In recent years, the hobby market has experienced impressive growth, as people continue to seek out enjoyable activities to fill their free time.
For retailers and manufacturers of hobby supplies, this expanding market represents a tremendous business opportunity.
From model trains to scrapbooking, hobbies have long provided a creative outlet and a way to unwind from the stresses of everyday life.
This article will take an in-depth look at the current hobby market, including popular hobbies, retail sales trends, and tips for capitalizing on this boom.
The Most Popular Hobbies Worldwide
It may come as no surprise that reading reigns supreme as the most popular hobby around the world. With the convenience of smartphones, e-readers, and tablets, people are consuming more written content than ever before. In the U.S. alone, roughly 75% of adults read at least one book a year.
Other leading global hobbies include:
- Listening to music
- Watching TV
- Computer activities
While these pastimes have broad appeal across many countries, some regions have their distinct hobby interests. For instance, South Americans are wild about dancing, with samba and tango generating devoted followings. Asians, on the other hand, tend to gravitate more toward at-home hobbies like karaoke or mahjong.
Top Hobby Trends in the United States
While reading remains popular in the U.S., several other hobby categories have recently experienced surges in popularity. These include:
Arts and Crafts
Crafting has made a major comeback, with stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby bustling with DIY-ers looking for their next project. Some of the hottest craft trends include scrapbooking, jewelry-making, knitting, and candle-making. The growing interest in handmade goods provides a lucrative opportunity for retailers specializing in arts and crafts supplies.
Adult Coloring Books
Once considered strictly a children’s activity, coloring books have developed a huge following among adults as a therapeutic, stress-relieving hobby. The adult coloring book industry has exploded in recent years, with elaborate designs and themes like animals, mandalas, and gardens. For coloring enthusiasts, supplies like colored pencils, markers, and sharpeners are must-have items.
Advances in digital camera technology have positioned photography as one of the most popular tech-driven hobbies. Both professional photographers and casual shutterbugs are always on the hunt for the latest gear—spurring sales of cameras, lenses, lighting, editing software, and more. The photography hobby market is estimated to be worth over $82 billion globally.
As health and fitness grow more mainstream, active hobbies like running, cycling, yoga, and home workouts are rampant. Fitness buffs represent an attractive retail market, frequently purchasing items like athletic apparel, fitness trackers, workout DVDs, exercise equipment, and sports nutrition products. The overall health and fitness industry generates over $40 billion in revenue each year.
Food and Drink
Gourmet cooking and mixology are two rising hobby trends, especially among millennials. Foodies are stocking their kitchens with the latest appliances, cookware, bakeware, and barware. Plus, interest in craft beer, wine, kombucha, and coffee translates to more sales of homebrewing equipment, glassware, and other supplies for beverage connoisseurs. This culinary hobby boom is a recipe for success for retailers.
Where to Buy Hobby Supplies Online?
The internet has become a go-to destination for hobbyists to shop for supplies, learn new skills, and connect with fellow enthusiasts. Here are some of the top online retailers catering to various hobby markets:
- Amazon: The Everything store offers one-stop shopping for hobby supplies ranging from fabric to metal detectors.
- Create and Craft: With tens of thousands of arts and crafts products, this UK-based site ships worldwide.
- Dick Blick: Widely known among artists for its extensive selection of art supplies and instructional content.
- Etsy: Massive handmade and vintage marketplace with hobby materials sold directly by crafters.
- Homebrewing.org: Trusted source for homebrewing starter kits, ingredients, and brewing gear.
- Litographs: Sells t-shirts, totes, and other goods printed with text from famous books—a literacy lover’s dream.
- Michaels: Major national arts and crafts chain with online shopping and in-store pickup options.
- Musician’s Friend: Carries all the instruments, pro audio equipment, and accessories modern musicians need.
- Photography Box: Stocks a huge range of photography gear, backdrops, and accessories for amateurs and pros.
- The Spice House: High-quality herbs, spices, seasonings, and bakeware for foodies looking to expand their palates.
The convenience of buying hobby goods online makes it easier than ever for people to pursue their passions. For retailers, a user-friendly e-commerce operation is essential for tapping into this loyal and lucrative customer base.
