Balloons Take Top Spot

Balloons have been named the best selling party product area across the UK, reveals Progressive Party Europe’s most recent research into the UK party retail market.

According to the in-depth survey of UK party retailers, which returned in 2017 for the eighth consecutive year, balloons took the top spot in best-sellers list, closely followed by costumes and face paints.

Recent innovations and developments in the balloon sector, which for the sake of the survey included both decor and retail sales, have seen the category benefit from a boost in business over the past year, as high street and independent retailers make the most of their ability to offer an offline, bespoke service.

Drilling down into the results, respondents reported that sales of latex balloons had increased by 43%, while sales of foil and other ‘premium’ balloons have increased by more than half (52%). Crucially, commissioned decorating jobs have seen a boost by almost a third (27%), driving both sales and awareness of this side of the industry.

Fashion-led trends have also been particularly important, with a number of hero products deserving of a mention. Qualatex deco Bubbles are as popular as ever, while Amscan’s unicorn SuperShape and Pintrest-influenced confetti balloons have been in high demand.

A slight move away from licensed designs (which made up 36% of sales in 2017, compared to 42% in 2016) reflects the growing interest in decor and balloon artistry throughout the industry. Similarly, birthdays were named the most important celebratory occasions for the balloon business, followed by Valentine’s Day and weddings.

Looking to the future, retailers who are looking to expand and grow over the next 12 months listed ‘personalised service’ and ‘innovation in latex balloons’ as their top two major growth opportunities.

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