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‘We relate to fashion & beauty’

business Updated: Oct 24, 2010 20:59 IST
Anita Sharan

Indian consumers don’t want flashy designs on their crockery because they eat colourful, spicy food, which they don’t want bleeding into their crockery colours. That’s one of the insights Anna Eide, head of innovation and design, Corelle, gave during a Q&A with Hindustan Times. She also gave an idea of how keen Corelle is to make a big impact on the Indian dining table. Corelle is a major crockery brand from World Kitchen, which is manufactured only out of New York, USA, but is sold across the globe.

Corelle has been around in India since 1998. Why is it taking keen interest in this market only now?
The Indian SEC A & B consumers, who we are targeting, are interested in buying branded crockery of the best quality now. They are modern in outlook, trendy, and are exposed to international styles and brands. Across the Asia Pacific region, our brand awareness is high and we will leverage this in India too. We are going to be increasing our investments in India significantly since it is a very important market for us.

What’s so special about Corelle that Indian consumers would prefer it to other brands?
It’s in the technology. There are three layers of glass in Corelle products, which are white in base colour with designs, fully laminated and therefore very hygienic, chip and break resistant, and the patterns are all inside the lamination, so they don’t fade or damage in time. Also, we are the only brand worldwide that creates unique, square-shaped crockery besides the regular round stuff.

But surely, there are other brands that can compete, especially those that are locally tuned in?
We are making focused efforts to understand different markets in the world. India is important for us. We will learn more about what works here and specifically create products and designs for this market. For example, we have created small bowls (katoris) especially for the Indian market and rice bowls to eat from for the China market. Besides, we have created designs to appeal to Indian tastes —more floral, sometimes geometric too, bright but not flashy, not all over the place, trendy. Different from the US market’s liking for bigger motifs. The US designs don’t appeal to Indian consumers.

How do you find out what products and designs you will need to create for specific markets?
We do a lot of focus groups and sampling of our products. We observe stores, designers, and listen to the language of our target consumers. What are they wearing, eating, watching in movies, talking? Put it all together and you have a story. We are always checking with our target consumers.

What would you do to attract consumers to Corelle?
We relate to fashion and beauty. For example, we do fashion shows where models display our products, among other things. We will drive the fashion aspect of our products. You should wear it – that’s where our inspiration is coming from. You should admire it, own it and take pride in owning it. Our aim is to bring beauty into an everyday event, to enable you to make the mealtime a special occasion that you have created, and to express that special moment.