While tabletop struggled a bit in the past, the category has seemed to right-side itself at the independent gourmet housewares channel. Sales in the segment grew from $5.5 million in 2018 to $6.1 million in 2019, according to industry experts.
Home entertaining has been the driver of increased tabletop sales, as Millennials continue to prefer to spend time at home. Serveware pieces used for entertaining are not only functional, but they can double as home décor items. The goods allow consumers to utilize their personal styles in a plethora of ways.
Industry insiders noted that consumers are purchasing less formal dinnerware and forgoing traditional China goods. However, tabletop consumers are purchasing different sizes, shapes and patterns as creating unique, layered tablescapes continues to be in vogue. The increased quality and durability of melamine goods has also inspired consumers to purchase more tabletop items for both indoor and outdoor entertaining.
The availability of open stock tabletop items, too, has encouraged consumers to return to the category. This allows for the curation of their own collections, while also ensuring that the amount of tableware acquired can be stored comfortably in the home.
However, one of the main drivers of continued growth in the tabletop category has been glassware. As the palate of the American consumer becomes more sophisticated, the demand for the proper glassware is helping retailers make margins in this category. Consumers looking to imbibe in both cocktails and mocktails want the most authentic glassware. This continues to trend for wine and beer as well.
Tabletop items continue to stay steady, according to those who responded to the State Of The Industry survey. More than 59% would be keeping their tabletop offerings the same moving into 2020, while 29% said they would be looking to decrease the amount of tabletop goods. More than 11% said they are planning to grow tabletop goods going into the new year.