Cost to Get Started with Various Hobbies
Contrary to popular belief, many hobbies won’t break the bank to get started. Here’s a look at approximate costs for beginners on a budget:
- Reading – Free to $25 for an e-reader or popular book
- Drawing – $15 for a starter pack of pencils and sketchpad
- Writing – $3 to $20 for a notebook or basic word processor
- Photography – $200 for an entry-level digital camera
- Hiking – $0 to $45 for basic gear like shoes or backpack
- Knitting – $15 for needles and yarn
- Cooking – $5 to $20 for basic ingredients and kitchen tools
- Jewelry Making – $25 for a starter kit of beads, wire, crimps
- Scrapbooking – $30 for an album kit and decorative paper
- Video Games – $200 for a gaming console or PC gaming setup
- Gardening – $10 to $100+ for seeds, tools, soil amendments
Of course, devotees may choose to spend more on higher-end supplies once a hobby captures their passion. But overall, beginners can equip themselves with the basics without going overboard.
Retailers would do well to offer starter kits that contain all the fundamentals a new hobbyist needs at an affordable price point. This helps attract first-time dabblers and build their loyalty as customers.
Benefits of Having a Hobby
Beyond just passing the time, hobbies provide a wealth of benefits for mental, emotional, and physical health.
Here are some of the top advantages:
- Reduces stress: Hobbies distract from worries and promote relaxation. Things like gardening, fishing, yoga, or playing music elevate mood naturally.
- Boosts creativity: Artistic hobbies flex creative muscles the mind otherwise wouldn’t use. Escape the daily grind by making something unique.
- Builds confidence: Getting good at a hobby gives a sense of mastery and achievement. Showing off handiwork provides an esteem boost too.
- Prevents boredom: When life feels dull, hobbies inject excitement back into the picture. Keep free time fun and fulfilling with a go-to activity.
- Improves cognitive skills: Many hobbies sharpen the mind, from chess and crossword puzzles to learning a language or instrument.
- Encourages physical activity: Sports like cycling, hiking, and rock climbing promote heart health, mobility, and vitality — plus some much-needed time outdoors.
- Stimulates social connections: Share your hobby with others who have the same interests. Bonding over a common passion cultivates community.
- Provides a creative outlet: Crafts, writing, dance, photography, and other artistic pursuits channel creativity in a productive way.
- Teaches new skills: Hobbies open our eyes to talents and knowledge we didn’t know we had. Learning taps into our thirst for self-improvement.
- Fosters mindfulness: Silencing inner chatter through practices like yoga, meditation, or running promotes living in the moment.
- Offers escapism: Immersing in an enjoyable hobby lets you temporarily tune out life’s problems and stressors.
- Bring joy and passion: Few things feel more gratifying than actively pursuing an activity you wholeheartedly enjoy.
For all these reasons and more, everyone deserves to have hobbies they find meaningful. Retailers can consider these benefits when marketing hobby supplies to customers seeking healthier, happier lifestyles.
Finding a Hobby That Sparks Passion
With so many hobby options out there, how do you settle on one that truly lights you up inside? Here are some tips for matching activities to your unique interests and personality:
Look inward: What hidden talents have you longed to explore? Make a list of latent skills or childhood dreams that still resonate.
Observe what absorbs you: Pay attention to activities that mesmerize you, whether cooking, doodling, or tinkering with electronics. Your natural gravitation is a clue.
Recall what you loved before: Did you have a favorite hobby as a kid that faded away? Reigniting that youthful passion can be incredibly fulfilling.
Think outside the box: Don’t limit yourself to only conventional hobbies. Anything that intrigues you — stargazing, stunt kite flying, speedcubing — is fair game.
Align with your values: Let causes close to your heart guide you, like volunteering at an animal shelter if you love pets or planting a pollinator garden to help bees.
Browse hobby resources: Sift through websites, magazines, groups, and local classes related to potential hobbies and see what sparks excitement.
Talk to hobbyists: There’s no better way to learn about a hobby than chatting with an experienced enthusiast about what they love most.
Go to hobby events: Immerse yourself in the hobby community by attending conferences, tradeshows, tournaments, craft fairs, and more.
Try before you buy: Take beginner lessons or rent equipment before investing in supplies to ensure your interest is sustained.
Sample it casually first: Test runs a hobby with a minimal commitment by borrowing supplies from the library or a friend before going all in.
As a retailer, facilitating hobby discovery for customers can earn their loyalty. Offer free classes, partner with hobby groups, produce beginner tip content, and accept returns on starter kits so shoppers can sample hobbies risk-free.
Staying Motivated in a Hobby
Starting a new hobby brings a thrill of novelty at first, but that excitement can fizzle out without the right motivation. Here are some ways to reinforce your enthusiasm so a hobby sticks:
Set specific goals: Don’t just aspire to learn guitar…commit to mastering 3 new chords each week. Mini milestones keep you focused.
Vary your approach: Beat boredom by trying new techniques, workout routines, recipes, trails, drill progressions, etc. to refresh your hobby.
Treat yourself to new supplies: Splurge on that upgraded camera lens or baking set you’ve been eyeing once you meet a goal.
