Trendy swag ideas like futuristic VR headsets and retro disposable cameras incorporated into your marketing and advertising campaigns is a great way to capture the attention of overstimulated consumers typically exposed to thousands of ads per day.
In general, promotional product trends tend to mirror consumer product trends. However, popular marketing strategies also influence the type of items selected by companies as promotional gifts for customers, sales prospects, and employees. The rise of the health and wellness market, consumer interest in sustainability, and the increasing popularity of athleisure – these are some of the key trends that impacted the promotional products industry in 2021. In addition, the prevalence of nostalgia marketing as a strategy used by businesses to connect to consumers in need of comfort during the global COVID-19 pandemic also drove sales of retro-themed promotional products like fanny packs, tie dye tote bags, and vintage-style apparel. According to Forbes, retro and throwback designs will remain a marketing and branding trend in 2022.
In 2022, we predict that businesses will continue to purchase plenty of retro, sustainable, and wellness promotional products as well as custom athleisure apparel. 10 of the best up-and-coming promotional product trends to try in 2022 (based on evolving consumer behavior and preferences and burgeoning consumer product trends) include:
1.) Blanket Hoodie
Consumer interest in all things cozy, comfy, and relaxing soared during the pandemic, driving the athleisure apparel trend, spa bathroom trend, and wellness product sales. Wellness-promoting blankets like infrared sauna blankets and weighted blankets became sought-after items during the pandemic. So it’s no surprise that cute, comfortable, and functional blanket hoodies have also become increasingly popular with U.S. consumers over the past two years, especially during the winter months.
Also known as a wearable blanket with hood, Dunkin’ is one of the brands that added a blanket hoodie to their branded merchandise collection in 2021. This cozy item makes a great wintertime promotional product for Q1 2022.
✨ Happy @dunkindonuts holiday merch release date to those who celebrate! ✨
I just chaotically bought the Dunkin’ wearable blanket 🍩 pic.twitter.com/8Mf4RLRtKo
— Ana Breton (@missbreton) November 18, 2021
2.) Beekman 1802 Hand Care Gift Set
Self-care products are sought after by consumers. According to Forbes, “With the global wellness industry now worth $4.5 trillion, self-care looks set to continue to dominate in 2022.” All-natural skincare products like lotions and soaps derived from vitamin-rich goat milk are especially favored by consumers right now. That’s because skincare products made from goat milk are ultra-moisturizing and gentle on sensitive skin. According to Google Trends, searches like beekmans goat milk soap and Beekman 1802 are rising search queries. Available in attractively packaged customizable gift sets, Beekman 1802 goat milk hand care products – recently endorsed by Oprah – are definitely on-trend for 2022.
3.) Stone Face Rollers
One of the best promotional products for health, beauty, and wellness companies in 2022 is a stone face roller. Google searches for face roller have significantly increased since the beginning of 2020. Face rollers containing quartz or jade stone are often used to massage the face, reduce puffiness, and tighten skin.
What’s behind this trend? American consumers – including the Gen Z demographic – are more interested in preventative skin care regimens than ever before. After decades of popularity in countries like France, Korea, and China, daily facial massages and face massage tools like gua sha stones and face rollers are being incorporated into more and more skin care routines in the U.S. Massage guns are another wellness product expected to grow in popularity in 2022.
4.) 3-in-1 Charging Station
Google searches in the U.S. for 3 in 1 charging station have also increased over the past two years. This time-saving device makes it easy to recharge a smartphone, smart watch, and ear pods all at the same time.
Docksy, a customizable 3-in-1 charging dock, was one of our bestselling tech promotional products last year. We expect consumer interest in 3-in-1 charging stations or docks to continue in 2022.
5.) Charcuterie Board
Charcuterie boards were one of 2021’s top food trends. As 2022 begins, Google searches for charcuterie boards continue to rise. Vegan charcuterie board ideas and mini charcuterie boards are especially trendy right now.
Our favorite charcuterie board for promotional campaigns in 2022 is a full-size charcuterie board by La Cuisine. Handcrafted from sustainable acacia wood, this handsome charcuterie board can be customized with your company logo.
