Humans live off of products, products that make our lives easier. Each product is the brainchild of an intervention that resolves an ongoing issue. Each product category has a series of sub-categories that address the sub-contexts. 2021 was mostly dominated by the coronavirus which immensely impacted the market strategies and sales. A few products pertaining to the medical market attracted global popularity. As the concept of ‘lockdowns’ took to the forefront, online shopping kept the consumers engaged in commercial activities. Numerous old products resurfaced and gained traction more than ever. Consequently, an array of products, old and new, gained popularity in 2021.
1. Face masks
Face masks have gained unfathomable popularity worldwide. Initially, they were worn by doctors, surgeons, and other people who ‘needed’ them. This need exercised by an infinitesimal part of the population had to be extended to the entire population due to the onset of coronavirus.
These masks came in different forms, sizes, and materials, offering a range of choices depending upon the type and area of use. This need eventually became a fashion accessory. Handpainted, block-printed, laser-printed, screen-printed, upcycled masks took over the conventional masks, thereby engaging a lot of creative minds.
2. Face shield
The pandemic has positively influenced the global face shield market. Initially, face shields were used in rare medical procedures that posed above-average risk through bodily fluids. Currently, face shields are being used to prevent or slow down the transmission of the deadly virus. They are used in personal as well as community and healthcare settings.
Several flights across the world are distributing and mandating wearing face shields inside the flights, making a major contribution to the face shield market. They provide full-face coverage, allow masks to be used for long, can be easily produced, and do not face raw material shortages as masks do.
3. Disposable gloves
A 45% increase in the global demand for nitrile disposable gloves has been observed since 2019. They are being used for medical procedures and to prevent direct contact with coronavirus. As healthcare expenditure is continually rising from the severe intensity of the second wave, the glove industry is booming with incremental demands.
The global disposable gloves market size was estimated at USD 10.17 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 10.17 billion in 2021.
4. Hand sanitizer
The pandemic has had an optimistic effect on the global hand sanitizer market. This sanitizer has different types- gel, foam, spray, cream, and wipes. As per the report by Research Dive, the global hand sanitizer market is expected to register a revenue of $14,521.7 million by 2027, at a growth rate of 24.2% during the forthcoming years.
The overuse of sanitizers with high alcohol percentages damages the skin, marking an increase in the use of organically made hand sanitizers.
5. Desk chair
The work-from-home trend was expected to end sooner, however, with the intensifying coronavirus waves, plenty of companies are mandating permanent WFH for their employees. Tata Steel, Infosys, and Philips have mandated permanent work from home for certain employees. These employees are setting up workstations to create an ideal work environment.
Using normal chairs for long hours gives a sore neck and back and limits mobility. Desk chair sales are gaining momentum as they boost comfort, improve productivity, improve posture while eliminating back pains, and ensure better employee engagement. After all, who doesn’t want to feel comfortable while working or stretch a little at regular intervals?
6. Blue light blocking glasses
Blue light is the light emitted by digital screens. Excessive exposure to screens can cause one’s eyes to get strained and dry up. Headaches, visual discomfort, and sleep deprivation are some other downsides of this practice. With increased screen time many people invested in blue light filter glasses to protect their eyes from fatal damage.
Most gamers and office workers have already been using it. Even mothers are investing in these glasses to protect their kids’ eyes from any damage from the online classes that go on for hours and this is how they reached a wider audience across all age groups.
7. Phone tripods
Blogging has created its acclaimed platform due to a larger audience that is willing to engage. More and more people are turning towards blogging as a creative outlet. A lot of these bloggers are kids and millennials wanting to reach as many people as possible to promote their work and most of them cannot afford an exclusive video camera. Hence, they rely on phone tripods to capture their content.
With smartphones that offer excellent image and video quality, they find it irrelevant to invest in over-the-top video cameras. A combination of a smartphone with a good camera and a phone tripod is all they need to create effective content.
8. Wearable devices
These include smartwatches and fitness trackers. People are starting to prefer these devices over smartphones as they’re practically wrapped around the wrist and need not be carried separately. They help monitor physical activities and keep a track of their health.
Newer smartwatches have been launched within an affordable price range which has increased worldwide sales. The constant notifications keep people updated on calls and text messages. All in all, people feel more connected (as compared to phones) while doing other activities.
9. Bluetooth headphones
Bluetooth headphones have been floating in the market for a while but their demand has increased considerably in the past year. A mass of entangled wires, a baby crying in a messy house. Attending work calls can get taxing amidst this chaos and multitasking became trendy during the lockdown. This restraint compelled many people to invest in bluetooth headphones for convenience and clutter-free communication.
Besides, the newly launched smartphones do not have headphone jacks which promote the sale of bluetooth headphones. Exercising and commuting becomes easier as this product has become people’s lockdown buddy.
10. Yoga mats
As the pandemic inflicted a lockdown on the entire world, at-home exercises gained more traction. With restrictions on accessing public spaces for walks, runs, and other outdoor fitness activities, and the closure of gyms, people curated their fitness routines at home. Buying gym equipment seemed unreasonable and the only alternatives available were yoga, pilates, and aerobics.
With more people wanting to focus on improving their mental and physical well-being amidst the stressful lockdown, most turned towards yoga which marked the increase in demand for yoga mats. Their durability, flexibility, and inexpensive nature are an added plus.
11. Board games
As people are aware of the repercussions of increased exposure to screens, they’re trying to cut down on screen time by setting app locks and restricting overall screen time. But when boredom hits the dock they find it tough to restrain themselves. They’re falling back on their roots—board games.
Individual family members glued to their respective screens and huddled up in different corners of their house. This scenario is gradually upgrading to all family members seated around a board game, spending quality time with their family off the screens.
12. Natural skincare and cosmetics
The concept of ‘self-care’ gained momentum this year due to increased focus on emotional, mental, and spiritual health. Physical health also depends on the state of mind. As most consumers have gathered the ill effects of artificial materials on their bodies and the environment, they’re turning toward products made from natural ingredients.
These organic products are being used widely by consumers and many people are even supporting home-run businesses of these kinds as their manufacture doesn’t affect animals.
13. Water bottles
People who are aware of the damage caused to the environment by one-time-use bottles and live a healthy lifestyle are driven by the trend of investing in good quality, environment-friendly water bottles. These reusable bottles reduce the carbon footprint and alleviate the burden on landfills, oceans, seas, and other potential sites of disposal.
The available variety in this product is enticing more consumers. Innovatively designed smart water bottles and collapsible cups are two of the many different varieties. Communities that believe in sustainability grab this kind of opportunity.
14. Pet food
As it has been said before, domestic animals are a human’s best friend. The coronavirus outbreak was largely responsible for many people getting diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety. Moreover, people who lived by themselves found it difficult to cope with this newfound lifestyle devoid of social interaction. A multitude of people raised pets during these times which resulted in a spike in the demand for pet food.
15. Hair scrunchies
Hair scrunchies made a major comeback this year as a prime fashion accessory. As they’re cheaper, the public indulged in buying them in bulk. They can either be bought or generated at home using DIY techniques. Many people who run small businesses upcycled their old clothes to make scrunchies. They also form a part of gifts and are otherwise used to enhance the aesthetic value of certain objects.
Women and younger girls exchange scrunchies as a token of love. It has numerous connotations to it than its actual use that engages more consumers.
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