Business Irish

Thursday 5 December 2019

Rise of spirits bolsters classic Waterford Crystal glasses

 

Emily Brophy, marketing manager of Waterford, Wedgwood and Royal Doulton at Brown Thomas. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Emily Brophy, marketing manager of Waterford, Wedgwood and Royal Doulton at Brown Thomas. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

Nostalgic television programmes and the rise in popularity of spirits and cocktails has helped maintain the popularity of classic Waterford Crystal, according to the company's marketing manager Emily Brophy.

"There will always be a return to classics," she said. "We saw the trend with Mad Men or even Peaky Blinders where they are drinking whiskey from cut crystal tumblers."

Brophy is based in Waterford city and responsible for Waterford, Wedgwood, Royal Doulton and Royal Albert, as well as the Visitor Centre in Waterford city, which attracts 200,000 visitors each year.

"The trend for spirits is continuing to grow. In Ireland there are maybe 52 brands of Irish gin at the moment in the marketplace," she says.

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"Gin has been on trend for a couple of years but it seems to have really taken off at the moment. So for us our gin journey collection - the balloon glasses - which we only launched about 18 months ago are very popular."

Similarly, Waterford has launched a whiskey series which caters for modern ways of drinking the spirit.

"Some people might have old perceptions in their head about Waterford but it's really about getting it back out of the cabinet again and using it," she added.

"We don't want people to be gifted it at birthdays or weddings and say they don't know what to do with this. You want a product people will use."

In 2015 Nasdaq-listed Fiskars agreed to pay about €400m for WWRD (Waterford Wedgwood Royal Doulton) to KPS Capital Partners, a New York private equity fund.

While large volumes of Waterford are produced at the company's factory in Slovenia, larger pieces are made in Waterford city.

Some 150 people are employed there across office functions and manufacturing.

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