Editor's Picks: What's Trending In 2019


The dawn of a new year brings a fresh start, a clean slate and, most importantly, the highly-anticipated introduction of hundreds of new products into the promotional products marketplace. And the best place to see them has always been at The PPAI® Expo in Las Vegas in January.

In addition to hundreds of new products on exhibit, this year’s spectacular show also brought in 310 new exhibitors adding even more choices to the aisles and aisles of dazzling designs and savvy product solutions for every promotion or campaign.

In 2019, the hottest hardgoods trends seen at the Expo appeared to fall into four primary categories: products crafted of sustainable or recycled materials, or those that decompose or can be recycled; products to enhance the use and convenience of tech devices; drinkware and related accessories and carriers; and products from companies that promote their mission to give back to their communities or the world in various ways. Many other introductions grabbed attention simply because of their sleek designs or useful functionality. Here’s a look at a selection of items in each of those categories.

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In2green’s award-winning indoor/outdoor throws are made exclusively from recycled plastic bottles—each throw requires at least 78 bottles to create. The fabric is super soft and has the added benefit of being quick drying and sun-resistant. This perfect luxury gift can be made custom in over 250 patterns with added logos or personalization. Because all knitting is domestic, small custom minimums (starting at 12 pieces) and drop-shipping are possible. The Cabana Stripe throw shown is part of In2green’s Stacy Garcia collection and is offered in four color combinations.  

In2green  /  PPAI 748975  /  www.in2green.com

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Single-use plastic bags may be on their way out in many cities, but these OXO-biodegradable die cut bags are sure to be used again and again. Eco-friendly, reusable and non-toxic, the bags will degrade under proper conditions when discarded responsibly. Made and printed in the USA, they are available with either Flexo Ink or digital full-color printing.

BAG MAKERS, Inc.  /  PPAI 111408   /   www.bagmakersinc.com

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Bamboo has long been an eco-friendly option as the plants are fast-growing and reduce up to 35 percent of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. For clients looking for eco-friendly drinkware options, look to this bamboo 15-ounce double-wall insulated bottle. Its sleek, contemporary design features an 18/8 stainless steel inner wall and real bamboo outer wall to keep beverages hot or cold for up to 10-12 hours. FDA approved.

Visions/Awardcraft  /  PPAI 110751   /   www.visionsawardcraft.com

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Two long-time favorites, OtterBox and PopSockets, have joined forces to introduce the Otter + Pop, an integrated phone case and PopSocket. The custom-printed iPhone case features an integrated PopGrip that sits flush with the case when not in use and provides one-handed operation and hands-free viewing. Swappable PopTops make it easy to further customize the case. Look for this product to begin shipping in June.

Branded Logistics  /  PPAI 650196  /  www.branded-logistics.com

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Keep gaming components corralled and within easy reach in a Core Gaming Backpack. It’s large enough to hold the most popular gaming laptops and includes dedicated compartments for accessories, keyboards, controllers and more.

Mobile Edge  /  PPAI 314937  /   www.mobileedge.com

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The ZipSip™ insulated, adjustable drink holder keeps beverages chilled and, best of all, it fits all containers from 12-ounce plastic cups to bar glassware to cans and bottles. The secret is the zipper on each side. Zip it up for smaller cups, unzip it halfway for larger cups.

ZipSip  /  PPAI 752907   /   www.originalzipsip.com

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Bring this cool carrier along on your next picnic, tailgate or outdoor corporate event and put everything you need at your fingertips. The KOOZIE® Olympus Kooler Tote is made of durable tarpaulin with a heat-sealed PEVA liner and features a main zippered compartment and front zippered pocket. The wrapped carry handles have a crossbar handle for extra support plus two attached bottle openers. Add your client’s branding to the front for extra visibility at company events. Available in white/gray or gray/blue (shown).

BIC Graphic USA  /  PPAI 114187  /  www.bicgraphic.com

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Who said you can’t take it with you? This 17-ounce Hypnotic Cascade Bottle is double-wall vacuum insulated to keep drinks hot for up to eight hours or cold for up to 18 hours. Its sleek design starts with a copper-lined interior and stainless-steel outer and inner walls, then it’s topped with a luxurious neo-chrome finish and screw-on, spill-resistant lid. BPA free and FDA approved. Available in eight solid colors with a one-color imprint on one side, two sides or a full wrap.

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

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Summertime can last year ‘round with this fun Popsicle flask fashioned from food-safe stainless steel. It holds three ounces of any beverage with ample space for a logo on the front. Try it as a room gift or event favor for clients in the beverage, bar and hotel industries. Choose from “grape” or “berry.” Hand-washing is recommended.

