As the name suggests, crystalware & glassware products are made of glass and crystals (a variety of glass with a different chemical composition and a crystalline structure). Uses of crystalware & glassware products in households can be traced way back to medieval period in Europe and Han period in China. Crystalware & glassware products gained its popularity in Europe and North America after the Second World War. Crystalware & glassware products are generally made of three types of glasses which are soda lime glass, lead glass and heat resistant glass. Soda lime glass is the most common type of glass used contributes to more than half of total crystalware & glassware market. Rest of the market is contributed to by lead glass and heat resistant glass. By type of application, crystalware & glassware market can be divided primarily into four segments which are functional drinking vessels, tableware, ornamental & decorative and collectibles.
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In the crystalware & glassware industry, crystals were formerly referred to as lead glass which is a variety of glass where calcium content of glass is replaced by lead. Lead glass contains 18–40% of lead oxide. Lead crystalware products were previously used to store and serve drinks (beverageware). Due to health risks associated with lead, barium oxide, zinc oxide and potassium oxide were later introduced to replace lead oxide. This type of glass was named crystal glass. Glass products which contain 24% lead oxide are generally referred to as lead crystal while any products containing lead oxide less than 24% is referred to as crystal glass. The tableware application segment has largest share in global crystalware & glassware market. Tableware market can be segmented down to dinnerware (plates, bowls, cups, saucers and mugs, generally made of glass), general glassware (beverageware, stemware and barware made of glass or crystal) and flatware (eating utensils). Crystalware products have higher refractive index and lower working temperature and viscosity. It also has attractive optical properties due to high content of lead or other heavy metals in its composition. Crystalware & glassware products are also used in ornamental & decorative application. As presence of lead or any other heavy metal’s oxide gives a much higher index of refraction than normal glass and also increases sparkles by increasing specular reflection and range of angels of total internal reflection, this market is majorly occupied by crystalware products as they have desirable aesthetic properties.
Crystalware & glassware is part of houseware industry which has a multi-billion dollar market. As demand of crystalware & glassware is dependent on high volume market its price is expected to be at lower side, especially from Chinese manufactures. In price sensitive regions such as Asia Pacific and Middle East where demand of crystalware & glassware is on higher side due to already existing and expanding glass and plastic industries, lower price may act as a significant driver of its demand. Crystalware & glassware market has experienced decline in demand in developed regions such as North America and Europe. The market is expected to decline further in future because of economic crisis combined with increase in market share of cheap imported products from Asia Pacific region.
In developed regions such as Europe and North America, due to an influx of cheap products from China, retailers are being forced to lower their prices to survive in competing market. In addition to this, economic crisis resulting in slowing wages and rising living cost has forced European and North American market to saturate. On the other hand European and North American manufacturers are more focusing on emerging markets such as Asia Pacific and Middle East region where fast growing middle class want to invest in quality crystalware & glassware products from renowned brands. Because of this in future the market is expected to be driven by Asia Pacific and Middle East region but existing ceramic and plastic products in those regions will hinder its growth.
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Some of the major companies involved in the Potassium Formate market are Lenox Corporation (U.S.), Lifetime Brands, Inc. (U.S.), Guy Degrenne SA (France), The Denby Pottery Company Ltd. (UK), Libbey, Inc. (U.S.), Villeroy & Boch AG (Germany), Noritake Co., Ltd. (Japan), World Kitchen, LLC. (U.S.), The Zrike Company, Inc. (U.S.), WWRD Holdings Ltd. (UK), WMF Wurttembergische Metallwarenfabrik AG (Germany), and Oneida Ltd. (U.S.).
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