New Product Trends From Merchandise World 2022


On a mission to scout out new and exciting merchandise items, we sent our team of eagle-eyed experts to Coventry for Merchandise World. Their mission was to report back on the latest trends and promotional products for 2022.

The two-day event saw 145 exhibitors attend the CBS Arena, with a handful of new suppliers and a strong focus on environmentally friendly product ranges, it is a strong indication of an industry shift toward sustainability.

Attending for Involution were Managing Director Michael Ainsworth, Senior Account Manager Ben Eaton, Account Manager Simon Andre, and Sales Assistant Laura Graham.

Let’s find out what the team had to say about their visit.

Due to how the world has been over the past few years, Merchandise World was unable to hold events. What was it like going back and how was the day?

Simon: I really enjoyed my time at Merchandise World. We found a lot of new products and suppliers, and of course, everyone was friendly and very helpful

Ben: It was enjoyable to go back, be able to touch base with longstanding suppliers and also meet new suppliers.

Laura: It was amazing how busy the event was, with lots of stalls to visit and suppliers to talk to.

Ben: I used to think that going to these expos every year wasn’t worthwhile as I felt as if the industry wasn’t able to develop new products at such a fast rate. However, I’ve come to realise that there are always new suppliers offering something fresh and exciting and plenty of opportunities to nurture relationships with suppliers and customers.

Simon: And of course, the complimentary breakfast, lunch and refreshments were great too!

So, there was a lot to see and over 100 stalls displaying their products. What caught your eye and why?

Simon: There was a ceramic supplier I particularly liked, they showcased different decoration options for mugs that I hadn’t seen before such as debossing and sandblasting. Another supplier also specialised in bespoke gummy sweets which I thought would be useful for a lot of our customers.

Ben: I quite liked a tech supplier offering retail-quality products, all fully customisable to create a matching range without breaking the bank. Electronic items included bespoke power banks, USBs, charging cables and Bluetooth speakers and the items I’d go on to recommend are the light-up power banks and charging cables.

Laura: For me, it was the stalls based on wellbeing and food that I found most interesting. I haven’t had much experience selling items in these areas so it was helpful and informative to see what was available and how our customers can benefit from this section.

Simon: I also came across some eco-friendly premium lunch boxes that have been branded and sold for Prada before. It’s become a memorable product that definitely has caught my attention.

Within the merchandise industry, we saw a lot of products transform to become smarter, greener or smaller. Was there anything completely new to you at the event? 

Laura: There was a really cool bag that had a TV display made from fabric. You could connect your phone to the display and it would show any image you wanted, perfect for any on-the-go advertising.

Simon: Although not new in terms of products, I was impressed with a supplier was able to create really cool products like customised table footballs and sports gear with a MOQ1, which is quite rare for these types of items.

Ben: I particularly liked a jacquard knit clothing supplier as they offered next-level product customisation at a really affordable price. Their garments are 100% custom and a unique decoration method that’s hard to do called fabric embossing.

Simon: There seemed to have been more colour choices and bespoke shaped merchandise than ever before, with tech items that played a jingle when turned on. These are all fun ‘extra’ variations that our industry can now offer customers.

Was there a set theme at Merchandise World this year?

Ben: It would come as no surprise that the overarching trend of the expo was eco, eco, eco, and understandably so. It’s an important issue that more and more customers are addressing, and one that the industry needs to stay one step ahead of.

Laura: It was also clear that suppliers were very aware of their carbon footprint and keen to show off their eco-friendly products. Especially with the tech industry, there was a big shift to more eco items with wheat straw power banks appearing to be the big thing. I feel as though they will become popular items for 2022 as everyone loves a good power bank and the unusual material is a great selling and talking point.

Ben: Also important was that there wasn’t a substantial price increase when choosing an eco-friendlier option, and we can all do our part for a sustainable future without it costing a small fortune.

Pepped with new ideas and products to showcase to customers, the Involution team came away from Merchandise World 2022 not just well-fed and watered, but eager to share information and new trends for the year with customers ready to plan their marketing promotions.

If you’re looking for any personalised workwear or merchandise, or need support planning your next event or promotion, give our team a call for a free consultation and quote.