The Rise of Reusable Merchandise
Drinkware has always been an ‘in-demand’ category in the branded merchandise industry but just why is there so much interest, and demand, for reusable coffee cups, hydration bottles and portable drink vessels?
Undoubtedly some of the rise can be attributed to the burgeoning interest in all things eco. The ‘Blue Planet’ effect and awareness of the devastating effect of single-use plastics has finally reached the masses. This coupled with high street coffee chain initiatives encouraging the use of ‘keep cups’ and reusable travel cups has driven demand to record highs.
Saving the ocean and our planet has become a more mainstream concept and is touching more lives than ever before – prompting the everyman to consider kinder alternatives and simple ways to integrate sustainable living into the every-day routine. Reusable drinkware represents a fairly subtle shift into contributing to such causes and is within reach of most people.
Popular culture also has a part to play, with programmes like Love Island creating a desire for personalised reusable hydration bottles – a must-have trend that just happens to tick the environmental box too. According to an ITV spokesperson, 270,000 bottles were sold during the 8 weeks the programme aired in the summer of 2018. With audience viewing figures in the millions, the awareness of reusable drink bottles has maximum exposure.
Closely aligned to the eco-movement is the growing desire for companies and employers to improve their CSR credentials and instil such values in their employees. On-boarding processes and welcome packs increasingly include reusable drinkware, in the form of insulated coffee cups and water bottles, as an affordable gift to new starters with exposure for the company outside the office walls an added bonus. Similarly, such gifts are used in the corporate gifting sector, offering utility and advertising possibilities at the same time.
The relatively low cost of reusable drinkware has also led to the spawning of a plethora of cottage industries, specialising solely in slogan’d merchandise and sold through ecommerce platforms like Etsy and Not on The High Street. Coffee cups plastered with memes, stainless steel thermos flask bottles and increasingly, glass drinkware, are all making their presence known and have become popular giftables.
Global health trends could also be contributing to growth in some sectors of the drinkware market with more of us taking insulated bottles to the gym and exercise classes. Awareness of the general benefits of hydration could also be driving increased demand as consumers seek to save money by refilling their own bottles. Adverse publicity on the potentially harmful microplastics in some single-use bottles is also encouraging the adoption of safer alternatives.
These are just some of the key trends driving the upturn in drinkware. Some reports suggest the drinkware market will be worth a staggering $35 billion by 2024. So, however you look at it, reusable drinkware is here to stay and represents a cost-effective way to reach consumers, clients and employees in a meaningful and responsible way.