From Paint Nights to Adult Coloring, a Handmade Movement in the U.S. is Shaping New Opportunities for the Office Supplies Industry, According to NPD

Port Washington, NY, April 26, 2016 – Crayons, colored pencils, and chalkboards may evoke a feeling of childhood nostalgia, but as more adult consumers exercise the art of crafting, a handmade movement is driving up art and coloring supply sales. This is also carving out new opportunities for the office supplies industry, according to “Adult Coloring, Crafting, and the Handmade Movement: An NPD Office Supplies Industry Report,” from global information company The NPD Group.  

Coloring and art supplies is an over $1.1 billion market, with in-store and online sales growing over $75 million combined in 2015*. This growth is being driven by art and craft paper, paint, and painting supplies.

“The handmade movement will continue to gain momentum, especially as more consumers place added focus on health and wellness, creative outlets, and a do-it-yourself approach to projects,” said Leen Nsouli, director and office supplies industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Social crafting networks will continue to expand, providing consumers the opportunity to simultaneously socialize and craft.”

Within the art and craft paper category, coloring pages, which includes adult coloring books, is the largest segment based on dollar volume and also saw the largest store dollar growth in 2015. Looking at online sales, drawing paper and coloring pages accounted for more than one-third of online growth within the category. With paint nights and adult coloring gaining in popularity, sales of complementary products such as colored pencils, gel and porous pens, painting accessories, and acrylic paint are driving growth within their respective categories.  

 “Social activities like paint nights continue to grow in participation in the U.S. and worldwide, providing the average consumer with fun and entertainment, and a chance to make new connections. The social and digital aspects of this movement have also opened the door for more consumers to build, maintain, and grow a small business,” said Nsouli. “The adult coloring books phenomenon is indicative of consumers’ need to sit back, relax, and focus on something creative also providing ‘me-time.’ Adult coloring has gained so much popularity worldwide that colored pencil manufacturers are challenged to keep up with the growing global demand.”

Paper and paint aside, chalk and chalkboard usage is another crafting trend that is influencing industry sales, as these items are being used not only for school, but for businesses, home offices, and as home décor. Looking at coloring sales, the chalk category saw the largest in-store dollar sales increase in 2015, surpassing crayons in 2015. Both dollar and unit sales for chalkboards more than doubled in 2015 compared to the prior year.

“Embedded within the handmade movement is a do-it-yourself and organizational attitude. Supply tools are going beyond functional and now occupy both a practical and creative space in the world of home and office décor. In many cases, this creativity is an outlet to help ease stress related to the busy lives consumers lead. Organization, too, is important to them as well as to the office supplies industry,” added Nsouli. “Younger and older consumers alike are getting creative in a number of new and different ways, and if these trends are not top of mind with retailers and manufacturers, it certainly should be.”   


*Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Weekly Retail Tracking Service, 52 weeks ending January 02, 2016

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