Exclusive: Letter from America – sustainable toys; a conundrum

Published on: 1st February 2022

In this month’s column, Rick Derr confesses that he finds selling green or sustainable toys a real conundrum.

Rick begins by rounding up some highlights from Learning Express’s business in 2021 and giving us a quick forecast for Q1 2022.

He then turns his attention to the worldwide green or sustainable toys market, which is growing at considerable CAGR.

“Learning Express Toys has tried to sell different ‘green’ products over the last 5-10 years, as well as testing different merchandising sets in store, and while sales are OK, they simply have not matched the rate we see with other competitive (mostly non-green) items,” he writes. “This frustrates me because when we ask our customer base, or undertake a survey, everyone votes for and says they will purchase green toys. At point of sale, however, they usually opt for a lesser priced item.”

With a strong belief in the cause, Rick feels that there is still more to do to make products sustainable, as well as deal with all the packaging that comes with product deliveries. He details the steps Learning Express is taking to play its part, which include working with local High School students to explore and look at ways to reduce packaging in shipping.

Rick is hopeful that, working with the major players in the toy market, the right balance of business profitability and common-sense regarding our planet can be found. “The toy industry can lead the way,” he concludes, “and show customers it’s not just about price, but rather a more sustainable future.”

To read the full article, which appeared in the Jnauary edition of Toy World, click here.


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