Trending Products

1. Suppliers Go Big on Sustainability
The eco-friendly trend has been growing over the past few years (it was our top trend in last year’s PPAI Expo Product Trends recap), but it now feels like it’s really picking up steam. Nearly every supplier we visited had some sort of eco-friendly or eco-conscious product on display, and we even overheard distributor attendees asking some suppliers what eco-friendly options they had. (One supplier, who we won’t name, did not have any eco-friendly products available, much to a distributor’s disappointment.)

2. Cannabis Is Now Mainstream
With recreational cannabis legal in an increasing amount of states in the U.S. and on a federal level in Canada, distributors would be wise to look for promotional opportunities relating to cannabis the same way they do for craft beer or bars.

OK, this first one isn’t actual cannabis, but with the growth in understanding of cannabis comes a boom in hemp products, which has been used as a sturdy natural material for a long, long time. Eco Hempware had a nice display of household items made from hemp, adding another solid substitution for artificial materials.

3. Boxier or Heavyweight T-Shirts
Fashion is cyclical, so as the slimmer-fitting silhouettes of the 2010s give way to ’90s-inspired, boxier, heavier T-shirts, apparel companies are offering bulkier looks and feels.

Hanes was heavily promoting its Beefy T, which involved someone in a bull costume strutting around the show floor. We always appreciate a good live mascot, and we appreciate a fashion-forward T-shirt even more. (Well, almost more.)

4. Smartphone Grips Are Still Huge

No one wants to be the person with a spider-webbed smartphone screen. For one thing, it’s a good way to cut your fingers up. For another, it’s pretty difficult to read or look at pictures on a cracked screen. So, suppliers are offering a lot of ways for end-users to keep a grip on their phones.

PopSockets are still hugely popular, and iClick has made them a big part of their Expo display. There are tons of different styles of them, so no matter what look end-buyers are looking for, there’s a PopSocket for that. They’re going to be even more popular with the news that PopSocket is introducing a wireless charger specifically made for smartphones with a PopSocket grip.