What you need to know

The pandemic created some challenges and changes in the tableware industry. While consumers look to limit their discretionary spending, extended periods of time at home has created a new desire to improve their spaces, which includes everything from big projects to tableware. The primary purchasing method remains in-store; however, as consumers become more comfortable shopping online, there will be a greater need for retailers to deliver enhanced shopping experiences that adhere to the visual nature of the category whether online or in-store.

Key issues covered in this Report

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and the tableware market.

  • The impact of past recessions on tableware market.

  • Motivations for past and future tableware purchases.

  • Approach to shopping the tableware category.


For the purposes of this Report, Mintel defines tableware as non-disposable dishes or dishware used for setting a table, serving food and dining and other useful items for practical and decorative purposes including:

  • Tableware

  • Drinkware

  • Crockery

  • Oven-to-tableware

  • Table accessories

  • Cutlery

COVID-19: US context

The first COVID-19 case was confirmed in the US in January 2020. On March 11, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global health pandemic, and on March 13, former President Trump declared a national emergency in the US. 

Across the US, state-level stay-at-home orders rolled out throughout the months of March and April, remaining in place through May, and in some cases June. During this time, referred to as lockdown, non-essential businesses and school districts across the nation closed or shifted to remote operations.

During re-emergence, all 50 states have relaxed stay-at-home orders and allowed businesses to operate with varying levels of social distancing measures in place. The continued spread of COVID-19 infections has driven some states to slow down or reverse course on reopening plans. Mintel anticipates the US will remain in a state of flux through 2021, until a vaccine is more widely available.

Economic and other assumptions

The analysis provided reflects an estimated range of the market’s prospects in light of the upheaval caused by the COVID-19 crisis. Our economic assumptions are based on CBO 10-year economic projections released on July 2, 2020.

  • Unemployment will remain elevated in 2020 and early 2021 before incrementally improving over the next five years.

  • US GDP will increase 4% in 2021, followed by continuous increases until 2025.

  • Consumer confidence rests at 79.2% as of January 2021. This is a 7.4-point improvement from its low of 71.8 in April but a 2.6-point decline from October 2020, indicating that consumer confidence is wavering and may continue to do so until economic recovery remains consistent.

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