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Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Arts and Crafts Consumer market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

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What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

For the purposes of this report, “arts and crafts” describe projects
made by consumers for recreational or commercial purposes, either
using a kit or from base materials. Relevant items in this category include:

  • Photo crafts (eg photography, scrapbooking)
  • Knitting or crocheting
  • Sewing crafts (eg quilting, embroidery)
  • Painting
  • Drawing/colouring (eg calligraphy, colouring books)
  • Home/event decorating
  • Paper crafts (eg card making, origami)
  • Cake/dessert decorating
  • Kids’ crafts (eg making slime, nebula jars)
  • Tech crafting (eg 3D printing, program-assisted drawing)

Crafters: respondents who have made any type of art or craft
evaluated by the survey within the past 12 months (leading up to
December 2018).

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Carol Wong-Li, a leading analyst in the Lifestyles & Leisure sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The majority (58%) of Canadians participated in making at least one type of arts/craft activity in 2018. Although engagement is likely more sporadic for most, the process of making arts and crafts meets a number of wellness benefits for consumers including relaxation and bonding with family or friends
Carol Wong-Li
Associate Director – Lifestyles & Leisure

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definitions
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Arts/crafting sees relatively niche engagement and participation is sporadic
            • Figure 1: Frequency of making arts/crafts, December 2018
          • Change is on the horizon: older crafters differ in approach to younger ones
            • Figure 2: Preference for making arts craft by oneself vs enjoyment of the social aspect of arts/crafting in a group, by age, December 2018
          • Dollar stores have an edge on craft specialty stores
            • Figure 3: Store type where arts/craft supplies are purchased, by art/crafting skill level, December 2018
          • The opportunities
            • Consider colouring outside of traditional lines and cater to fathers
              • Figure 4: Select attitudes towards making arts and crafts, fathers with under-18s at home vs mothers, December 2018
            • Keep calm and craft on: position the process of arts/crafting as an act of self-care
              • Figure 5: Select attitudes towards making arts and crafts, December 2018
            • The fewer steps the better, buy-now and click-to-shop buttons should be a staple
              • Figure 6: Online sources used for arts/crafts inspiration, December 2018
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Improved financial confidence means more room for enjoyable activities
                • Mental wellness is more of a priority for young Canadians
                  • A shifting retail landscape will put pressure on craft specialty retailers
                  • Market Factors

                    • Improved economy sees more willing to spend on personal interests
                      • Figure 7: Perception of financial health, January/February 2016-18
                    • Family fun happens on a budget
                      • Figure 8: Monthly entertainment budget, November 2017
                    • Younger consumers prioritize their mental health
                      • Figure 9: Importance of personal wellness types (ranked 1st), by age, March 2016
                    • Changes in Canada’s retail landscape will put pressure on craft specialty retailers
                      • Consumers are most likely to buy arts/craft supplies at discount/dollar stores
                        • International entrants and strong presence of discount stores heating up the market
                        • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                          • Canadians are into card making, paper crafts and home décor
                            • Societal shifts make for all the right ‘materials’ for the sector
                              • The current positioning of the category is limiting
                                • Old trends make a return, possibly so will old skills
                                • What’s Artful and Crafty?

                                  • Card making, paper crafts and home décor are hot topics for Canadians
                                    • Figure 10: Top arts and crafts topics on Instagram, Canada, January 1 – December 31, 2018
                                    • Figure 11: Top arts and crafts topics on Pinterest, Canada, January 1 – December 31, 2018
                                  • Societal changes combined with shifts in the category make for all the right ‘materials’
                                    • Young consumers are interested in arts and crafts
                                      • Figure 12: Any arts/crafts made in past 12 months (net), by age, December 2018
                                    • An increasingly social spin on arts and crafts draws young consumers
                                      • Increased visibility of arts/crafts is reinvigorating the category
                                        • Figure 13: ‘To learn a new hobby’ as reason to make arts/crafts in past 12 months, by age, December 2018
                                      • More help is available than ever before
                                      • What Could Benefit from Colouring Outside the Lines?

                                        • The category confines itself inside traditional lines
                                          • The current positioning of the category is limiting
                                            • Figure 14: Any arts/crafts made in past 12 months (net) – men, by age, December 2018
                                          • Consider colouring outside the lines and cater to the less traditional audience of men
                                            • Figure 15: Scott Living Custom Frame Collection at Michaels | Scott Brothers, March 2018
                                          • Sharpen the focus on ‘working with your hands’ and skill improvement
                                          • What’s Next?

                                            • What’s old is new again
                                              • ‘Old-fashioned’ arts and crafts are set to be the trends of 2019
                                                • Figure 16: Water Bottle Flower Paint Pouring, February 2018
                                              • There is a boost in visibility of handiwork thanks to the high-end fashion industry
                                                • Figure 17: The Spring-Summer 2019 Haute Couture Collection Know-how, January 2019
                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                              • Many claim to be crafters though participation is sporadic
                                                • Consumers connect arts/crafting to mental health benefits
                                                  • YouTube is a key resource for crafters
                                                    • Dollar stores have the edge when it comes to buying arts/crafts supplies
                                                      • Lack of interest is the biggest barrier to entry
                                                      • Making Arts and Crafts: Skills and Frequency

