A simple wood-handled spatula given to her at a charity 5k before she ever entered the industry taught Jessica Ibsen, promotional consultant for Parsippany, New Jersey-based distributor Stackable Sensations (PPAI 277517), how powerful promotional products for the home can be.

“More than a decade later, I still use that tool at least once a week and despite many, many washings the logo is still visible. That is a lot of repeated impressions for one price and it’s one of the most used items in the kitchen,” Ibsen says.

The proliferation of cooking shows, high-profile celebrity chefs and meal-kit companies has inspired home cooks to try cooking new dishes and expand their tastes—while also sharing their creations on social media sites. And today’s popular open-concept kitchen/living room spaces ensure that we spend much of our time at home either in the kitchen or in very close proximity to it, and we entertain there, too. Vickie Pedersen, owner of Pedersen Group, LLC (PPAI 692721) based in Phoenix, Arizona, says that the trend for entertaining at home is a great opportunity for both promotional and incentive-based branded products.

“Casual entertaining at home no longer means a bag of chips and a jar of salsa. Products that people want to use when friends and family come over are also a great way to increase exposure. When someone asks ‘where did you get that?’ and the response is ‘I was given it at an event for XYZ brand,’ or ‘I earned it in an incentive contest at work,’ there is recognition of the brand and a stronger emotional connection.”

Smart home products are everywhere now and they can increase the ‘wow’ factor of typical houseware gifts. “Many items for the home are Bluetooth-enabled and have apps to control them—slow cookers, coffee makers, lighting, etc.,” Pedersen says. “People may not necessarily want to spend their own money on some of these, but given as promotional gifts or incentives, they have a cool factor that will make an impression.”

With so many products that are used in a home, it can be a little overwhelming to choose what’s best for a brand. “In general, select items that have some functionality. That way, no matter what the style is, it will be appreciated and used,” Pedersen explains.

As for product color, Pedersen says that neutral colors are always a safe bet but cautions against ruling out bright colors or patterns if there’s a specific branding reason. “Adding in some seasonality is a good way to introduce a little color for select items; for example, bright colors for summer and warm tones for fall. It is better to stay away from items that have bold patterns that may not blend easily with most décor. However, if there is a theme [for an event, for example], then make the colors and patterns consistent and the items will be great reminders of the experience.”

And be sure to select quality items. “If the budget is limited, choose quality over quantity (or size). Reach out to premium reps for ideas. They all have brands in this category and they can quickly provide great options,” Pederson adds.

Coffee Connoisseurs

Americans are finally consuming more coffee after years of the beverage’s consumption plateauing, according to the National Coffee Association’s (NCA) 2017 National Coffee Drinking Trends (NCDT) report.

But forget plain old drip coffee. All age demographics have a clear preference for gourmet and espresso brewed drinks, especially Millennials and Gen Z members. “More of us are drinking coffee, and younger consumers appear to be leading the charge,” said Bill Murray, NCA president and CEO, in an announcement of the report’s release in conjunction with NCA’s March convention in Austin, Texas.

“A steadily growing taste for gourmet varieties is also driving a wider trend toward specialty beverages.” According to the study, more than half of all cups of coffee consumed in the past day were gourmet—a record-high 59 percent, compared to 46 percent reported in 2012. Can you smell the aroma of promotional opportunity?

Source: Daily Coffee News

Hot Products To Spice Up Any Kitchen

Printed recipes are held upright with this dishwasher-safe magnetic recipe rock that is small enough to store easily. An extra-strong magnet holds eight or more pages so you don’t lose track of any important instructions. With available colors including gray, red, green, white, turquoise or flat black, there’s an option for every home. For branding, add a one-color screen print on the back.

Blue Frog Printing / PPAI 265052 / www.bluefrogprinting.net



Pick eco-friendly bamboo kitchen utensils for their natural heat and bacteria resistance. Choose from a sturdy spoon, spatula, or small or large cutting board with a tasteful laser-engraved imprint. Due to the natural variations in the grain, laser-engraved imprints may have slightly different shades. Hand wash these products with warm water and mild soap or detergent.

Evans Manufacturing / PPAI 110747 / www.evans-mfg.com



Don’t worry about making a mess of your clothes while creating culinary masterpieces when you wear this nine-ounce 70/30 polyester/cotton extra soft twill adjustable apron. As comfortable as it is practical, the apron includes a wide comfort neck strap with adjustable clasp and three pockets to stash kitchen tools when not in use. It comes in eight colors to go with every kitchen.

