2022 Gifting Trends: Insights from top ATL & NYC shows
Looking for the latest and greatest in personalized business gifts, experiential gifting, corporate gift ideas and beyond? If you need inspiration for innovative new hire gifts, the best gifts for clients, holiday gifts for employees or branded gifts for your prospects and partners—we have you covered.
Strategic gifting is an impactful way to differentiate your brand and cultivate meaningful connections with every audience. At Augeo, we design gift experiences to enliven the five senses—providing recipients with a curated assortment of unique and delightful gifts to complement every occasion.
Recently, our team got back from the top gifting markets and shows across Atlanta and New York, including AmericasMart Atlanta, Shoppe Object and NY NOW—and we’re bringing you all the details! While brand customization continues to reign supreme and is no longer just for promotional products, exciting new trends have emerged.
Read on to explore the top 10 gifting trends for 2022.
1. The power of self-care
Many of the trending gift items our team observed across the ATL and NYC gift shows belong to a tried-and-true category that remains as popular as ever in 2022—self-care essentials. From bath bombs, beard oils and cleansing gems to lip salve, lotion and beyond, these products help your giftee unwind and feel good.
After all, engaging in a self-care routine goes beyond the surface. It’s a great (and clinically proven) way to reduce stress, calm anxiety and ease depression while promoting increased happiness and energy. And who doesn’t want to feel their best?
2. Gourmet goodies galore
Whether you’re putting together business gifts for clients or compiling unique gift ideas for your next in-person, virtual or hybrid event experience, the inclusion of something sweet or savory for your giftees to snack on is always a welcome treat.
Decadent chocolates collections, on-the-go risotto, premium salt rocks, gourmet nuts, charcuterie classics—you name it! Adding one or two of these delectable favorites in your curated gift box is a smart choice. Giftees love gourmet experiences, and luxe recipe books also make for a great addition.
3. Show me the honey!
Our team discovered a sweet surprise across each of the gift shows: Honey is taking the world of gifting by storm! In addition to exquisitely packaged unfiltered clover honey itself, our team experienced a variety of products infused with honey. This included coconut crème wax candles, skincare essentials like body butter, hand soap and heel glaze—even premium soaking salts.
Little luxuries like these fall into a wonderful gifting category: Products that people don’t regularly buy themselves but that they absolutely adore and appreciate when received as part of a gift.
4. It’s happy hour somewhere
When putting together custom gift boxes for clients, prospects, partners and beyond, consider including elevated barware staples—even happy-hour card games and pocket guides to mixing cocktails and mocktails for a lighthearted touch.
Another great choice is elegant drinkware sets—which don’t have to be used for alcoholic drinks. Other trends from the gift shows included bourbon-smoked snack mix, insulated cup coolers and beautifully presented cocktail-infused candles.
5. Go bright or go home
From rich corals and brilliant pinks to neon yellows and electric blues—bright colors were on full display this year across almost every product category and gifting showcase.
While the design of your personalized gift boxes may require a more muted palette to align with your brand, the inclusion of radiant gifts within is an effective way to brighten any mood and convey deep feelings of positivity and joy to your giftee. Keep an eye out for vibrant packaging, naturally colorful materials and products that offer a robust selection of colorways.
Bonus points: To align with the 2022 Pantone Color of the Year, Very Peri, seek out periwinkle-hued gifts that encourage personal inventiveness and creativity.
6. Mystical goes mainstream
Take your strategic gifting campaign to the stars with gifts inspired by astrology and spiritual staples—a prominent trend that continues to become even more mainstream as we delve into 2022. Gifts like crystal sets, fortune cards, zodiac candles, chocolate tarot cards and aromatherapy inhalers sparked a touch of magic at the gift shows.
Beyond the mysticism, CBD products continue to emerge as a popular contender. While they may not be the right choice for every audience, CBD-infused products like patches, gelées and lollipops are an effective way to stand out from the crowd.
7. Home sweet home luxury
Go for gold! When it comes to gifts for the home, aim for everyday essentials elevated through extraordinary finishes and exquisite presentation. From brass-toned smart speakers and decorative objects to gilded office essentials and premium versions of tabletop games like tic-tac-toe—it’s all about items that evoke a feeling of luxury.
Another popular trend in the home gifting space is functional gifts with unique and fascinating forms—a great way to surprise and delight your giftees with unexpected but useful items they can easily incorporate into their home lives.
8. Embrace the wanderlust
As business travel continues to resume, travel essentials like premium passport holders and luggage tags are making a comeback. Beyond the staples, our team also observed an emerging trend: everyday items and classic gifts like bags, drinkware and keychains sporting vibrant prints and designs inspired by maps of individual cities around the world.
Planning to motivate a sales team with the vacation of a lifetime this year? Employee incentive gifts that connect with the destination itself are a fun way to complement the experience leading up to a trip.
9. Gear up and game on
Trend alert! Small, simple games can have a big and lasting impact. We’re talking about the classics: dominos, playing cards, pick-up sticks, checkers, backgammon—only reimagined in effortlessly cool and wonderfully creative ways that transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.
This effect is often achieved through unexpected color palettes and materials, such as hardwood chess pieces, rainbow playing cards—the possibilities are limitless. Adding modern games such as take-a-compliment cards is a good way to balance the traditional with the new.
10. Supporting the greater good
Finally, some of the best corporate gifts our team discovered at the Atlanta and New York City shows were the ones sustainably sourced, ethically made and designed to support important causes. These items run the gamut across every gifting category—the difference lies in the message they send to the giftee.
Providing clients, partners, prospects and employees with gifts that give back is an effective way to express your brand values and showcase your passion for the causes near and dear to your heart. They’re also a great way to actively promote the change you hope to see in the world—and an opportunity to bring a deeper layer of meaning to any gift experience.
Some gifts are big. Others are small. But the ones that come from the heart are the best gifts of all. —Tinku Razoria
If you need a hand with your next strategic gifting campaign, let’s connect. We offer full-service gifting solutions to enrich relationships and create lasting impact.