivale hand-painted chip and salsa set.
“Chefs and food are a trend that drives style and dinnerware at home,” notes Laurie Burns, senior vice president and director of Forty One Madison. This can be seen in new shapes such as a new line of tasting pieces from Salt and Pepper from Australia. The firm, which is entering the U.S. gourmet retail market in 2011, showed its white ceramic Dim Sum line of personal-sized sauce boats, creamers and Chinese takeout containers.
Desserts and Accessories
“Dessert is big,” says Rosanna Bowles, whose whimsical dinnerware and accessories include miniature pedestal stands and cake plates. “Due to a somewhat difficult economy, people are indulging in small pleasures such as dessert.” Bowles’ company also is benefitting from crossover sales to bakeries and restaurants. Manufacturers see strength in the cupcake trend and continue to introduce items such as Zak! Design’s cupcake-shaped melamine serving tray.
“Accessorized dinnerware” was a term heard frequently at the New York Market. At Signature Housewares Inc., for example, an extension of the Farmer’s Market series includes a trio of designs — red farm truck, fruit and sunflower patterns — that are easy to combine with its colored bowls and ramekins.
“People are looking for accent pieces to work with what you have, solid colors and colored glasses to add a whole new look to your table,” Hilty says.
Bold Accent Colors
Although whites and neutrals continue to dominate in tableware sales, and new shapes and pieces in white tableware were everywhere, colors are hot.
"You can accessorize with color,” says Maria Baxley, public relations, advertising and design manager for BIA Cordon Bleu. In terms of color, think Mod. The bold primary colors on BIA Cordon Bleu’s Hot Spice and the purples and paisley patterns at Oneida and Denby all bring back the ‘60s summer of love. Pastel aquatics were previewed in new colorways at Vietri and on Palm Beach-inspired designs on melamine at TarHong and Zak. Burnished metallic finishes also were well-represented on dinnerware, candlesticks and glassware, suggesting the continuing popularity of the organic and bohemian aesthetic.
Natural materials, whether wood, metal or recycled glass, also speak to the green movement, another marked trend. At the show, green manifested itself in new textures and designs derived from nature, the forest, the sea and the actual color green. Rosanna Inc. featured Arboretum, a line of appetizer plates and trays featuring a stand of leafy trees, and Juliska added color to its Classic Bamboo pattern. Hoping to capitalize on the popularity of a proponent of “green” eating, Hermes-Otto Intl. introduced an extensive new line from Jamie Oliver that covers three product ranges: Outdoor, Tabletop and Gift.
“Our product line supports his greater message of eating fresh and healthy food, and sharing with those you care about.” says William Hollands, president of the company.
More information and new products introduced at the Fall Tabletop Market will be featured in the November/December issue of The Gourmet Retailer.