                                                        • Most have partaken, though participation is likely sporadic
                                                          • Figure 18: Types of arts/crafts made in past 12 months, December 2018
                                                          • Figure 19: Frequency of making arts/crafts and skill level, December 2018
                                                        • Current positioning may be hindering engagement amongst young men
                                                          • Figure 20: Any arts/crafts made in past 12 months (net), by gender and age, December 2018
                                                        • The beauty industry provides a good example of ways to engage young men
                                                          • Figure 21: Acquisition email, Clinique, October 2017
                                                          • Figure 22: Skincare Tutorial by Kris Smith, October 2017
                                                        • Parents, regardless of gender, are engaged and want more
                                                          • Figure 23: Any arts/crafts made in past 12 months (net), parent of under-18s at home vs not a parent, December 2018
                                                        • Learning moments that appeal to the interests of parents will win over all
                                                          • Figure 24: Tinker Crate and Kiwi Crate Project Compilation | Monthly Science & Art Projects for Kids, October 2018
                                                        • Chinese Canadians are keen on photo crafts
                                                          • Figure 25: Made photo crafts in past 12 months, Chinese Canadians vs overall, December 2018
                                                        • Arts/crafts more likely to be an interest of the LGBTQ community
                                                          • Figure 26: Select types of arts/crafts made in past 12 months, LGBTQ vs overall, December 2018
                                                      • Reasons for Making Arts and Crafts

                                                        • Relaxation is a key motivator
                                                          • Figure 27: Select attitudes towards making arts and crafts, December 2018
                                                        • Partnerships between colouring books/supplies with shows may yield gains
                                                          • Making arts and crafts hits many mental health components for women
                                                            • Figure 28: Reasons for making arts and crafts – women, December 2018
                                                          • For parents, arts/crafting is an avenue for quality time with the kids
                                                            • Figure 29: ‘Make something for myself’ as a reason for making arts and crafts, parents with under-18s at home vs those who are not parents, December 2018
                                                          • Making arts/craft time more gender-neutral is necessary to engage more dads
                                                            • Fathers are happy to share their handiwork online – reward them for doing so
                                                              • Figure 30: Select attitudes towards making arts and crafts, fathers with under-18s at home vs mothers, December 2018
                                                            • Projects promoting popular interests will gain the attention of dads
                                                              • Figure 31: Entertaining Tray Game Changer, January 2018
                                                              • Figure 32: Entertaining Tray Highlight of the Night, January 2018
                                                          • Solo vs Social Arts and Crafting

                                                            • There is a preference to take on arts/crafting as a solo pursuit
                                                              • Figure 33: Solo vs social preference for making arts and crafts by oneself (% agree), December 2018
                                                            • Consider positioning the process of making arts/crafts as an act of self-care
                                                              • Younger consumers more appreciative of the social side of arts/crafting
                                                                • Figure 34: Agreement with ‘I enjoy the social aspect of doing arts/crafts’, by age, December 2018
                                                              • Partnerships with foodservice vendors may gain the attention of younger consumers
                                                              • Arts and Crafts Ideas and Inspiration Sources

                                                                • Consumers are turning to YouTube for ideas and instructions
                                                                  • Figure 35: Leveraging the internet for ideas and instructions for arts/crafts projects (% agree), December 2018
                                                                  • Figure 36: Online sources used for arts/crafts inspiration, December 2018
                                                                • Click-to-buy functions will make a difference
                                                                  • Figure 37: DIY Gift Boxes & Bags, January 2017
                                                                • YouTube is a key avenue to connecting with dads
                                                                  • Figure 38: Online sources used for arts/crafts inspiration, fathers with under-18s at home vs mothers, December 2018
                                                                • Branding cues are more important when reaching dads
                                                                    • Figure 39: John Legend’s “Stinky Booty” Song with Pampers, June 2018
                                                                  • Shoppable posts on Instagram will generate traction amongst 18-34s
                                                                    • Figure 40: Using Instagram for arts/crafts inspiration, by age, December 2018
                                                                • Shopping for Arts and Crafts Supplies

                                                                  • General retailers are winning out
                                                                    • Figure 41: Store type where arts/craft supplies are purchased, December 2018
                                                                  • Growing presence of discount stores is putting pressure on specialty craft retailers
                                                                    • Figure 42: Store type where arts/craft supplies are purchased, by art/crafting skill level, December 2018
                                                                  • Special consideration: a broader consumer audience means more legs to stand on
                                                                    • Figure 43: Frame Game | The Scott Brothers, January 2019
                                                                  • Cost and convenience matter to moms
                                                                    • Figure 44: Store type where arts/craft supplies are purchased, mothers with under-18s at home vs overall, December 2018
                                                                  • Get creative: find ways to reduce steps in supply shopping process to appeal to moms
                                                                    • Figure 45: Linked Heart Garland, February 2016
                                                                • Barriers to Arts and Crafting

                                                                    • Figure 46: Barriers to making arts and crafts, December 2018
                                                                  • Consumers today seek new challenges so appeal to their interests
                                                                    • Time is the primary issue for 18-24s
                                                                        • Figure 47: ‘I don’t have time’ as a barrier to making arts/crafts, by age, December 2018
                                                                      • Busy iGens will respond to options that meet them where they are
                                                                      • Crafter Consumer Segmentation

                                                                        • Crafters vary on approach and enthusiasm
                                                                            • Figure 48: Crafter consumer segments, December 2018
                                                                          • The Solo Crafter (29%)
                                                                            • Who are they?
                                                                              • A primary opportunity group: engaged and will respond to benefits for the individual
                                                                                • The Social Crafter (39%)
                                                                                  • Who are they?
                                                                                    • Opportunities aplenty to appeal to Social Crafters by shifting away from the traditional
                                                                                      • The Occasional Dabbler (32%)
                                                                                        • Limited opportunities exist with this segment
                                                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                          • Data sources
                                                                                            • Consumer survey data
                                                                                              • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                                                • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                                  • Abbreviations

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