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Spring Tabletop Market Promises Strategic Intelligence

Forty One Madison is set to welcome attendees to The New York Tabletop Market, Tuesday, April 10 through Friday, April 13, with the promise of an information-packed seminar program, an array of new products, and several renovated showrooms.

Industry veteran Warren Shoulberg is headlining the Wednesday, April 11th annual breakfast seminar, serving as moderator for a discussion on Changing the Dinnerware Destiny, a look at how the tabletop market can reinvent itself for the future. Joining him on the panel are Joe Derochowski, Home Industry Analyst for NPD, and Designer and trend forecaster Patti Carpenter. The group will present results emerging from a recent consumer survey conducted by NPD in partnership with Forty One Madison that examines dinnerware buying trends and preferences among today’s generation of shoppers.

“In commissioning this research, our aim was to help uncover the attitudes of consumers about dinnerware choices and purchases that can inform how our Forty One community of manufacturers and brands, retailers and buyers decide their business strategies,” said Kristi Forbes, Director of Forty One Madison. “We’re proud to offer this seminar and, of course, to host a market week that will be abuzz with dozens of new products from the 120-plus brands represented here.”

The April show will be Forbes’s first as Forty One Madison Director and Senior Vice President, having been named to the position in December. She recommends registering in advance for the 8 a.m. breakfast seminar session since space is limited; email to reserve.

Fiesta Introduces New Color, Designs

Homer Laughlin™ has announced the Fiesta® Dinnerware brand’s 50th color since its introduction in 1936. Fiesta’s 2018 color is Mulberry, a rich, jewel-tone shade of purple with a red cast. Fiesta debuted its new color at the Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market®. “Mulberry complements every shade in the Fiesta color palette,” says Rich Brinkman, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Homer Laughlin. “It was important for us to add purple to our lineup. Mulberry is very on trend with what we’ve been seeing in fashion and home decor recently. It offers a lot of versatility. Mulberry lends itself to a wide assortment of color combinations.”

“Fiesta’s Mulberry is a flavorful, robust and full-bodied shade, tempting to the eye and taste buds,” says color expert Leatrice Eiseman, author of “The Complete Color Harmony, Pantone edition.” “It’s a great pick-me-up next to neutrals and a terrific companion to so many other colors on the tabletop, including vineyard greens, honeyed yellows and chocolate browns.” At any given time, Fiesta Dinnerware has 14 or 15 colors in its spectrum. With the addition of Mulberry, Tangerine and Claret are retiring. Tangerine was in production since 2003. Claret was in production since 2016. Fiesta’s 2018 colors include Ivory, Slate, Sage, Scarlet, Poppy, Daffodil, Sunflower, Lemongrass, Shamrock, Turquoise, Lapis, Cobalt, Mulberry and White. The lineup also includes Foundry, a cast-iron like finish that has the ease of use of ceramic dinnerware. Standard dinnerware pieces will be available in Mulberry, including three-, four- and five-piece sets, three-piece Bistro Place Settings, and a variety of plates, platters, bowls, mugs, the signature disk pitcher and serving pieces. Suggested retail price for the four- and five-piece place settings is $32.99 and $56. Presale for the line starts May 1.

Fiesta has also debuted new items in the Floral Bouquet collection. Floral Bouquet features a bouquet of fresh roses and mixed flowers with shades of signature Fiesta colors like Scarlet, Poppy, Sunflower, Lapis, Shamrock, Lemongrass and Daffodil. The vibrant florals are showcased against a white ceramic background. ͞”Floral Bouquet is one of our most popular decorated collections,” said Brinkman. ͞”We’re really looking forward to offering these expanded pieces to consumers. The timeless pattern, featuring a wide assortment of Fiesta signature colors, adds visual interest and whimsy to the Fiesta family of products.” In addition to Fiesta’s dinnerware collection, Floral Bouquet is available in select license products, including a tablecloth and napkins from Town & Country and Tervis insulated tumblers. Flatware from Cambridge Silversmiths and glassware from Culver Glass are newly added to the collection as well.

ThermoServ Debuts Children’s Dinnerware Collection

ThermoServ Ltd is launching ThermoServ KIDS™, a tabletop dinnerware line aimed at parents of toddlers and small children that provides a combination of lightweight, durable melamine dinnerware and plastic drinkware, in bright colors and fun designs that children will love.

