As always, suppliers are having to work hard to keep up with changing barware trends in 2018.

Anyone in the foodservice industry knows that to stand out from competitors is an on-going challenge.

Keeping up to date with trends – or even setting them – keeps an establishment relevant, and the customers coming back.

While ‘differentiation’ may be an over-used term it strengthens brand value, and can be achieved using the simplest of measures – barware, for example!

Elegant bar and glassware plus dynamic presentations can create an aesthetic extention of brand. The right glassware can even dictate the menu and allow creativity to flow and because of this ranges everywhere continue to evolve and expand.

Today’s barware is a combination of style and functionality. Often drawing inspiration from days goneby – Mason jar anyone? – variation is the name of the game and drinkware purveyors are trying to help their customers create a fuller guest experience.

Millenials are driving this as their expectations are much broader. Where before the look and aroma of a beverage was an afterthought it is very much part of the whole experience now and so customers are looking for more innovative ways to use and present their glassware.

Back to the future

Suresh Kanji, general manager of distributor Town House says, “Barware trends are continuing in the retro mode with cut crystal being a big feature of the range of items being promoted by Nachtmann Crystal a division of Riedel Crystal. Nachtmann has introduced a wide range of different tumbler and highball ranges to their collection over the last 12 months and this trend will continue through 2018.”

According to Kanji, coloured glass is also becoming more popular “to help create a distinctive more interesting look from uncut, clear and thin stemware, which is always best for wine.

“We are also seeing the effects of the growing demand for whisky and customers are looking for smaller glasses for fine whisky, plus specialist whisky glasses, such as the Riedel Single Malt whisky glass.”

For Kanji it is the “progressive [barware] companies” which create trends.

“In 2016 Nachtmann introduced a small collection of cut crystal tumblers and the reaction from the hotel and restaurant market was positive. This has led to further developments with a wider range of products, new designs and an effort to make prices extremely attractive. The tumblers start at HK$32/pc, which for the quality and design, is an unbelievable price.”