It was about two years ago that we at NPD detected the adult coloring book trend beginning to take flight and, alongside this trend, sales of colored pencils, markers, and even gel pens soared. During the first month of the 2015 holiday season, sales of coloring pages were up 70 percent and sales of complementary products like colored pencil sets grew over 100 percent. Demand for these items was so strong that some manufacturers were unable to turn around enough colored pencils to meet the consumer demand. Exactly one year later and the consumer demand for these products has continued.
Sales of adult coloring-related items have reached and surpassed October 2015 levels. Activities related to coloring have been linked to health and wellness, a lifestyle trend that is having a positive influence across industries. To satiate the expansive color palettes they crave while bringing life to the coloring books’ intricate designs, consumers are buying large-pack sizes of colored pencil sets, with the greatest dollar growth coming from 36, 50, and 100-pack sets. Gel and porous pens are also seeing a boost from this trend. Gel, a category which currently makes up 44 percent of all traditional pen sales, is driving growth in the pen category. During October, gel pen sales rose by 16 percent. This growth was likely amplified by the “InkTober Initiative,” a worldwide drawing challenge conceived in 2009 in which artists commit to producing one ink drawing per day for the month of October. As more consumers get in touch with their artistic side this holiday season, we will continue to see sales of coloring pages and complementary products rise into 2017.
Whether for themselves or as holiday gifts, consumers continue to purchase coloring-related items. The concept of coloring has become so popular that it has stretched beyond solo coloring, to coloring in groups or as a family. On another social level, Instagram and Pinterest have made it easier than ever for consumers to share the art they create. As new coloring, drawing, and painting trends take hold, manufacturers will need to reinvent and innovate, to meet consumers’ demand in finding different ways to create and share art as a means of personal expression.
*Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Weekly Retail Tracking Service, 4 weeks ending October 29, 2016