Colored pencil sets, washi tape, paint supplies and more have all experienced double-digit growth in the past year.
From slime to crafts to coloring and more, the latest trends surrounding creative expression are driving U.S. sales of office supplies ahead of the Easter holiday, according to The NPD Group.
“Today’s art and handmade movement is positively impacting office supplies sales. This is leading to a higher rate of engagement by consumers in the market with traditional office and school supply items,” says Leen Nsouli, director, office supplies industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Children and adults alike are sharing in these trends–participating individually, socially and as a family–and I believe this creativity will influence families as they design Easter baskets for children and young adults this year.”
Highlights from The NPD Group’s report include:
- Washi tape has seen dollar sales grow by 41 percent in the past year and actual unit sales have more than doubled. Furthermore, sales for tape with patterns, logos and designs are up 31 percent.
- Colored pencil sets and coloring pages have seen the highest dollar sales growth in the industry with $49.2 million (27 percent). Meanwhile, traditional pens and color and permanent markers grew a combined $45.4 million.
- Painting and paint supplies have also experienced significant growth, with paintbrush pens up in sales by 47 percent and acrylic paint comprising of one-third of category sales.
- Book/planner sales grew by 9 percent and select notebooks by 8 percent–a combined increase of $39.8 million in one year.
“Consumers are becoming highly accustomed to a level of customization across product categories, services and marketing communication that has never existed and before. The need to feel unique and express that through personalized products and experiences is having an influence across industries, and office supplies is no exception,” says Nsouli. “Industry players who are not taking advantage of these trends are missing out. Manufacturers and retailers are already interacting with consumers on a daily basis through social media outlets, and this presents an opportunity to also play a part in shaping the next big trend. To be successful in today’s competitive retail environment, it’s crucial for industry players to think outside of the basket.”