Gifts Today magazine

Libbey ups hospitality ante

Strategic partnerships, purpose-driven innovation and a new showroom – Libbey is taking foodservice product development to the next level

With more than 350 new products debuting this weekend at the 2017 National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago, Libbey Inc.'s commitment to grow sales through innovative, trend-right and problem-solving new products will be on full display.

These products range from dinnerware designed to help address cleanliness challenges in high-volume foodservice environments to premium glassware uniquely engineered to enhance the experience of drinking bourbon. 

Libbey has also opened a new Chicago product showroom, to provide a forum for Midwest foodservice distributors, and hospitality and foodservice buyers, restauranteurs and hoteliers to explore Libbey's tableware portfolio.

"We're taking foodservice product development to the next level by targeting our new offerings to specific trends and pain points our customers face," said William A. Foley, Libbey chairman and chief executive officer. 

"Well-researched and strategic new products like these are a core tenant of our strategy to respond to a tough and ever-changing foodservice environment. We're using all the tools at our disposal, including previous capital investments, to create momentum and meet market opportunities head on."

In addition to exclusive new dinnerware, Constellation, the first-ever porcelain dinnerware with built-in Microban technology, which delivers a higher performance and brighter white colour, Libbey has also introduced other new dinnerware products featuring market-inspired organic shapes, on-trend colours and mix and match patterns. 

Libbey is continuing to maximise the impact of 2013 investments in ClearFire® glass technology at its Shreveport, La., plant by expanding the overall Master's Reserve® collection to address primary beverage industry growth drivers, which include bourbon and premium cocktails. 

In 2016 alone, sales of bourbon, Tennessee whiskey and rye whiskey were up 8 per cent to $3.1 billion. Libbey has responded to this market opportunity by partnering with the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® to create the ideal bourbon glass. 

Finally, with tea the fastest growing beverage among millennials, Libbey has partnered with VIVA Scandinavia on tea service products. 

"The new products launching at NRA represent some of the most innovative in Libbey history," says William. "The collective impact of our recent investments in innovative, groundbreaking glassmaking technology and strategic alliances with the likes of Microban, Kentucky Bourbon Trail and VIVA Scandinavia show that we aren't letting up anytime soon. Expect Libbey to keep serving up our experience with innovative products for years to come."

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