The Ad Specialty industry represents the most lucrative opportunity for sandcarvers. This industry realizes roughly $9 billion of profits every year; sandcarving currently represents only 1 percent of that activity. That 1 percent translates to annual profits of $90 million, off of annual revenues of about $100 million. Sandcarving sector projections predict annual growth of 15 to 20 percent, as the demand for sandcarved items continues to ramp up over time.
The estimated $100 million of revenue generated from sandcarved products is broken down as follows:
- 80 percent, corporate awards
- 10 percent, trophy and awards
- 10 percent, gift market
The gift market includes decorative glass as well as personalized wedding and anniversary products.
Sandcarving compared to other personalization techniques:
In a 2008 survey, the Awards and Recognition Association asked respondents what type of equipment they used to personalize recognition products. These are the results:
- 80 percent use laser engraving machines
- 78 percent use rotary engraving machines
- 56 percent use sublimation heat presses
- 39 percent use sandcarving equipment
- 21 percent use pad printing and hot stamping
Laser engraving machines have historically been popular with gift retailers because these machines can mass produce carved woods, metals and plastics. Unfortunately, the finished product has become a low-end commodity in the marketplace. Therefore, demand in this area is waning. As consumer tastes increasingly drive demand for higher quality items, sandcarvers will be well-positioned to fulfill the needs of this growing market.