6.) Titleist Golf Balls
Recreational golf is having a moment. Throughout 2020 and 2021, the relaxing pastime of golf was frequently adopted by new retirees and others interested in a hobby conducive to social distancing.
That makes name brand golf accessories and equipment a trending swag idea for spring and summer of 2022. Titleist Pro V1 golf balls were one of our most popular sports promotional products in 2021. Considering the rising interest in Titleist golf balls (as reflected through online Google searches), we absolutely expect that these premium golf balls will continue to be sought after in 2022, as well.
7.) Ring Light and Recording Microphone Kit
The COVID-19 pandemic saw a significant rise in both telecommuting and social media usage – including video-centric platforms like TikTok. According to The Atlantic, the proliferation of Zoom meetings during this time period “helped ring lights cross over to the mainstream consumer market.” All these months later, ring lights are still growing in popularity. In fact, Google searches for ring lights increased 36% during the second half of 2021, according to Exploding Topics (see below).
Our McStreamy kit which includes a 10” ring light with integrated cell phone holder and studio-quality microphone was one of our most popular promotional product bundles in 2021. Due to continued consumer interest in podcasting as a hobby and social video apps like TikTok, we expect this kit will continue to be in demand in 2022 as well.
8.) Sustainable Activewear
The growing consumer interest in sustainability is reflected in nearly all consumer product categories, including apparel, kitchenware, and technology. According to Google’s latest annual review of search trend, global searches for sustainability reached record highs in 2021 and Americans searched en masse for sustainable products like sandals, pens, and activewear in 2021. Since athleisure was also a rising apparel trend in 2020 and 2021, it is no surprise to see increased consumer interest in sustainable activewear right now. Some sustainable activewear items that will make great promotional products in 2022 include:
A 100% no-sweatshop company, Bella + Canvas uses sustainable manufacturing processes with Blue Sign certified dyes, efficient dye houses that adhere to the state of California’s EPA regulations around waste water treatment/usage, and cutting facilities in Los Angeles that run on partial solar power with comprehensive recycling programs for paper waste and fabric scraps.
9.) Shirt Jackets
Retro shirt jackets aka shackets were one of the hottest fashion trends to emerge at the end of 2021. Because these overshirt-style jackets are a great transitional piece for spring, we expect to see more custom shirt jackets utilized as promotional products and corporate gifts in 2022. Popular fabrics for trendy shackets include corduroy, flannel, and faux leather. Our favorite shirt jacket for 2022 is the Spyder Adult Transit Shirt Jacket which features two front chest pockets with snap closure – a classic shacket feature.
Dear #GenZ, got a #shacket on your wish list this year? We feel obliged to inform you that your grandma and grandpa rocked this trend first, circa 1975. The proof is in the #MailOrderCatalogues, bestie!
— LibraryArchivesCanada (@LibraryArchives) December 13, 2021
10.) Swag Packs
What’s a swag pack? A custom kit or bundle of promotional products, swag packs became a popular personalized corporate gift for employees, remote event attendees, and VIP clients at the beginning of the pandemic. They continue to grow in popularity today. We expect that companies will send plenty of trendy swag packs as gifts throughout 2022, as well.
From contents to packaging, swag packs are completely customizable – and that’s why they are one of the top promotional product trends to try in 2022. Some of our favorite themed swag pack ideas for the upcoming spring and summer seasons include:
The perfect self-care swag pack for this moment (global Google searches for how to maintain mental health were higher than ever before in 2021);
U.S. Google searches for glamping increased in both 2020 and 2021, indicating this travel trend shows no sign of slowing down;
A more rugged swag pack for outdoor adventurers.
Additional consumer preferences to watch in 2022 that may influence future promotional product trends include checkerboard patterned apparel and accessories, sleep-tracking smart rings, sage green décor and apparel, and foods and beverages featuring antioxidant-rich hibiscus.
Incorporate Trendy Swag Ideas into your Next Marketing Campaign
To help our customers find the best trending branded swag ideas for 2022, we also recently reviewed the 25 most popular promotional products in 2021 and provided an overview of current trends in the corporate gifting and promotional products industry.
For one-on-one assistance with selecting the trendiest – and most cost-effective – promotional products for your upcoming marketing campaigns, contact our Customer Service team or fill out the form below.