Greeting Card Publishers

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white
— Lyrics from “White Christmas,” by Irving Berlin

greeting cardThe holiday season. That time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Or is it between Halloween and New Year’s Day? The retail holiday season seems to start earlier every year. It’s the time of year when we hear terms such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when advertisements for gifts for young and old alike are more numerous and sales abound in stores and online. For many people dates on the calendar are filled with shopping, trips to see Santa, holiday baking and decorating, religious services, parties, and get-togethers with friends and family.

Amidst all this busyness, some will find quiet time to sit down and address Christmas cards to their friends and loved ones, wishing them well in the new year and letting them know they are thought of warmly. Much has changed since 1875 when the first Christmas card was printed in the United States. Nowadays more people are sending greetings online, but paper greeting cards have not fallen out of favor. According to the Greeting Card Association, consumers in the United States buy 6.5 billion greeting cards annually, approximately a quarter of which—1.6 billion—are Christmas cards,1 the most popular type of seasonal greeting card. Valentine’s Day cards and Mother’s Day cards are a distant second and third, with 145 million2 and 133 million units sold respectively.

Today’s market size shows the number of greeting card publishing establishments in the United States in 2006 and 2016 according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s County Business Patterns survey. While there were fewer establishments in 2016 than there were in 2006, the number of people employed rose from 12,765 to 13,842 over this time period. The average yearly wages for workers in this industry, however, dropped dramatically, from $49,442 in 2006 to $34,199 in 2016.

1 Including boxed cards.
2 Not including classroom valentines.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2006 and 2016
Market size: 132 and 99 respectively
Sources: County Business Patterns, American FactFinder, United States Census Bureau, various years available online here; “About Greeting Cards – General Facts,” Greeting Card Association, July 2016 available online here; John Hanc, “The History of the Christmas Card,”, December 9, 2015 available online here; “White Christmas Lyrics – Irving Berlin” available online here.
Image source: BiljaST, “christmas-new-year-happy-3003907,” Pixabay, December 2017 available online here.

Train Batteries


Steel Rails, chasing sunshine ’round the bend

Winding through the trees like a ribbon in the wind

I don’t mind not knowing what lies down the track

‘Cause I’m looking out ahead

To keep my mind from turning back

— Chorus from the song “Steel Rails” by Louisa Branscomb

Worldwide, passengers traveled a total of 3.7 trillion kilometers by train in 2016. That same year, more than 9.9 trillion tonne kilometers of freight were shipped. The vast majority of passenger kilometers traveled, 80%, were in Asia and Oceania1; the fewest were in America, which includes both the United States and Canada. Two regions were nearly evenly split on the percentage of tonne kilometers of freight shipped by rail: Asia and Oceania with 37% and America with 31%. The Russian Federation followed with 23%. A total of 1.1 million rail lines allow for the transport of passengers and freight worldwide, more than a third of which are in America, followed by Asia and Oceania (28%) and Europe (24%).2

Whether a train is transporting passengers or freight, all use batteries either as backup power, for engine starting, as storage systems to capture energy recovered from braking or to power the trains themselves. Today’s market size shows the estimated sales of train batteries in 2018 and projected for 2025. The market is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 5.15% during this time period as more people around the world become dependent on rail transport.

Currently, lead-acid batteries are the predominate battery used in rolling stock, but as lithium-ion batteries become more economical and efficient and demand for maintenance-free batteries increases, they are expected to be the type of battery most used by the end of this time period. In the future, demand for environmentally-friendly bullet trains and autonomous trains with advanced features such as automated doors, infotainment systems, and passenger information systems will spur sales of train batteries as these types of trains require significantly more power.

1 Excludes Russia and Turkey
2 Includes Turkey

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2018 and 2025
Market size: $470.5 million and $703.2 million, respectively
Sources: “From a Market Size of USD 470.5 million in 2018, The Train Battery Market is Projected to Reach USD 703.2 Million by 2025, at a CAGR of 5.15%,” Cison PR Newswire, October 18, 2018 available online here; “Rail Transport in the World,” International Union of Railways, September 7, 2018 available online here; Fred Lambert, “Bombardier Unveils a New Battery Powered Train,” Electrek, September 14, 2018 available online here; “Rail,” available online here; and “Wayside Energy Storage Systems,” available online here.
Image source: axiepix, “train-tracks-winter-snow-trees-613386,” Pixabay, January 27, 2015 available online here.

Global Art Market

artThe rich are getting richer, and this bodes well for the art market worldwide, a network of artists, gallerists, auction houses, fairs, museums, art critics, and collectors. Growth in global wealth, robust consumer confidence and increased supply were three reasons behind the recent 12% growth in global art sales. Global wealth has increased 50% since 2010, much of that in Asia. In 2010, Asia was home to 24% of the world’s billionaires. In 2017, 41%. Twenty-six percent live in China, a country that accounted for a third of global art auction purchases and 21% of all art sales worldwide in 2017, second behind the United States with 42%.

