British adults are driving sales of a children’s soft cuddly toy that is said to provide respite from the stresses of modern life.
According to the latest data from Ryman, onsite searches for Squishmallows, a popular soft toy, have surged by a staggering +8,711%, while sales have increased by +53% this year.
The 200-strong retail chain, which specialises in stationery and office supplies, says the trend is part of the ‘kidulting’ phenomenon, in which adults are embracing soft toys to relieve anxiety by tapping into the nostalgia of childhood, according to experts. In a surprise revelation, it’s claimed that cuddly companions can evoke memories of simpler times to provide a much-needed escape from the pressures of everyday adult life.
Ryman head of marketing Chloe Danskin commented: “It’s clear that the appeal of ‘kidulting’ is rapidly gaining momentum and captivating the attention of people across the nation. Our data suggests that shoppers are looking for comforting and nostalgic experiences in record numbers, with Squishmallows, in particular, appearing to fill the void. We’ve been amazed by the response to our range of the product, which is clearly in high demand.”
Each Squishmallow features a unique character and comes in various shapes and sizes. Since their introduction, the toys have gained a huge following among children and adults alike. Ryman says collaborations with major franchises such as Pokémon have helped drive this incredible sales surge.
Chloe added: “As the ‘kidulting’ trend continues to boom, it’s clear that these innocent toys are not just for children anymore. Their ability to soothe and rekindle cherished memories has found a special place in the hearts of adults across the UK, providing a welcome respite from the challenges of day-to-day life. As the world around us becomes increasingly complex, these simple, delightful toys remind us all of the importance of finding comfort in the little things.”
Just in time for the back-to-school surge, Ryman also has a range of Squishmallow stationery, notebooks, stickers, lunch bags and water bottles for kids, or adults, looking for on-trend stationery this summer.