En vogue and in demand, branded travel mugs are one of the hottest and most sought-after giveaways in the promotional merchandise scene at the moment. Their unbeatable practicality and attractive design, alongside their impressive environmental credentials, make them a huge hit among the millennial market. As the emerging consumers of today and the biggest spenders of tomorrow, that’s one sector you can’t afford to miss out on.
Of course, millennial consumer habits – along with those of every other cross-section of society – will develop and evolve over the coming years. As they do, so too will the products, since demand always dictates what, where, when and how goods are supplied. With that in mind, what trends can be envisaged for the promotional travel mug in the coming five years? Here are our predictions for what the future holds for this immensely popular corporate accessory.
According to Green Match, 16 billion single-use coffee cups are manufactured every year. Not only does that entail cutting down around 6.5 million trees annually to make them, but the process also consumes over 18 billion litres of water and enough energy to power 54,000 homes around the world. As awareness over our carbon footprint and our impact upon the planet increases, we’ll continue to move away from damaging commodities such as these.
Indeed, the war on single-use plastics has already begun. In the UK, plastic bag use has already fallen sharply in the last decade, while coffee cups, straws and cutlery are next in the crosshairs. As single-use cups are gradually phased out, coffee- and tea-drinkers across the country will slowly but inevitably turn to travel mugs to fill the void, meaning the potential for promotional items to pick up the slack will become immense.
Continuing on the same theme of sustainability mentioned above, you can expect travel mugs to only become more environmentally-friendly as the years progress and technology develops. Once single-use items have been vanquished altogether, the spotlight will switch to how the processes involved in creating their reusable alternatives can be optimised so as to reduce their cumulative effect on Mother Nature at all stages of their lifespan.
This will involve reducing the use of resources and capturing emissions at source, but also employing more eco-friendly materials in the process. From recycled tyres and plastic bottles to sustainable resources like bamboo and bioplastics, you can expect the very composition of these receptacles to undergo revision and refinement until they have reached peak sustainability. That’s good news for the planet we live on – and for the companies who can employ such environmentally-friendly practices in their marketing campaigns to establish their reputation as a company who cares.
When travel mugs were first launched into the market, they took the form of the sturdy and purpose-serving Thermos. Although highly practical, this was hardly the most flattering design in the world, and since then, there are now a wide variety of options on the table. From classic camping drinkware made from stainless steel to sophisticated and chic slender vessels that are ergonomically engineered to fit perfectly in your hand, there are alternatives to suit every taste today.
As competition intensifies and travel mugs continue to enjoy widespread popularity, it’s probable that designs will become even more imaginative and forward-thinking. Intelligent executives can leverage this pursuit of aesthetic attraction by hiring talented design teams to come up with travel mugs that appeal to their own target market, all the while incorporating their company name, logo and other aspects of their brand into the product. By establishing an intrinsic link between the mug and the company it markets, the advertisers of the future will be well-placed to ride the travel mug wave all the way to commercial success.
It’s not only how the mugs look which will change, too. You can expect technology to continue to infiltrate every part of our waking lives, including the moments when we imbibe stimulants to stay alert. Already, it’s possible to buy a travel mug that regulates the temperature of the liquid inside to a precise degree, offering control over your daily caffeine fix like never before. As this capability becomes more affordable, it’s likely to become a standard feature rather than a luxury one.
Meanwhile, the biggest coffee chain in the UK has already introduced a reusable mug that has contactless payment capabilities. Late last year, Costa brought out their Clever Cup, which has a chip inserted into its base. The chip is connected to an app downloaded onto the owner’s phone, allowing them to wirelessly pay for their purchases without needing to reach for their wallet. Technological flourishes such as this are sure to become more commonplace in the coming years as well.