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Trends in the Tableware Market custom ceramic mugs with silicone lids​

Ceramic Mug    From:Xinxiang Ceramic Mug Manufacturers    
By Laurel M. Sheppard ceramic coffee mug with logo The tableware or tabletop market is part of the multi-billion housewares industry. In the U.S., sales of housewares grew about 7% to $58 billion (retail), according to the National Housewares Manufacturers Association. The tableware market represents about 7% of this total or $7.8 billion.

The tableware market can be broken down into three categories: dinnerware (plates, bowls, cups, saucers and mugs), glassware (beverageware, stemware and barware of both glass and crystal) and flatware (eating utensils). China and ceramic dinnerware represent about 74% of all U.S. dinnerware sales, with glass and glass-ceramic representing about 23%[1].

As with other industries, the tableware industry has seen much consolidation and acquisition in recent years. Royal Copenhagen also has merged with Orrefors/Kosta Boda to form Royal Scandinavia. After gaining control of more than 80% of Germany's Rosenthal AG, Waterford Wedgwood Plc has become the world's largest tabletop company, with estimated sales in excess of $775 million. Five companies now dominate 92% of the dinnerware market, according to Macomber Reports: Lenox, Noritake, Wedgwood, Royal Doulton and Mikasa. Royal Doulton has also reorganized into five core businesses: tableware, hotel and airlines, giftware and collectibles, glassware, and crystal/premier gifts.

Joint ventures are also becoming more common. Libbey Inc. became a joint venture partner with Mexico's largest glass tableware company, Vitrocrisa. European tableware companies have also followed this trend, including Royal Doulton and Wedgwood, in order to meet competition from Asia and elsewhere[2].

In addition, tableware manufacturers are expanding their markets in several ways. One way is by tapping into the multi-billion dollar licensing industry. Another approach is to establish exclusive marketing agreements. For instance, Oneida Ltd. has reached an agreement to exclusively market and distribute Schott Zwiesel crystal in the U.S. The agreement provides Oneida with a new product category for its foodservice tableware unit, and significantly broadens its consumer retail line of crystal.

World Glassware Market

Over 300 manufacturers producing artware, crystal, ornamental ware, and other types of glassware make up the global glassware market[3]. About a third of these companies produce tableware. World imports of glassware (including tableware) totaled about $8.4 billion in 1996, a decline of 9% from the previous year, Figure 1. Of this total, the U.S. leads in the share of imports at 18%, followed by France and Germany each about 10%, United Kingdom at close to 6% and Italy at a little over 5%. World exports totaled nearly $8.8 billion, a decline of 7% from the previous year, Figure 2. European countries lead in the share of total exports: France at 20%, Germany at 13% and Italy at 11%.ceramic mugs with silicone lids

Sales of glassware to and from the far east have expanded in recent years[4], Figure 3. Though exports have decreased from Japan, imports from certain European countries have increased. Japanese imports of tableware products were expected to increase in the last year or so, despite strong competition from home-based suppliers. More recently, total imports have begun to decline. Imports represent about a third of the Japanese domestic market, which is valued around 43 billion yen or 110,000 tons.

The leading importer to Japan is France, which has about a 25% share of the import market by value. French glassware is known not only for its luxury-grade handmade crystal, but also for the world most highly developed mass production system for affordably priced glassware as well. This reputation is what makes French products so popular in the Japanese market. The next largest importer to Japan is Taiwan, followed by Italy, the Czech Republic and the United States.

On the other hand, countries like Hong Kong and Thailand saw glassware imports increase for 1994, with the value of imported glassware in Thailand increasing by 57% from 1993 to over $1 million. European countries are the leaders in imports for Thailand, with Germany ranked number one followed by France and England. Thailand exports about 30% of its total production (~100,000 tons) of glassware. There are about 23 manufacturers producing glass kitchenware and tableware. Most of them are located in Bangkok and nearby provinces. The domestic market can be divided into three groups depending on quality and price: the high price segment shares 20% of the total market, the mid price segment shares 35% and the low price segment accounts for 45% of the market.

Glassware in Thailand can be divided into three types: soda lime, crystal and borosilicate. Soda lime is made locally, whereas crystal and borosilicate are imported from European countries. General glassware is imported from Asian countries such as Indonesia, Philippines and Singapore. Indonesia is very competitive with Thailand in glassware production due to the abundance of raw materials and the low cost of energy and labor.

Demand for tableware products in both these countries was expected to grow for 1996-97, paralleling the economic growth. Imports to Thailand were expected to grow at a steady pace, especially for high-quality glassware products from Europe and elsewhere[5]. However, the recent Asian economic crisis has probably resulted in a decrease in demand for Thailand and surrounding countries.custom black ceramic mugs

The US Glassware Market

The U.S. consumer glassware industry consists of producers of table and kitchen glassware--including cookware, tableware, tumblers, stemware, and other ornamental, decorative, and novelty products--and represents about 36% of the total glassware market. This is a mature industry dominated by several major companies that produce a broad range of basic glassware products, but it also includes a sizable number of small and medium-sized companies specializing in certain product lines. There are from 50 to 75 firms located throughout the United States, four of which dominate the industry. However, competition among U.S. producers is strong. The top eight companies account for about half of the total value of U.S. shipments for this industry sector, according to the Office of Consumer Goods.

Libbey Inc. is the largest producer of glass tableware in North America with total annual revenues over $400 million. The company has plants in California, Louisiana, Ohio, and Ontario, Canada. Its Syracuse China subsidiary produces dinnerware for the foodservice industry and its World Tableware subsidiary imports metal flatware, hollowware, and ceramic dinnerware. Libbey also is a joint venture partner with Mexico's largest glass tableware company, Vitrocrisa, and exports to more than 100 countries. Vitrocrisa is considered the market leader in Mexico and all of South America.
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