To try to keep up with changing tastes today, Noritake introduces new product lines twice a year, up to 10 designs each time, according to both Suzuki and Peter Goldberger, vice president of marketing and merchandising at the firm's offices in Fair Lawn, N.J.
One of the most important introductions in 2005 was the Centura collection, Goldberger
"It takes an older shape, a baroque or scallop shape, that is usually associated with fairly traditional looks, but we took the shape and updated it with a play of color," he
Noritake's design team in New Jersey consists of five people, four of whom were Noritake-trained in Japan for years, according to Goldberger
.There are two women on the team, one of whom actually had experience in textiles rather than ceramics.
"These are extremely talented artists as well as designers" who work with other product people to monitor the U.S. market.
"Part of their task is picking up on the pulse of the market, but execution is the most important part," Goldberger
said."We are looking at what isn't out there in the marketplace.What are the voids in our patterns, what are the voids in the industry?"
For the past 10 years, the trend toward a more casual lifestyle has been a growing focus for Noritake, said Goldberger
"It's a challenge," he
said, "but one we are ready to meet."