CORNING, N.Y.-At a ribbon-cutting ceremony and plant tour earlier this week, World Kitchen, maker of Corelle brand dinnerware, celebrated the completion of construction and startup operations of its third glass-melting tank at the company’s facility here. The new tank, which took more than 14 months to build, will increase Corelle production capacity by 50 percent.
Corelle dinnerware has been in continuous production at the Corning plant since its introduction in 1970.
“This major investment in one of our two U.S. production facilities positions us to accelerate growth of our Corelle dinnerware brand both in key North American and our ever-expanding global markets,” said Joseph Mallof, World Kitchen’s president and CEO.
The new glass-melting tank can produce up to 45 million pieces annually when running at full capacity, the company said. The plant’s total output, with three tanks running at full capacity, is 135 million pieces annually.
More than 3.2 billion pieces of Corelle dinnerware have been manufactured at the plant since 1970, according to Mark Campbell, the plant director.
International markets now represent 40 percent of total sales for the Corelle dinnerware brand, Mallof said at the ribbon cutting, and they continue to see double-digit growth. Key international markets for the brand are China, India and Korea, where Corelle business grew more than 30 percent in 2010, he said. “With our increased capacity, we’re poised not only for continued double-digit global growth, but also to increase our introductions of new and innovative products to drive expansion of the brands in North America and worldwide,” he said.