Old and New Blend Seamlessly in Chicago

The Low-Pro from CaliBowl offers a shallow depth with the functionality of a deeper bowl. calibowl.com

The Low-Pro from CaliBowl offers a shallow depth with the functionality of a deeper bowl. calibowl.com

By Allison Zisko

Attendees at the International Home + Housewares Show this month can expect to see a varied array of new tabletop products from long-standing exhibitors as well as industry newcomers.

Most notable among the newcomers is Meyer Corp. The well-established cookware company is launching sizeable tabletop collections by celebrity chefs Paula Deen and Rachael Ray (see story, page 6). The collections, executed in solid color stoneware and decaled porcelain, reflect the individual sensibilities of the two chefs (southern motifs for Deen and mid-century modern designs for Ray). The tabletop component rounds out Meyer’s complete kitchen assortments by Deen and Ray.

IMUSA is another core housewares company that is delving into tabletop at this show. Its tabletop items include brightly colored serveware items geared toward the Hispanic market. And Creative Tops arrives from the United Kingdom with an assortment of giftware, including bone china mugs sporting archival designs from the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

Several long-standing tabletop companies celebrate milestone anniversaries this year and will showcase products that reflect both time-honored traditions as well as modern tastes. Celebrants include Pfaltzgraff (200 years), Zak Designs (35 years) and Fiesta (75 years).

Within the individual tabletop categories, specialty drinkware (designed for mixed drinks as well as beer) and food storage remain important components of the glassware business. Mugs, serveware and other giftware pieces are driving business in dinnerware. Companies continue to present new materials, mixes of materials and new constructions in all product categories. Various types of sustainable wood and bamboo have contributed to new assortments of aesthetically pleasing and environmentally friendly products; double-walled construction in plastic and glass are defining beverageware introductions.

There are several extensions to well-established licensed lines, while color, in a rich variety of tones and hues, continues to be the most eye-catching feature of virtually every new collection.