Crayon makers doubtful about future of rising market

As colouring books become trendy, manufacturers worry about sustainability of crayon and colour pencil market

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

The best selling colouring books are adding spice and zest to our lives which squeeze between the problems of city life and busy working hours.

It helps to reduce stress, keeping us away- even if just a bit- from tech-frazzled, gadget-obsessed environment of this planet.

As it became a new lifestyle craze, the makers of crayons and colour pencils are currently brooding over if the trend is a passing fad or sustainable.

"I dream about crayons at night," says Andreas Martin who is the head of  the manufacturer Staedtler in Nuremberg.

"These are models we've been making for years and demand always chugged along unspectacularly," Martin said.

"But then all of a sudden, we weren't able to manufacture enough. It's incredible."

According to Staedler chief Axel Marx, the United States, Britain or South Korea are in the center of the adult colouring market with their increasing demand rates.

Nine colouring books from US ranked among the top 20 best-selling products on American electronic commerce and cloud computing company, Amazon Inc.

Horst Brinkmann, head of marketing and sales at rival Stabilo Schwan, which German maker of pens for writing and colouring said that Europe also began to get its share from the rising market.

"We're seeing a similar development in European countries, too," he said.  

Stabilo newly designed and launched a set of crayons and book with spring motifs.

Swiss Caran d'Ache which manufactures for high-income people has been placed in the market newly, publishing its own colouring book with Alpine scenes.

Referring the risen sales, Marx said "That's remarkable, in this age of digitalisation,"

However he admitted uncertainty of market’s future saying that "no-one knows how long it will last."

He was aware of that trend could vanish as quickly as it started so he said "we need to strike a balance."

Martin also said Staedtler has a plan B in case of falling sells.

"If the market falls again, we can use the machines for different types of products."

But the rival companies do not share the same idea with neither Stabilo nor Staedtler about the the durability of the new trend.

"We have invested in production equipment and extended working hours," said head of At Caran d'Ache, Carole Hubscher.

Writing and drawing "won't disappear," so "there is no question of relocating to boost production," she said.

"Our growth targets are not solely built on trends."  

Nowadays experts tend to accept coloring books as alternative mediation way to solve psychological problems such as anxiety.

According to the American Art Therapy Association, art therapy can help to "explore feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety and increase self-esteem."

TRTWorld and agencies