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With the arrival of the year 2021 we can transmit for the first time an optimistic and positive message based on the recovery of the promotional products market.
Throughout this article, the latest report on the market situation corresponding to the first quarter of 2021 will be analyzed, along with the variation in sales, the current indicators, the leading indicators, the trends by categories of product, the great challenges facing the industry in the short term and, finally, the three great lessons that this report leaves us.
During the different semesters of 2020, we appreciate how the peak of the pandemic affected each of the product groups of the industry to a greater or lesser extent. It is in the first quarter of 2021 when for the first time we see a real recovery both for distributors or claimants and for suppliers or wholesalers.
Printing shop billing remains negative, although it improves compared to two of the three readings, and agencies are placed in neutral for the first time. In short, for the first time we clearly see a net growth in sales since the pandemic began more than a year ago.
A reading above 50 indicates business activity is rising while a reading below indicates the opposite – index tracks sales, pre-tax profitability, employment and prices.
In this case, activity is monitored in terms of budgets, new orders and business confidence, and any value above 50 anticipates growth and shows positive. In the October 2020 report it already showed 55.7%, and today the value already shows a tremendous recovery above 70%.
This means that this report that anticipates the “current indicators” allows us to predict that the report for the second quarter of 2021 will reinforce growth and positive values.
It is essential to analyze the demand for products by category, and in recent months it had been seen that it focused on healthcare or protection products, technology and drinkware.
In this case, we have practically all the products above 50, which indicates growth. The only one that suffers a blow in terms of demand and suffers a slow slowdown is healthcare, although it still remains at 47.3%.
Finally, the tradeshow and events sector, the one most affected by the pandemic by far, although still below 50, triples its growth.
The latest trend data by product category allows us to see practically data very similar to those in the pre-pandemic era, which translates into a normal demand for promotional products.
Companies were asked to report what have been their greatest challenges during the pandemic. The most common response was the “Decreases in demand” that will likely cease in the following months.
Supply disruptions, shipping issues, increases in consumable/substrate prices, and employee shortages will likely be the challenges that last as inflation rises throughout the recovery period. The reduction in demand will disappear, which can be seen in the indicators and in the reactivation of the economy.
The biggest challenges according the analysis results are:
In short, it is very important not to forget the lessons of the pandemic and take on those challenges that we have pending in this reconversion.
In any case, the first months of the year 2021 leave us very good news after such a long time.