IMC  /  PPAI 112198  /  www.imc-miracles.com


Inspired by a real-life barnacle that attaches to a whale or a clam shell, the Barnacle Coaster attaches (and stays attached) to nearly any cup while it's purposely removed. Made of food-safe silicone that's dishwasher safe, the one-size-fits-most coaster slips under almost any cup leaving enough space for condensation to be collected and trapped. No more rings on tables or water drops on clothing. The company also donates five percent of annual profits to The Ocean Cleanup to help improve marine life habits.

Barnacle Coaster   /   PPAI 749627   /   www.barnaclecoasters.com

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The modern, contemporary feel of the HUGO BOSS brand is reflected in the Gear line of ball pens. Its aerodynamic shape and perfectly balanced frame are finished in a rainbow of color block hues including this red, soft touch version with matte black detailing. 

Stark Enterprises   /   PPAI 521359   /   www.starkpremium.com

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Take your next trade show or your clients’ upcoming conference presentation to a new level with these exhibit display products. Both the Backlit and Backlit Embrace lines feature superior, patented lighting and frame enhancements to offer the best in collapsible, backlit solutions. The Formulate® Master exhibit line also offers five-, eight- and 10-foot backlit displays as well as eight-, 10- and 12-foot backlit towers for use in all types of interior environments.

Orbus Exhibit & Display Group   /   PPAI 428128   /   www.orbus.com

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Keep paper towel rolls, cleaning wipes, glove boxes and more within reach in a workshop, garage, factory, kitchen or office with this magnetic paper towel holder. The unique design makes it easily repositionable to any area with a flat, ferrous metal surface. The two-piece design features sturdy black metal housing with scratch protective covers, an adjustable knob and a large six-inch roll diameter holding capacity.

Ads On Magnets  /  PPAI 491494  /  www.AdsOnMagnets.com

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Add a bit more fun to your next golf tournament or event. Vegas Golf is an exciting gambling game that levels the playing field for all golfers. Only one game is needed per foursome. Imprint the back of each chip with the client’s or sponsor’s logo and it will be seen by everyone in the foursome throughout the round. There is also a Vegas Golf Fundraiser Program that will raise $3,000-$5,000 on average during the golf tournament by simply having each foursome play the game.

Vegas Golf  /  PPAI 368029  /  www.vegasgolfthegame.com

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The Luci Candle is safer than a real candle but just as soft and inviting. It’s durable, lightweight, waterproof (rated IP67), can withstand up to 200 pounds of pressure and is completely powered by the sun. The candle charges in eight hours in direct sunlight and lasts up to 12 hours on a single charge. Choose from three modes: dim amber glow, bright amber glow and imitation candle flicker. Mpowered, a certified B Corporation, donates one light to people in need for every 10 purchased through Compass Industries.

Compass Industries, Inc.  /  PPAI 110923  /  www.compasspromos.com

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The Editors’ Favorites

Every year the PPB editorial team eagerly attacks the Expo show floor in search of the most unique, the most fun and the sleekest designs in promotional products. Below are some of the team’s favorites seen at this year’s show.

A simple yet beautiful design is a site to behold whether it’s a skyscraper, a dining chair or a promotional product. This water bottle features an award-winning Danish design that’s clean and inviting. Made from high-strength borosilicate glass, the leak-proof lid comes in 13 colors (or select a wooden cap) and locks in place to prevent spills. The three entrepreneurs who founded the company in 2009 were inspired to encourage people to refill their bottles from the tap rather than drinking from plastic water bottles that can end up in the oceans, thus the product and company name: refill with tap water. The collection also includes equally smartly-designed carafes and bottle sleeves for a secure grip on the go.

Retap North America, LLC  /  PPAI 658406  /  www.retap.com

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This Swarovski-adorned helmet is a new venture being explored by Go East Promotions. The products are intended to serve as focal points, drawing prospective clients into university stores and attracting attention at public venues and event spaces. When paired with a spinning mechanism, each creation draws and reflects light from all angles, making for a dazzling scintillation. Clemson is near and dear to my family’s heart, as my brother is a student there and attends nearly all the football games.

Go East Promotions  /  PPAI 510686   /   www.goeastpromotionalproducts.com

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First-time Expo exhibitor Airflate’s Fatboy Lounger would put the “fun” in “promotional products” if the letters “f”, “u” and “n” appeared in the phrase in that order. Regardless, I thought it was a clever, useful and portable product that puts an advertiser’s message front and center either at home or on an enjoyable day out.

Airflate  /  PPAI 733131  /  www.airflatego.com

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Tina Berres Filipski is editor of PPB.

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