At £826 million, the value of the 2010 UK market for tableware is estimated to be just 3% up on 2007. The struggle to gain momentum bears witness to challenging trading conditions for manufacturers operating in this industry.
This report looks at factors impeding growth and manufacturers’ efforts to overcome these, such as celebrity tie-ins, new designs and retailing developments.
- Consumers need nudging into updating and upgrading china, glassware and cutlery through stronger communication of the array of modern designs available. Replacing old/broken items is the major incentive to purchase in all three sectors.
- With wider coverage of dinner parties on TV shows such as Come Dine With Me, there is an opportunity to encourage sales of contemporary or stylish tableware to make dinner parties extra special. One in five buyers of glassware bought for a special occasion or dinner party and one in ten purchasers of china.
- Marketing personalised/customised tableware as a gift has more potential, as does building up sets to make tableware more affordable in more challenging economic times. Some 16% of glassware buyers had bought as a gift, 12% of cutlery purchasers and 10% of those buying china/other tableware.
- In order to drive up the value of the market, retailers need to persuade more people of the worth of paying a bit more for china, glasses or cutlery. A third of adults tend to buy inexpensive glasses, and a quarter inexpensive china or cutlery.
- In an age where household items have shorter lifecycles, well-known, heritage brands should concentrate on encouraging younger consumers to invest in authentic, luxury products with a modern twist that they keep for special occasions. Only a quarter of 25-34-year-olds have a best dinner set compared with half of 55-64-year-olds.
- In a time of austerity, flexibility needs to be the focus of manufacturers to allow easy replacement of items. There are more consumers that like the china/dinner set they use to be matching (31%) than are happy using non-matching pieces together (17%).