Even as the calendar turned over to February, The ASI Show Dallas still carried the buzz of anticipation for the new year, with attendees eager to see the latest and greatest products from suppliers. Here were some of the biggest trends at the show.
The Yeti Effect: Yeti is one of the hottest brands in retail (and one of the most sought-after in the industry), and its influence could be seen all over the show. Vacuum-sealed tumblers are now standard at any drinkware supplier’s booth. Meanwhile, rugged coolers in recognizable shapes and sizes were featured by several suppliers, including Grizzly Coolers (asi/58224), Bison Coolers (asi/40588), Taiga Coolers (asi/90526) and the Frio line of coolers from VP Brand (asi/93997). Grizzly Coolers, for example, offers Made-in-the-USA coolers with a lifetime warranty and three different styles of decorations. And if your clients won’t settle for anything but the Yeti name, you had to wander over to the Corporate Gifts and Incentives Pavilion, where suppliers like Premco Associates (asi/79373) had the real thing.
Socks: Men have embraced cheeky and colorful socks over the last few years, and that spillover is now reaching the promo industry in full with a number of suppliers. Sock Club (asi/88072), for example, started out as a consumer sock of the month club, but in the process “we learned how to make our own design of socks,” said Founder Dane Jensen. The company now features comfy socks with creative designs and upscale packaging that appeals to tech companies, fun-loving firms and more. The Austin, TX-based company makes their socks in the USA.
Made in the USA: President Trump would have been proud to walk the Dallas show floor. Dozens of companies unabashedly indicated their wares are made here in America – everything from custom T-shirts to glassware to wall displays. Oowee Products (asi/75126) creates unique leather beverage accessories that are handcrafted in Asheville, NC. (The supplier also is actively involved in the Autism Society of North Carolina and allocates about half of its jobs to people on the autism spectrum.) Made in the USA was alive and well here.
Tech Products: The category continues to explode (figuratively, of course). While products are getting more powerful, it’s the packaging and design that has made substantial leaps. iClick (asi/62124) showed off a custom power bank that can be designed into whatever you like. (Its show model was designed in the form of commonsku’s cheeky robot mascot). Crossover tech products, such as a bottle opener-charging cable combo set from Tomax USA (asi/91435), could also be readily found.