Fairs: Demand for „sensual products“

(November 2011) Many of the market novelties seen during our recent visit to Cersaie or seen in recent ceramic industry press releases point to excellent marketing opportunities for the natural stone industry. The annual trade fair held in Bologna, this year from September 20th to 24th, is considered the hub for bathroom design.

There seems to be a trend toward more lively décor in wall tiles as reflected in many ceramic products: new lines carry embossed patterns inviting beholders to a tactile experience or to follow the design optically.

Customers’ attraction to irregularities in pattern or material can be derived from the industry’s high standard in replication of natural stone or wood.

Some companies have already recognized the trend. We repeatedly reported how stone tiles now proudly present surface irregularities instead of trying to hide the natural surface properties.

„Sensual products“ could be the buzzword describing current customer wishes involving all senses.

As usual, the ceramic branch showed innovative colour creations. We noted that jazzy colours (with which the engineered stone branch originally intended to take over the market) have all but disappeared from the palette. At least for the time being. „Colour your life“ is still a motto reverberating in the fair halls.

As for formats, many new rectangles have been added. Size: 1.2 m was the maximum being produced.

Two more points are worth special mention: normal citizens were invited to participate this time again within „Cersaie downtown – le strate di design“ („Cersaie downtown – design street“) where show cases containing new products lined the city’s streets; a congress held simultaneously was dedicated to architectural themes and invited consumers to visit the stands.

See our photo gallery for products, including natural stone, as well as pictures of stands at the fair. Statistics are included at the end in a special table. As is the case in Italy’s stone branch, statistics reflect the current struggle of the Italian markets: Bologna saw fewer local visitors than foreign attendees for the first time this year.

Cersaie 2012, September 25th to 29th