Heritage Sportswear / PPAI 177353 / www.heritagesportswear.com


Brew ground coffee or even tea in this trendy and practical 20-ounce French press in a fashion-forward patterned stainless steel frame. It includes a glass pitcher, stainless steel lid and frame with a sturdy, large handle for a comfortable and safe hold while pouring.

K&R Precision Corp / PPAI 112266 / www.k-and-r.com






High-Use Home Gift Ideas

Display memories in style with this modern photo display with a walnut base and a removable ceramic cup for plants or desk accessories. The display holds seven photos, memos, cards or art. Convenient ring holders allow users to easily load and replace photos, cards, memos and notes.

Pedersen Group, LLC / PPAI 692721 / www.pedersengroup.net



For the ultimate warm welcome, the House Warmer Package has everything needed to jump start a new home, including a Sunbeam® Combo Hand Stand Mixer, Sunbeam Steam Master Iron, Mr. Coffee® 12-Cup Switch Coffee Maker, Crock-Pot® 4.5 Quart Manual Slow cooker and Sunbeam 2-Slice Toaster. Simply add a logo to one or more products.

JCS Home Appliances / PPAI 652136 / www.jcshomeappliances.com


This exclusive 50-ounce BPA-free Prodyne® Fruit Infusion™ Flavor Carafe is a new, easy way to prepare and enjoy fruit-flavored beverages. Simply unscrew the removable fruit compartment at the bottom and fill with sliced fresh fruit or vegetables. Replace the top section and fill with a beverage. You can refill the carafe after each use without replacing the fruit, which can last up to seven days or more. The top section features a strainer disc to hold back the fruit when pouring. Infuse water, teas, spirits and more with natural fruit and vegetable flavors.

The Allen Company / PPAI 113879 /www.allenmugs.com


This four-in-one clock can be used anywhere in the home, whether it’s in the kitchen, the laundry room, the home office or the bathroom. This handy item features a clock with an alarm, a calendar, a timer and the temperature. Just rotate the clock 90 degrees to display each different function. The clock is available in blue and silver.

Fields Manufacturing / PPAI 111951 /www.fieldsmfg.com




Enhance Home Entertaining With These Great Items

A perfect gift for the holiday season or a special event or ceremony, this stunning lead-free crystal decanter comes with four wine glasses that will add a sophisticated touch to any home and help recipients entertain with style.

St Regis Crystal, Inc. / PPAI 230188 / www.stregiscrystal.com




This whimsical wall clock with forks and spoons extending out like rays of sunlight serves as a great conversation piece that will delight guests and homeowners alike. The clock includes a two-inch diameter imprint and is 15 x 14.75 x 1.5 inches.

Minya International Corp. / PPAI 112523 / www.minyausa.com





This elegant slate cheese plate makes a sophisticated entertaining piece or a great hostess gift all by itself, but the premium Wisconsin cheese, sausage and crackers make it even better. This solid stone cheese plate comes with soapstone chalk for identifying different varieties of gourmet foods.

Maple Ridge Farms / PPAI 114165 / www.mapleridge.com




Mingle with your guests while monitoring the food from up to 195 feet away with this dual thermometer and wireless receiver. Insert the FDA-compliant stainless steel probe into the meat on the grill, set the desired cooking temperature and walk away with the wireless receiver. The beeping sound on the receiver indicates the food has reached the desired temperature. Choose from five preset food temperatures (rare, medium rare, medium, medium well and well). The backlit LCD panel makes the product easy to use in low-light conditions.

Starline USA, Inc. / PPAI 112719 / www.starline.com



Tropicana Serves Up Promotional Products In Latest Marketing Campaign

With orange juice consumption down 13 percent in the past four years due to an ever-proliferating increase in beverage choices and consumers’ avoidance of orange juice’s high sugar content, Tropicana is offering promotional products as part of its ongoing marketing campaign to encourage people to enjoy a ‘Little Glass’ of its 100-percent juice as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

Continuing through the beginning of August, the on-pack promotional campaign gives consumers the chance to collect seven different ‘morning mood’ glass designs. Shoppers must purchase three promotional Tropicana packs and enter their details on the campaign’s website to receive the juice glasses.

Tropicana Brand Manager Sophie Giraudel says: “We believe this latest ‘Little Glass’ promotional offer from Tropicana is a fun way to reinforce our messaging from last year, that one glass serves as a convenient and easy way for people to get important vitamins, minerals and one of your five-a-day [fruit and vegetable servings].”

The seven Little Glass designs capture common morning moods, such as ‘Friyaay’ and ‘Sleepy head’.

Source: Business Insider, Talking Retail

Julie Richie is an Austin, Texas-based writer and former associate editor for PPB.