Track your progress: Apps, journals, photos, and other logs chronicle your improvement so you feel inspired to continue advancing.
Connect with others who share your hobby: Fellow enthusiasts understand your passion and can hold you accountable.
Show off your work: Proudly display your hobby output or share it on social media so others can appreciate it too.
Read or listen to motivational content: Bibliophiles might enjoy hobby-related books while auditory learners may prefer podcasts.
Take a break if burned out: Taking a short hobby hiatus can recharge your excitement levels so you return raring to go.
Reminisce why you started: Re-read old journal entries about what first drew you to the hobby whenever your zeal needs rekindling.
Make time for it: Schedule your hobby so it becomes a consistent habit, not something you do just when time permits.
Encouraging customers to pursue their hobby regularly means repeat business for you as their go-to supplier. Make sure your retail shop or website fosters repeat sales through memberships, loyalty programs, subscriptions, or other incentives.
What Are Some Tips for Getting Involved in the Rising Hobby Market?
If you’re looking to find the perfect hobby, consider exploring the rising hobby market.
With numerous options available, it’s important to research and narrow down your interests. Join online communities, attend hobby-related events, and read relevant blogs to stay updated. Experiment with different hobbies until you find one that genuinely captivates you.
Enjoy the process and embrace the joy that comes with immersing yourself in a new hobby.
- The hobby market is booming, with activities like arts & crafts, adult coloring, photography, fitness, and cooking seeing major growth recently.
- Top hobby supply retailers include massive online stores like Amazon and Etsy as well as niche sites tailored to specific hobbies.
- Many popular hobbies can be started fairly cheaply, with basic supplies costing $10-$30 for beginners. This presents an opportunity for retailers to offer affordable starter kits.
- Hobbies provide a wealth of benefits for mental, physical, social, and emotional health. Retailers should promote these benefits in marketing to customers seeking fulfilling lifestyle activities.
- Retaining hobbyists’ enthusiasm long-term ensures repeat business. Retailers should offer memberships, loyalty programs, or subscriptions to encourage this continuous engagement.
Our deep dive into the hobby market makes one thing clear: hobby participation is at an all-time high, fueled by people pursuing passions that enhance their lives. This presents an exciting opportunity for retailers to capitalize on hobbyists’ vibrant community, insatiable curiosity, and quest for self-improvement.
With so many hobby options flourishing, specialty retailers have the chance to dominate niches aligned with their offerings. Savvy businesses can also capture novice spending by providing affordable starter kits. Furthermore, helping hobbyists stay engaged for the long haul ensures you remain their supplier of choice.
The bottom line? Find what you love and make it your business to provide the gear, guidance, and inspiration that devotees need to fully immerse in their hobby. By fueling others’ passions, your business is sure to thrive.
FAQs – The Rising Trend of Hobby Markets: How to Get Involved
What are the key factors driving the growth of the hobby market?
The key factors driving the growth of the hobby market include the rising popularity of leisure activities among different age groups, the availability of high-quality products and accessories, and the pride individuals take in their hobbies. Additionally, the boost in millennial participation and the increasing number of outdoor sports enthusiasts have also contributed to the market’s growth.
What are some recommended resources for beginners looking to start a new hobby?
If you’re looking to start a new hobby, there are plenty of budget-friendly options out there. Check out online communities for inspiration and advice, and consider hobbies like yoga or painting for stress relief and self-improvement.
How can I understand the target audience of the hobby market?
Understanding the target audience of the hobby market involves analyzing different age groups and their preferences. Conducting market research and studying demographic data can provide insights into specific segments. For example, children and adults may have different leisure interests and purchasing behaviors, and it’s important to tailor your approach accordingly.
What are some unique and unusual hobbies that are gaining popularity in the market?
Looking for unique and unusual hobbies? Check out extreme knitting, urban beekeeping, underwater basket weaving, competitive axe throwing, unicycle basketball, retro video gaming, historical reenactment, drone racing, geocaching adventures, and tarot reading exploration.
How is the hobby market growing?
The hobby market is experiencing significant growth due to several factors. Market research indicates that there is an increasing number of individuals participating in hobbies and seeking related products. The market size, especially in regions like North America and the Asia-Pacific, is expanding, generating substantial revenue.
How can I get involved in the hobby market?
To get involved in the hobby market, you can start by identifying your interests or finding a niche that aligns with your passion. Conduct industry analysis or market research to understand the current trends and demands. You can then explore opportunities to participate as a retailer, or distributor, or even provide services to hobbyists. Networking and building strategic relationships with clients and reliable supply chain partners are also important steps in entering the hobby market.