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ASI survey sheds light on markets in the EU and UK

Redaktion PSI Journal

Published on 14.12.2023

Industry service provider Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) has compiled a survey that contains a data-supported estimate of total sales in the promotional products business in the EU and the United Kingdom. According to this survey, distributors’ total sales in 2022 amount to 12.48 billion US dollars.

Just how large is the European promotional products market? That is a question, according to the ASI, which managers in the promotional products business “are asking themselves ever more often on both sides of the Atlantic recently, since the business is becoming increasingly globalised.” ASI Research now has the answer. According to the survey, distributors’ total sales in 2022 amount to 12.48 billion US dollars; hence, the European distribution market is apparently almost half as large as its North American counterpart, which has a volume of 25.8 billion dollars. Under consideration were the 27 EU states as well as the four nations belonging to Great Britain. Separated according to EU and UK, in 2022,  promotional products distributors in the European Union achieved sales of 10.48 billion dollars, British distributors two billion.

More than just a sales figure

“Estimates for some countries had already been performed before,” reports the ASI, “but there has rarely been a comprehensive survey for the European Union and the United Kingdom combined.” In this connection, Nate Kucsma, Senior Executive Director of Research at the ASI, emphasises that the survey was about more than just a sales figure. Rather, it additionally revealed, which European counties overall, and per capita, spend the most on promotion and how high a share, as a percentage, branded products sales have in gross domestic product. Added to that is information about product preferences, end markets, sustainability and Brexit.

Nate Kucsma
Picture: © ASI

Understanding market size

“Since our industry is continuing to grow and companies are expanding both organically and as a result of international takeovers, we were increasingly being asked for data about the European market that can be compared with those for the North American market,” explains Kucsma. “Previously,” Kucsma continues, “there had been no unitary data for Great Britain and the European Union. That needed to be changed. Estimates are important, because they enable companies to understand the size of the market they are addressing and to identify where they fit into that market. Because we are continuing to monitor the industry’s growth, companies are able to appraise the growth of their company in comparison to the industry as a whole.” The ASI indicates that it has been helping to build bridges between the North American promotional products industry and its European counterpart for about two decades.

North American market as sales benchmark

A few words about the survey’s background: In order to determine market size, the researchers used the North American market as a sales benchmark. Among other things, the task involved ascertaining the share, as a percentage, of promotion in total advertising expenditure in the United States. With an eye to the North American benchmarks, the ASI developed an algorithm that included evaluations of gross domestic product per capita, promotion expenditure per capita, and the number of small and medium-sized enterprises in each examined European country. The researchers applied the resulting formula in order to ascertain the estimated total promotion expenditure for Great Britain and each country of the European Union, and subsequently added them up in order to obtain an overall total. “The difficult part was developing the calculations and refining the estimates,” Kucsma explains, adding: “Now the fun part begins – gauging reactions to this intense in-depth survey and refining the estimates going forward.”

The European top ten

According to the ASI survey, there are four national markets in Europe in which distributors achieve more than one billion dollars in sales annually: Germany (almost 3.1 billion dollars), the UK (2 billion dollars), France (1.68 billion dollars) and Italy (1.5 billion dollars). The fifth- largest national market is Spain, with 566 million dollars – “a market that, measured by sales, makes up a bit more than one third of the size of the fourth-ranking, Italy,” according to the survey. Completing the top ten are Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands and Austria.

Decorative image:  © tostphoto –