Editor's Picks: Safety First


Personal safety is one of our most basic needs. Safety is essential, and consumers’ actions are motivated by survival. According to Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, safety represents the second tier of humans’ fundamental basic needs—second only to physiological needs, such as access to air, water, food and shelter—and includes personal security, employment, access to resources, security of property and health. Although majority of humans don’t live in constant danger like animals and early humans, the need for safety is ever-present and continues to guide most decisions. 

Whether it’s deciding what to wear, what to eat or where to go, all these decisions are based on maintaining or improving our physical and physiological well-being. The need for personal safety and the safety of one’s family is a drive that influences consumer behavior. No matter what the product is, when people use it, they want to feel safe and secure. Suggesting products that can satisfy one or more safety needs, with clear evidence to support these claims, helps to allay fears and build trust. Connections distributors can draw between the products suppliers are designing and selling, and the safety-providing qualities they possess, are what will capture an end user’s attention, making them appreciate the product and the brand associated with it. During the pandemic, consumers’ sense of safety, from concerns about job security to catching coronavirus, has been under constant attack. Clients can meet this unwavering need with personal safety products for every end user.

In the U.S., during the early weeks of the pandemic, hospitals and health-care systems struggled with widespread shortages of PPE. The rise in demand for PPE—which includes protective clothing, face and eye protection, and gloves and masks—is directly linked to coronavirus. The global health-care PPE market is projected to reach $33.4 billion by 2027, three times its $12.9 billion value in 2019, growing at an annual rate of 12.4 percent from 2020 to 2027, according to Allied Market Research. To secure necessary PPE, equipment and supplies, hospital administrators reported turning to new, sometimes un-vetted and nontraditional sources for supplies and medical equipment. Distributors and suppliers were also among those new sources, turning to PPE not only to save their businesses, but to help their country in its time of need. PPE represented a new and literal lifeline—a call to action that put the promo industry’s sourcing and manufacturing capabilities to work in arming the world with products needed to protect against the virus.

While the COVID-19 pandemic created an unprecedented demand for PPE, especially in the health-care industry, other industries were also adding to the demand. According to Grand View Research, the global personal protective equipment market size was valued at $59.1 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at an annual growth rate of 9.6 percent from 2020 to 2027. Mandated occupational safety regulations, along with the increasing importance of safety and security at workplaces, are anticipated to drive growth in this market. The manufacturing and construction industry led the PPE market and accounted for 17.4 percent of the global revenue share in 2019. PPE used in the manufacturing industry includes gloves, protective clothing, safety helmets, masks, protective footwear and goggles, and ear protection. The rising workforce in the manufacturing industry, especially in the Asia Pacific region, will likely trigger more product demand to safeguard employees working in conditions ripe with hazards such as falls, explosions and fires, and machine hazards and help businesses avoid overhead costs, such as compensations. 

When COVID-19 cases and social distancing measures ramped up last spring, the market for PPE products, including masks, hand sanitizer, protective clothing and gloves, expanded massively. From schools to restaurants, every industry supplied PPE to their employees to protect them from the outbreak of COVID-19. Hospitals, first-responders and essential businesses, like grocery stores that remained open, were facing critical shortages of face masks, face shields, isolation gowns and other such products amid the pandemic. While these shortages have somewhat abated, many health-care organizations are still concerned with maintaining their supply while cases continue to spike as the country heads toward a second wave of the pandemic. In places like Lake County, Ohio, where one out of 100 people tested positive for the disease in November 2020, which is 10 times the positivity rate that the CDC defines as “high incidence,” hospitals are rushing to obtain other necessary medical items such as ventilators and respirators for critically ill patients. The need for PPE will not disappear as quickly as the pandemic began. Through PPE, distributors and suppliers can help keep the industry afloat, end users safe and clients busy. 

Just In Case 

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, almost 10 million women and men are assaulted or are victims of violent crime countrywide every year. Fifteen percent of all violent crimes are committed by an intimate partner, and women ages 18–24 are the most vulnerable in domestic violence situations. While nearly half of Americans (48 percent) say they avoid going to certain neighborhoods or areas that they might otherwise go to avoid crime, 14 percent of Americans say they have personally carried mace or pepper spray, according to Gallup’s annual crime poll. Affordable, easy to use and carry, pepper spray and other self-defense tools like personal alarms help users feel safe, from police officers to college students. 

Women are three times more likely than men to carry pepper spray, according to a Gallup study, but devices that offer peace of mind with the potential to prove life-saving is perfect for both sexes. According to Grand View Research, the global self-defense products market was valued at $2.4 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow at an annual rate of 5.9 percent from 2019 to 2025. Increasing civil unrest across the globe is the major factor driving the global market. Apart from civil tensions, recreational activities such as camping and hunting will also add to the demand for self-defense weapons.

Brands looking to market to college students can also help universities promote campus safety with personal safety products. While some universities have begun to ban pepper spray, fearing it can be used as a weapon of assault, personal alarms are the next best option for students wanting to feel safe as they travel through campus. A personal alarm is a small, battery-powered device that can connect to a student’s keychain. By triggering a switch or removing a pin, the alarm emits a deafening tone meant to catch an assailant off guard and disorient them. The noise will also alert others in the vicinity that something’s wrong.

Personal safety products are designed to help end users feel safe at all times. These products are meant to be discreet, and manufacturers are also focusing on developing compact products that integrate more than one feature. Emergency tools that can be used, for example, to shine a light, break glass and cut a seat belt, are gaining popularity among consumers. The availability of various types of convenient personal safety products from manufacturers is also helping the market to gain prominent acceptance among consumers.


