Year In Review 2020: Sheltering In Place Put Tabletop Back Into Home Spotlight

As the country sheltered at home for a majority of the year, dining out and entertaining at home were put on hold, leading consumers to emphasize the importance of making daily meals all the more special. Under the circumstances, the tabletop category emerged back into the spotlight, offering consumers solutions to their nesting needs.

Vendors answered the call, releasing some of their already planned dinnerware and flatware patterns, glassware innovations, serveware, as well as hydration goods that met consumer trends already at play before the pandemic altered just about everything.

In addition, the category, as it continues to evolve into more of a giftable presence, witnessed several acquisitions, merging complementary brands in order to offer more robust offerings at market.

Dinnerware sets continued to decline in popularity, especially as consumers preferred to find open stock pieces that could add a touch of something new to their existing pieces. Glassware too, has reaped the rewards of this shift in consumer buying, as specialty pieces continue to remain popular.

The mix-and-match approach that consumers seek have forged a path for new, creative ideas with on trend patterns such as those with an artistic touch, tactile feel and gilded accents. Basic white dinnerware also has had strong play this year, with vendors bringing forth texture and textile accents to bring interest to the classic basic.

Materials such as stoneware, black clay and recycled materials also continued to be in demand, both offering a handcrafted touch and textures to the table. Melamine too enjoyed a surge in popularity as consumers take their meals outside more often than ever in order to curb “stay-at-home” cabin fever.

Flatware also fell in line with the dinnerware category trends, as consumers sought out special pieces to freshen up. New finishes from major vendors including black matte, gold and even rose gold, as well as fresh tactile designs energized the category and helped to satisfy the needs of consumers looking for Instagram-worthy props to show off their recipe creations.

As cocktails at home continue to trend, the glassware category was fired up this year, offering new shapes, colors and specialty options to meet the demand of consumers perfecting their craft at home. Beer and wine glasses also continue to remain popular, as beer and wine tasting have emerged as a common pastime at home in addition to consumers trying their hand at microbrewing beer and making wine on their own.

Last year brought fresh leadership to several of the leading glassware brands, all of which were tested by the uncertainty and difficulties brought on by the pandemic.

When it comes to hydration, even though the majority of the country was no longer on-the-go, many still were and the need to stay hydrated, be it in critical work environments or at home, became all the more important. Vendors continued with designs and licensed offerings that were already in the works and met the surge in demand for thermal beverageware that goes beyond just water and coffee, but also for keeping wine, beer, cocktails and optimal temperatures whether at home, in the yard or in outdoor environments.

HomeWorld Business 2020_Year_In_Review

Moving & Shaking

  • Oggi Corporation appointed Will Symonds to the position of president. Aji Das, former president and founder of the Oggi Corporation, continues his involvement as the company’s CEO.
  • Corkcicle appointed Chris McDonough as its new CEO. Ben Hewitt, Corkcicle’s co-founder, stepped down from his role as CEO and maintains his role as chairman of the board of directors.
  • Corelle Brands, manufacturer of kitchenware brands such as Pyrex, Instant Pot, Corelle, and SnapWare, appointed Ben Gadbois to the position of president and CEO.
  • PMI Worldwide appointed Terence Reilly as global president for the company’s Stanley brand.
  • S’well founder Sarah Kauss appointed Hugh Rovit as CEO. Kauss took on the role of executive chairwoman with a renewed focus on brand vision and global innovation.
  • Takeya USA’s co-founder John Lown is transitioning from his role as CEO to chairman. The company’s current president and COO, Ken Tran, will step in as the company’s new CEO.

Brand News

  • Lenox Corporation was acquired by an affiliate of Centre Lane Partners. The deal includes the namesake Lenox brand as well as Dansk and Reed & Barton. The company also closed its Kinston, NC, bone china factory.
  • Libbey Inc. and its U.S.-based subsidiaries filed voluntary petitions for a court-supervised reorganization under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the U.S., closed its Shreveport, LA, factory and has emerged with a reorganization plan.
  • LAV, a woman-owned glassware company based in Turkey, opened a permanent showroom at Forty One Madison and made its U.S. debut during the New York Tabletop Market.
  • S’well earned B Corporation certification and celebrated its 10th anniversary.
  • Fiesta Dinnerware rebranded as the newly formed Fiesta Tableware Company. The reinvention follows the recent acquisition of the former Homer Laughlin China Company food service operations by Steelite International.
  • Widgeteer was named the exclusive U.S. distributor of Sagaform, a Scandinavian manufacturer of tabletop and housewares,
  • Portmeirion Group acquired Royal Selangor Canada’s 50% interest in Portmeirion Canada Inc. The move makes Portmeirion Canada a wholly-owned subsidiary of Portmeirion Group.
  • Arte Italica, a provider of Italian handmade tabletop and home accessories, merged with Crown Linen Designs, a lifestyle brand of European linen apparel, tabletop and home accessories.
  • EcoVessel, a manufacturer of reusable hydration products, acquired U-Konserve, a food storage and reusable container company.
  • Logo Brands, a licensee for hard good sports products, acquired Boelter Brands, a sports licensed products division of The Boelter Companies.
  • Hydro Flask, a Helen of Troy brand, filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission to combat widespread unlawful importation of counterfeit Hydro Flask products into the United States, the company said.
  • Sophistiplate acquired Maple Leaf at Home, a provider of custom engravable tabletop entertaining products made in the USA.

Product Pipeline

  • Tabletops Unlimited (TTU) partnered with country music icon Dolly Parton on a new lifestyle collection that includes dinnerware; serveware; glassware; cookware; bakeware; and hydration products.
  • Portmeirion Group released the Spode Heritage collection that features a medley of patterns taken from Spode’s design archive from the 19th century.
  • Revol introduced No.W (No Waste), a new sustainable dinnerware collection made from recycled porcelain and enamel.
  • Fortessa Tableware Solutions unveiled three new Zwiesel Glas collections. The lines include the company’s “handmade by machine” stemware.
  • Vista Alegre and Bordallo Pinheiro unveiled the Cloudy Butterflies collection by Claudia Schiffer.
  • Oneida introduced Midnight, a bold, black obsidian finish for its Aptitude flatware pattern and debuted the Adjacent flatware to make a modern statement.
  • Lenox unveiled the Profile assortment of porcelain dinnerware and accessories in white with wood accents, and the new Kate Spade Blossom Lane pattern, also in white, with carved blossom accents.
  • Corkcicle launched several licensed lines of hydration products with brands such as Vineyard Vines, Disney and Star Wars.
  • Corelle Brands launched a special edition licensed Corelle and Pyrex Mickey Mouse and Star Wars collection of plates and glass food storage items.
  • Mepra released an antibacterial nanotechnology treatment for its flatware.
  • Tervis added a new collection of stainless steel tumblers, designed with leak-proof wide mouth bottles.
  • Casafina expanded its tableware portfolio with new footed plates from its Cook & Host giftware collection, as well as oak serving boards.
  • Robinson Home Products introduced Raven, a new flatware pattern with a modern design and a sleek black matte finish.
  • Stölzle, a Germany-based specialty glassware manufacturer, started shipment of its STARlight wine glasses. The glassware is distributed throughout the U.S. from its York, PA, warehouse.
  • Zojirushi introduced the Flip-and-Go, the company’s first lightweight vacuum insulated mug with a handle designed to fold down while not in use.