Everything…Covid disrupted it all. Every industry. Every corner of every industry. Promotional Product sales were certainly among the victims.
2020 meant an immediate spike in Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE. Face masks…logo’d and blank, as well as hand sanitizers, which had always been a favorite, experienced search spikes across all promotional product company websites. As expected, 2021 brought those search totals and subsequent sales figures back to earth. Yes, they were still up versus 2019 and years prior to, but not close to 2020 levels. The same is expected in 2022.
However, some giveaway specialty ad items once thought to be fads brought on by the pandemic have actually emerged as trends.
Once such trend is food as a giveaway item. Promotional Product companies have long offered food items as great gift giveaways. Yours truly included. BrandVision Marketing offers a wide variety of ways to spark the pathway of appreciation through the tummy.
However, thought to be a pandemic-induced fad, sales of food-themed promotional products soared in 2020, but it doesn’t seem to be going away. There was a 25 percent spike in searches across promo websites in 2020 for food, but that number remained strong in 2021. Last year saw a 22 percent increase in website search for food gifts in 2021 compared to 2019.
Case in point, the following have remained strong ‘trenders’ through the heart of the pandemic and beyond:
- The Classics: Cookies and gourmet brownies
- High-End Chocolate boxes
- Mug Stuffers (hot cocoa, etc.)
- Meat and Cheese sets for the whole family to enjoy
- Pasta kits with branded wines
- Movie Night with popcorn tins
- Relaxation sets packed with comfort food with favorites from Godiva, M&M’s, etc.
Why should you consider food as a giveaway alternative?
With most food source options local, items are prepared and shipped the same day, helping to by-pass the supply chain issues we’ve seen with many overseas items.
Plus, many suppliers have broadened their offerings to deliver a wide variety of fresh goods–even fruits, cheeses, bagels, soft pretzels and more.
In the promotional product category, BrandVision has always preached two key components: Functionality and Visibility.
You want to provide items that will be functional to the end user, whether they are valued prospects, customers or employees. You want to invest in something that will truly be a marketing piece for months to come, if not longer. Functionality is key to accomplishing that.
Functionality feeds visibility as well. If the person is using the item, it’s being seen by them and their immediate sphere of in-person connections.
Food doesn’t really seem to fit that mode, does it?
Well, not on first glance. However, the key to achieving a lasting marketing effect is in the packaging. The functionality of the food is automatic. Food appeals to the strong human need to eat, right! It can be comforting. It can offer and experience that the person will truly enjoy and appreciate. Food, from a functionality standpoint, can truly be a universal win.
The packaging becomes the key because the packaging can create visibility for some time.
First is the experiential factor. A package arrives for you. It’s exciting…especially when you realize it isn’t your monthly ‘subscribe and save’ from Amazon. No. This is something special and something that can truly be enjoyed.
If the food is packaged correctly…oh, say a nice logo’d popcorn tin… then, it’s probably going to stick around and be re-used during many, many family movie nights. That kind of stickability is exactly what you’re looking for.
So, food is no fad. Not when it comes to the promotional products industry moving into 2022.
Need ideas for a giveaway item or upcoming event? Email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Scott Trueblood, of BrandVision Marketing. BrandVision Marketing is a full-service marketing agency based in Knoxville, TN.