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#OnShelf: Growth in toy market driven by ‘kidults’

by Louise Burgers. Nostalgia is big news in driving growth in the toy industry worldwide, reports Toys R Us; Coca-Cola relaunches Coke Studio; and a call for clear warning labels on food packaging.

by Louise Burgers. Nostalgia is big news in driving growth in the toy industry, worldwide, reports Toys R Us; Coca-Cola relaunches Coke Studio; and a call for clear warning labels on food packaging.

Traditional toys make a comeback

There’s a new trend on the rise in the toy sector: ‘kidult’ toys are surging in popularity as young adults look to their childhood toys for comfort and nostalgia during difficult times, says Toys R Us. According to Toy World magazine, in the past year, roughly a quarter of all toy sales have gone to young adults aged between 19 and 29 years. Toys have always been big business, with global sales hitting nearly $104 billion in 2021 – up by 8.5% growth over 2020. “This year is set to be another bumper year for the industry,” says Catherine Jacoby, marketing manager at Toys R Us. “The traditional toy market is making a comeback, with ‘vintage’ trends at the forefront.” For example, half of all Lego sold is bought by adults. “Strong brands like Lego, Barbie, Hotwheels, Pokémon and Rubik’s Cube, that have continued over the years are now going from strength to strength.” According to NPD’s Global Toy Market report, the kidult sector rose by 19% in the past four years with games and puzzles as one of the highest growth categories in 2021. Jacoby says that millennial consumers are changing the toy industry for good. The most popular toys include the vintage eras of the 60s and 70s, like Stretch Armstrong, Hotwheels, Pez candy and Star Wars. Then there are also toys from the 80s and 90s, such as GI Joe, Turtles, Rubik’s Cube, Thundercat’s and Nintendo; as well as Tamagotchi, Pokémon, Polly Pocket, Barbie, Hotwheels and Power Rangers.

New campaign calls for clearer food warning labels

It is important for people to know what’s hidden in their food so they can make more informed food choices, which is why advocacy group, Healthy Living Alliance (HEALA), is calling for bold front-of-package labels (FoPLs). Nzama Mbalati, HEALA’s programme manager, explains: “New research shows that warning labels on unhealthy packaged food would be a feasible and equitable policy to help South Africans identify and reduce purchasing of unhealthy food. While new draft legislation on packaging is waiting in the wings, there have been protracted delays, so HEALA is urging consumers and community organisations, traditional leaders and NGOs to call for change. It is time to empower shoppers with the information they need to make the right decisions and protect their families’ health.” The nationwide campaign, What’s in our Food?, will urge people to question what hidden ingredients can be found in pre-packaged foods. HEALA’s decision to ramp up its campaign this year is in line with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendations that governments must legislate the use of easy-to-understand nutrition labels, so that consumers think twice before placing foods that are high in sugar, salt or saturated fat in their shopping baskets. Front-of-package label regulations have already been implemented in at least 10 countries, including Argentina, Mexico and Chile.

Celebrating our heritage at Rosebank Mall

The African Craft Market experience at Rosebank Mall during September to celebrate Heritage Month, is peppered by memorable encounters with the talented vendors whose passion for their work and for people is as enticing as their art. The Rosebank Art & Craft Market is an important and vibrant hub in the Rosebank community. As with all markets, it was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and the vendors struggled. There is a ‘Support Small Business’ concept, offering a rich diversity of authentic and proudly African products at affordable local prices, by artists and traders from several African countries – including South Africa, Ghana, Congo, Cameroon, Malawi, Kenya, Mali, Senegal, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

CAMPAIGN: Coca-Cola relaunches ‘Coke Studio’

Coca-Cola is bringing back Coke Studio, the digital-first, always-on platform which provides an opportunity for creative talents to partner, create, and deliver new and exclusive creative collaborations to new and existing audiences. Launched internationally in May of this year, Coke Studio brought seven international artists together for a re-recording of Queen’s iconic A Kind of Magic, under the title The Conductor. The music video, which brings each artist’s unique style of music to the table, debuted on the Coke Studio YouTube Hub. Here in South Africa, Coke Studio will come to life with some of the top talented local artists reimagining their hottest tracks into new and unique musical experiences. Local artists include DJ and producer DJ Zinhle; rapper Focalistic; R&B and soul singer Lloyiso; the amapiano duo Amaroto; the Hip Hop and R&B duo MajorSteez; and amapiano star Ch’ccoAlot. “Coke Studio is a direct extension of Coca-Cola’s Real Magic philosophy,” says Silke Bucker, senior marketing director, Coca-Cola Africa. “It celebrates and demonstrates the unique ability of music to unite people from different cultures, backgrounds, and interests, while providing a unique connection point to come together and enjoy new experiences which will be remembered forever.”


Main image credit: Supplied.



Louise Burgers is the Publisher and Editor and Co-Founder of RetailingAfrica.com. She has spent over 20 years writing about the FMCG retailing, marketing, media and advertising industry in South Africa and on the African continent. She has specialised in local and Africa consumer trends and is a passionate Afro-optimist who believes it is Africa’s time to rise again and that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will be a global gamechanger in the next decade.


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