“Millennial” continues to be the buzzword in the industry, as retailers and vendors alike rack their brains for ways to appeal to the young consumer. Such brainstorms led to a few companies taking a chance on new products that fit into the Millennial lifestyle. Here are a few that were displayed at the 2017 New York Tabletop Market April 4-7.
Pops of Color for the Non-Committal
Many Millennials are settling down much later in life than older generations did at their age, which is why selling a Millennial an entire set of tableware is a bit more difficult than it used to be. This is why several companies, including nambé and Portmeirion, have created lines of solid-colored plates, cups and bowls, which can be added to a consumer’s existing tableware collection. Millennials also love mixing and matching to create a look of their own, which is why product lines that simply work as a pop of color (or as a subdued background) are appealing.
Playing With Dinnerware
Degrenne Paris added a touch of magic to the tradeshow this year with its new line of giftable coffee mugs that reveal a hidden message once warmed. After pouring hot water, coffee or tea into the brightly colored cup, the receiver is delighted with a message, like “Thank You,” or “Happy Birthday.” Unique gifts like these are easy pick-ups for young shoppers because they’re fun and can stand on their own, unlike other dish sets. Check out our Instagram post for a video of the great reveal.
A Pop-Culture Twist on a Classic
Richard Ginori, known for its intricate, antique-style Italian craftsmanship, introduced a new contemporary line, which fits more appropriately within a Millennial’s home. The Aurea Collection is made up of clean lines and offers a pop-culture twist on a classic design. Inspired by perspective drawings, the tableware features bold geometric patterns and explosions of color. The collection was a product of reinterpreting one of the most emblematic decorations designed by Gio Ponti, resulting in an almost futuristic-looking design. It also utilizes the popularity of the colors indigo and orange.
There are 26 pieces in the collection, including plates, small cups, teapots, trays and mugs, all of which come in various shapes, including Impero, which encapsulates the essence of the exclusive Manufactory; Venezia, which draws on designs from Richard Ginori’s history and fuses them with elements from a celebrated Giovanni Gariboldi project; and the contemporary, dynamic Diagono with its refined minimalist design.
OMG Frames and More
Taking a less subtle approach is Crystal House International, which tested a new Millennial line at the show. Venturing from its delicate, crystal-studded and refined dish and tableware designs, the manufacturer created mock-ups of frames, coffee mugs, wine glasses, pocket mirrors and key-chains that feature common acronyms like OMG (Oh My Gosh), IDK (I Don’t Know) and OTOH (On The Other Hand). This line for the vendor, which typically targets brides, is a risky detour from its other, more elegant product lines, but is a celebrated chance to catch the eye of a new audience.
Going Home and Going Versatile
When it comes to storage space, Millennials typically don’t have a lot of it, which is something Libbey discovered during a consumer study, in which they went into consumers’ homes and evaluated their lifestyle and day-to-day needs. The resulting product line is a beautiful, but most of all versatile, collection of serveware. A wooden serving bowl can be quickly turned into a trivet; a set of glass drinkware with wooden coasters can be flipped and used as storage containers with lids. Libbey even incorporated the first-hand study into its packaging, adding quotes by the tested consumers.