Gifts Today magazine

Tableware trends at Ambiente 2016

From a riot of colour to authenticity and portability, Messe Frankfurt delivers the tableware trends from the recently-held Frankfurt fair

Ambiente, the world’s leading trade fair for the consumer-goods industry, closed its doors on 16 February after welcoming more visitors and recording a further increase in the level of internationality on both the exhibitor and visitor sides.

Altogether, 137,000 buyers from 143 countries (2015: 134,600*) attended the world’s most important consumer-goods fair. 4,387 exhibitors from 96 countries (2015: 4,814 exhibitors*) presented their latest products and trends in 27 halls at Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre.

The Dining area at Ambiente this year was characterised by a rich variety of products and a striking polarity in terms of the colours, patterns and textures used. 

Stringent purism and monochrome design, for example, came face to face with playful floral motifs or strictly graphic patterns. 

Tactile polarisation in surface design means that a variety of contours and finishes can be seen, ranging from completely smooth, or velvety soft, to textured surfaces and patterns. 

What this means for the colour worlds of this year’s Ambiente is that a riot of colours, including red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple, are juxtaposed with a colour palette that conveys a minimalist look. 

Taking its lead from Pantone’s trending colours, Rose Quartz and Serenity, the spectrum ranges from white and cool smokey grey tones to beige hues, and ends up with a deep dark blue. 

Among the bright, vibrant colours, the presence of different shades of green, even including a turquoise blue shade, is particularly striking. These are placed next to, or combined with, each other in an unconventional way. The colours mint, pink, and antique pink, as well as fuchsia, and even orange, provide accentuating points of contrast.
And this year there is a deliberate move to introduce contrasts by using different levels of brightness as well. Colours with a naturally high level of luminosity can be easily toned down. Thus, an orange, for example, can change into a rich apricot or it can be used alongside as an additional shade, and smooth surfaces with matt velvet finishes are able to exude their own tactile quality. 

This wealth and variety of colours is complemented by metallic colours and materials. Copper as a material was already emerging as a major trend last year and this is clearly reinforced this year.

A further trend to emerge is product quality and authenticity, which is continuing to improve, as well as product sustainability, which is manifest in long-lasting design and new materials. The manufacturers of the Dining products are addressing these issues by using more eco-friendly materials as well as rapidly renewable raw materials. The theme of energy efficiency, in the case of cooking pans and food processors, for example, is becoming increasingly important in this context.

And finally, the theme of portability continues to play a prominent role at Ambiente 2016. Products geared to the takeaway market (or food 'to go') are becoming increasingly refined in their function and more ambitious in their design. Furthermore, products 'to go', in the broadest sense, implies the fusion of indoor with outdoor life. This is where the boundaries and crossovers become more blurred and the products are subject to higher and more sophisticated aesthetic demands.

Next year, Ambiente will be held from 10 to 14 February 2017 and spotlight British design.

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