Global Writing Instrument Market to Reach $21.6 Billion by 2017

Pens, pencils, markers and highlighters will soon have a higher value than the gross domestic product of nearly half the countries in the world, a new study shows. A report from research firm Global Industry Analysts shows that the global market for writing instruments is set to reach $21.6 billion by 2017.

“Writing and Marking Instruments: A Global Strategic Business Report” breaks down the market by type, distribution channel and country, and provides profiles of many of major companies. Among those profiled are several corporations from the promotional products industry, including BIC Group, A.T. Cross, Pilot Corporation and Pentel Company.

Writing instruments are one of the largest segments in the $16.5 billion promotional products industry. Pen and pencil sales account for over 8 percent of all industry sales in the U.S. according to PPAI, accounted for roughly $1.5 billion in 2010.

Global Industry Analysts notes that writing instrument purchasing trends are changing both domestically and internationally. While local supply stores have traditionally been the most common source of pen and pencil purchases, sales have shifted over the last 20 years. Major office supply chains, like Staples and Office Max, now account for more of the market, as do wholesalers and online retailers.

Among the report’s findings are also indications that the use of writing instruments is changing. In the U.S. and Europe, pens are being used more as gifts and luxury items, and are “increasingly being perceived as fashion-accessories, similar to high-priced watches.” In contrast, there is a large demand for more basic writing instruments in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, where populations and literacy levels are increasing.

The report is available for purchase, either in full or in part, at Global Industry Analysts’ website.

Kyle A. Richardson is the editorial director of Promo Marketing. He joined the company in 2006 brings more than a decade of publishing, marketing and media experience to the magazine. If you see him, buy him a drink.

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