EXCLUSIVE: Lockhart vows to shake up market with premium Crème line

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Lockhart Catering Equipment has vowed to shake up the UK market after unveiling arguably the most significant range of own-label tableware in its history.

Staff at the company were given their first glimpse of the new premium line last night, ahead of a direct mail and marketing campaign set to roll out later this month.

Called ‘Crème’, the range combines a balanced ivory colouring with an array of innovative shapes and profiles that Lockhart claims creates the ideal “blank canvas” for chefs to present their art.

The launch has seen Lockhart move away from the traditional thought process of designing tableware and instead collaborate with some of the UK’s most exciting culinary stars as well as internationally-renowned designer Philip Forrest-Smith.

Consisting of five distinctive collections and 82 separate items, all of which can be mixed and matched, the range also includes four ‘signature’ plates notable for their unconventional shape.

Iain Hicks, executive for Lockhart’s exclusive brands, said the range offers something that isn’t currently available in the market place.

“We believe that Crème is really going to shake up the market place,” he said. “It is the most significant development in UK tableware market for many years. The combination of quality price and innovation is truly irresistible. Crème is certainly about stunning style, it’s about quality, performance, backed up by an edge-chip guarantee and incredibly remarkable prices. This all adds up to extraordinary value.”

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There are five collections and 82 pieces in the Creme range.

Hicks said the company had benchmarked Crème against the leading brands in the market and that it “truly stands up to the test”. It will be priced approximately 15% below the lowest price points of those brands.

He added that Crème is produced from the finest European clays, and contains a high content of alumina, while a 100% lead-free glaze ensures it can be exposed to daily dishwashes and the stress of a busy restaurant operation. The range is manufactured in a brand new dedicated $30m (m) factory that uses the best German and Italian machinery available.

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The range comes with the tagline ‘The Art of the Affordable’.

Crème is seen as a significant step in the evolution of Lockhart’s own-label or ‘exclusive’ brand strategy. Over the past 18 months it has doubled the number of exclusive lines it offers from six to 12 and revamped its marketing collateral.

“With that [expansion of the range] we have created exceptional growth and we have saved our customers money, literally hundreds of thousands of pounds,” said Paul Nieduszynski, managing director of Lockhart Catering Equipment at the launch last night. “But the truth is that we have really been on catch-up versus our competitors. We have been following, we have been copying and we have really been focused on the economy brands. What I would like to signal [with the Crème launch] is a new era for our exclusive brands; a new era where we are moving from ‘copying, following and economy’ to ‘premium, different and leading’.”

The five lines within the Crème range include the Impressions Collection, the Monet Collection, the Matisse Collection, the Renoir Collection and the Cezanne Collection.

The introduction of Crème forms part of a wider set of launches that Lockhart is announcing at its annual show in Manchester today and throughout this month. Other new lines include its ‘28’ premium cutlery line and a range of heavy duty plastic ‘Plasma’ drinkware.

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Lockhart staff check out the new Creme line at a launch event in Manchester last night.

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