The UK tableware market was estimated to have risen by 3% over 2007-2010, reaching a value of £826 million by the end of this timeframe. The struggle to gain momentum bears witness to challenging trading conditions for manufacturers operating in this industry.
Tableware is the dishes or dishware used for setting a table, serving food and for dining. Tableware can be meant to include cutlery and glassware. The nature, variety, and number of objects varies from culture to culture, religions, and cuisines.
Some of the factors driving the market growth include the growing tourism sector, especially the hotel and catering industry, the developing retail industry, growth in the numbers of higher middle class people, and the gradual organisation of the market.
The market is largely influenced by growing consumerism and trends such as growing preference for designer tableware, changing consumer buying behaviour, and other demographic and social trends.
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.
Special occasions are crucial for boosting tableware sales. Entertaining at Christmas saw massive uplifts for glassware (66%) and table dressing/settings and other tableware increased by 53%.
The UK is set to remain one of the most vibrant and promising markets for tableware. First of all, historically, the UK has been a major producer of tableware for the home and, to a certain extent, still is, with brands such as Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, Denby, Portmeiron and the like.
The UK has a heritage in branded tableware but seems to be struggling due to the economic climate. The British consumer, however, is still discerning and appreciative of quality tableware.
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