“We are excited to introduce the ThermoServ KIDS everyday dinner and drinkware line,” said Tom Neth, ThermoServ’s President. “Life with kids is messy enough, and we aim to make mealtime a little easier for both parents and little ones with this fun and functional collection.” The collection offers a three-piece mealtime set, which includes a plate, bowl and cup in four fun patterns; an easy storage divided plate with lid in four fun patterns; and a four-piece stackable cup set in assorted colors.

ThermoServ KIDS is 100 percent pure melamine dinnerware and plastic drinkware made with no fillers and is BPA-free. The dinnerware and drinkware are impact resistant, dishwasher safe and made in the USA. See the new line at IH+HS.

Merchandising for Gift Sales

By Micah Cheek

Jill Foucré, Owner of Marcel’s Culinary Experience, has a tried-and-true strategy for last-minute gift sales. She has arranged the front of her store to be accessible to customers running in for a quick hostess gift or holiday item. “We do a ton of walking in and not knowing what [they’re] looking for,” says Foucré. “We have an array of products that cover an array of price points. If you come in and say, ‘I want to do something super special,’ we can cover that too.”

Marcel’s specializes in arranging little collections of two or three items arranged by theme. A food product like artisan dried pasta or a spice blend can make a nice centerpiece for some small items. “I love really great quality food products, [like] a really nice olive oil. Not so much a bottle of wine, but something I would cook with. Something you wouldn’t buy for yourself,” says Foucré. “We also have things like salt boxes – we’ll do that with a nice salt, or a mill. We have a lot of cocktail accessories, and we’ve got some really fantastic bitters that we can build into a cocktail thing.”

For folks who don’t know what they are looking for, Foucré recommends having some go-to items to recommend. “One of the things we always tell our staff is, ‘Always have three or four things in mind.’ I don’t want the staff there hemming and hawing. Because we carry a lot of local artists and food, we really try to be unique,” says Foucré. Handmade or unusual items are good suggestions, because it lowers the chance of the gift receiver getting multiples of the same gift. Handmade serveware has that individual look, and also makes itself a handy container for other items. “We carry a lot of different ceramic bowls – some of them are dipping dishes, some of them are ice cream bowl-sized – and we do tons of stuff with those. We’ll take a bowl, we’ll put in maybe a salt or herb blend and an olive oil, or something like that. Those tend to be very popular,” says Foucré. “The vessel will be part of what they bought. It they’re doing a baking thing, a glass bowl becomes part of the gift.” Bowls from ceramic companies like Carmel Ceramica can make a statement. Inspired by the beautiful gardens seen over Carmel, their porcelain Flower Garden collection has a hand-carved design and is safe for use in both dishwashers and microwaves.

Having a range of seasonal items available is an easy way to supply this need during the holiday season. “I love seasonal things. I love the things that you put away and bring out again,” says Foucré. “We generally have a very good selection of seasonal home décor things.” Even seasonal items aren’t needed, something printed with a statement shows that the consumer put some thought into what the receiver likes. “We have a lot of kitchen towels that aren’t seasonal,” says Foucré. “ellembee, they do towels with saying on them, and we sell literally hundreds of those. When you’re going to your book group and want to bring a little something, they’re great and a little irreverent.”

Candles on their own can seem like bland gifts, but a little something extra can make them special. “We sell a lot of scented candles in jars. We have them from a company called Lasco, Detroit Rose, we have a lot of different kinds that are great for hostess gifts,” says Foucré. “They can be a standalone, and we have a lot of fun matches we can sell them. Skeem [Design] sells some pretty matches in jars, we almost always will sell them.” Skeem Designs has matches in multiple colors and designs, packaged in tins and jars with different symbols and sayings on them. Some sets even have lines of poetry printed on the individual match sticks.

r. wood studio Introduces Carr’s Hill Tableware

r-wood-cottonThe new Carr’s Hill line of hand-crafted pottery was created by Rebecca Wood for r. wood studio ceramics based in Athens, Georgia. Wood’s distinguished career in fine art and beautifully crafted pottery has spanned 25 years, and this new line of multi-functional tableware comes in two neutral colors, sky and cotton, which are ideal for the minimalist aesthetic of the modern kitchen.

The versatile Carr’s Hill line includes salad and dinner plates, a sugar and creamer set, and a series of cups and mugs which range in price from $30 to $50. You can view the collection at


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