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The tabletop segment of the gourmet housewares industry saw modest growth this year, earning approximatly $5.5 million in 2018, an increase from 2017’s $5.4 million in sales.

This increase seems to have inspired retailers to expand the category in their own stores, as 29.7% of survey respondents stated they planned to do so in 2019, while 51% stated they are planning to keep the same amount of inventory in the coming year.

Industry insiders also noted the continued trend of consumers purchasing more casual dinnerware and less formal china. As more consumers are living a more relaxed lifestyle, their buying patterns have relaxed as well. More consumers are purchasing smaller sets of dinnerware, such as four, six or eight versus the larger, more traditional sets of 12 or 16.

Another trend that have helped increase tabletop sales has been the emergence of bowls and mugs taking an important presence in a customer’s tableware purchase. Modern food trends have taken on both healthy eating and global influences, which both lend themselves to the rising popularity of meals eaten in bowls. Mugs have become an important purchase for customers as well for similar reasons, as well as the increase in making coffee recipes, such as lattes, at home.

Color, pattern and personalization, when it comes to tabletop goods, also continues to be a selling point for retailers. Store employees can tap into the demand of customers that are looking to express their personality while dining with friends, family or alone. Tabletop has also become a complementary category to home décor, as consumers wish to purchase tabletop that reflects their personal style.

Glassware, especially specialty glassware, has provided a major boost to the category, stated retailers, as more customers are coming in seeking glasses designed for specific wines, spirits and other libations.

Serveware is another popular segment in the tabletop category as consumers are hosting more dinners, holidays, cocktail parties and other casual events at home. Serveware pieces present an opportunity for consumers to express themselves and present an attractive table display for guests.

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