The COB Emergency Tool is a must-have item that users can conveniently store in their glove compartment, purse, backpack or carrying case. This tool includes a seat belt cutter, glass breaker and COB light to provide the security and assistance needed in case of an emergency. With a magnet on the back, it's available with optional full-color imprint.

Koozie Group  /  PPAI 114187, S13   /  www.kooziegroup.com


A great self-defense item for any age, the safety alarm key chain easily attaches to backpacks, purses or car keys. It has a built-in LED light to help in dark or low-light areas. In the case of an emergency, simply pull the pin to sound the safety alarm. The alarm is 100 to 110 decibels and can be heard up to 175-225 feet away, depending on surrounding conditions. The alarm will quit once the pin is replaced or until the battery dies. Three replaceable batteries and instructions are included. 

Beacon Promotions, Inc.  /  PPAI 113702, S10  /  www.beaconpromotions.com


The Hercules Grocery Tote with an antimicrobial additive is the classic and reliable grocery tote you love, treated with a blend of antimicrobial inhibitors that have been tested to prevent the growth of surface bacteria. It has a large, open main compartment with double 18.5-inch reinforced handles, and a rear hook for storage or to hang on a grocery cart, along with a supportive bottom board. It's also completely reusable and a great alternative to plastic bags. Antibacterial messaging is printed on the front of the product.  

Bullet  /  PPAI 113079, S12  / www.bulletline.com


The UV Sanitizer Desk Clock with wireless charging capabilities can be used on any desk, end table or nightstand. Using UV‐C light technology without chemicals or mercury for sanitation, it kills 99 percent of microorganisms tested. It can sanitize almost anything that fits inside, such as large phones, keys and even medical supplies, and works with most plastic phone cases still left on. It also acts as a clock with an alarm while using the top to charge your wireless-charging-enabled smartphone, and the clock can show temperature in either Fahrenheit or Celsius. Packed in a premium gift box, it includes a three-foot-long USB-to-Type-C charging cable.

Leed's /  PPAI 112361, S13  /  www.leedsworld.com


Reduce direct contact with germs on public surfaces with this handy touchless tool with stylus. The built-in, soft-touch stylus works well on ATMs and other display screens, while the hook is perfect to hold open doors. Optional carabiner with ring available.


Koozie Group /  PPAI 114187, S13  /  www.kooziegroup.com


Help clients with social distancing with chair back covers. These stretch bands fit most stackable and folding chairs, as well as arena and stadium seating. Four-color printing available on both sides.

Ruckus & Co., Inc.  /  PPAI 658743, S1  /  www.ruckusandco.com


Offering disposable mask dispensers is a convenient way to help ensure those around you have access to masks, and are practicing safety precautions. Promote respiratory hygiene with convenient access to individually bagged masks. Available blank or with full-color imprint and unassembled or assembled.  

Pacesetter Awards Co.  /  PPAI 112642, S6  /  www.pacesetterawards.com


Avoid fumbling around in the dark with the extra Little Helper Mountable Lantern. With three different light settings, this product functions as a lantern or strobe light. There is a push button to turn the light on and off and change the settings. With a magnet and a bottom hook for hanging, this light is a handy tool when you need a hands-free light. Batteries included. 

Hit Promotional Products /  PPAI 113910, S13  /  www.hitpromo.net


Perfect for virtually every user, these Blue Light Blocking Retro Sunglasses are fitted with blue light lenses to help block potentially harmful blue HEV light emitting from phones, tablets, TVs and computer screens. They help prevent headaches, blurry vision and other symptoms of digital eye strain. Ideal for when using a laptop or desktop, watching TV, playing video games or looking at your phone screen. Available in a square or cat-eye shape, these iconic shades have a one-color arm imprint. 

Eyevertising  /  PPAI 536045, S5  /  www.eyevertising.com


The Crossover Outdoor Tactical Center Punch Pen isn’t only for writing—the tip can be used as an emergency windshield hammer or as a sharp self-defense weapon. This writing instrument is made of durable stainless steel and features an attached clip that's wide enough to fit on your belt, and the sharp side edges can be used to grind wood or plastic into a usable point. Features a black ink cartridge.

High Caliber Line  /  PPAI 205801, S10  /  www.highcaliberline.com


This dependable emergency kit, to be packed in a car, is available to help with various automotive emergencies. It includes a power bank for phone charging, ensuring users can get connected and call for backup, and can power up to 20 jump starts on one charge. This kit has built-in safety features that include a spark-proof car jumper cable with short circuit and reverse polarity over/under voltage protection. Keep this kit in the car for easy access to four LED-power indicator lights, a 20-inch micro- to regular-USB cable, an AC wall charger and a 12V adapter.

Ariel Premium Supply, Inc.  /  PPAI 161650, S10  /  www.arielpremium.com


This multi-function wristband is perfect for the outdoor enthusiast. With a handy combination of a 550 paracord, compass, fire starter and a whistle on your wrist, you will be prepared for anything that comes your way. The paracord can be cut, unbraided and used as a small rope. With a built-in magnesium stick, the fire starter can spark a fire when needed, and the built-in striker can be used for cutting and fire starting. 

High Caliber Line /  PPAI 205801, S10  /  www.highcaliberline.com


Kristina Valdez is associate editor of PPB. 

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