Although art sales rebounded in 2017, gallery closings outpaced gallery openings that same year. Several factors contributed to galleries shutting their doors including high rent and art fair fees, changing consumer preferences, and larger galleries recruiting talent away from smaller galleries. Some more-established art galleries whose names and reputations are synonymous with their owners also face an uncertain future in the coming years as owners retire or die and have no one to take over their businesses.

Today’s market size shows total global art market sales in 2017. The auction sector saw the highest growth due to several high-end works being sold in 2017. Post-war and contemporary art continued to lead the market with a 46% share, followed by modern art with 27%. Dealer sales accounted for more than half of sales by value in 2017.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2017
Market size: $63.7 billion
Sources: Nate Freeman, “The Art Market Grew to $63.7 Billion in 2017, and Other Key Takeaways from Art Basel Report,” Artsy, March 13, 2018 available online here; Stephanie Gommel, “Art Dictionary: The Art Market,” Hatje Cantz, January 13, 2014 available online here.
Image source: Image by Steve Johnson,, accessed October 2, 2018 available online here.

Posted in Art


e-cigaretteElectronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are devices designed to release nicotine vapor without actually burning tobacco, thus, without smoke. They are battery operated devices which, in many cases, look like cigarettes but use a battery to produce heat which then atomizes the nicotine in a specially made cartridge. The liquid in the cartridge may contain flavorings such as cherry, mint, or cotton candy to name a few. Vaporizers are similar to e-cigarettes, except that instead of a disposable cartridge, the liquid is stored in either a refillable tank or a prefilled capsule.

E-cigarettes were first sold in 2007. By 2016, 35 million people worldwide vaped, a five-fold increase from 2011. According to a report in the Annals of Internal Medicine, 10.8 million people in the United States vape. In contrast, the number of tobacco smokers worldwide numbered 1.11 billion in 2016 and in the United States, 37.8 million. These numbers aren’t exclusive. Researchers found that in the United States many users both vape and smoke traditional cigarettes.

While overall youth tobacco use dropped 20% from 2011 to 2017, e-cigarette use among high school students in the U.S. increased 900% from 2011 to 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In response, on September 12, 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave several e-cigarette product manufacturers 60 days to formulate plans to reduce the use of their products by minors or have their products removed from the market. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb stated “e-cigarettes may present an important opportunity for adult smokers to transition off combustible tobacco products. But these public health opportunities are put at risk if all we do is hook another generation of kids on nicotine and tobacco products through alternatives like e-cigarettes.”

In November, a week before the deadline imposed in September, the FDA announced it would ban convenience store and gas station sales of all flavors of e-cigarette liquids except for tobacco, mint, and menthol. The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act that was signed into law in 2009 prohibits any restrictions to “the sale of any tobacco product in face-to-face transactions by a specific category of retail outlets.”1 As a result, lawsuits seeking to block the ban were predicted. A few days after the FDA announcement, Juul Labs announced a halt to all sales of its flavored e-cigarette liquid2 at brick-and-mortar stores throughout the United States, more than 19,000 locations, including those locations not a part of the FDA ban.

Today’s market size shows e-cigarette sales in the 52 weeks ended June 16, 2018, in the United States.3 In terms of dollar sales during the 4 weeks ended October 6, 2018, Juul Labs led with a 75% market share, followed by British American Tobacco (10%), Altria Group (6%) and Imperial Tobacco (6%). All other e-cigarette makers combined had a 5% share of the market. Globally, the market for e-cigarettes and related products is estimated to be worth $22.6 billion, up from $4.2 billion five years ago.

1 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, Public Law 111-31, Sec. 906.d.3.A.i
2 Mango, cucumber, creme and fruit flavors.
3 Original source of data: Nielsen. Nielsen tracks sales at mass merchandisers and convenience stores.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2018
Market size: $1.96 billion
Sources: Angelica LaVito, “Popular E-Cigarette Juul’s Sales Have Surged Almost 800 Percent Over the Past Year,” CNBC, July 2, 2018, updated September 11, 2018 available online here; “Smoked Out,” The Economist, September 15, 2018, page 72; Teresa W Wang, et. al., “National and State-Specific Unit Sales and Prices for Electronic Cigarettes, United States, 2012-2016,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, August 2, 2018 available online here; Lisa Rapaport, “Almost One in 20 U.S. Adults Now Use E-Cigarettes,” Reuters, August 27, 2018 available online here; “Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults in the United States,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, September 24, 2018 available online here; Lora Jones, “Vaping – The Rise in Five Charts,” BBC, May 31, 2018 available online here; WHO Global Report on Trends in Prevalence of Tobacco Smoking 2000-2025 – Second Edition, World Health Organization, 2018 available online here; Emilie Ikeda, “E-Cigarettes Ubiquitous at Schools Despite All Efforts: ‘You Won’t Find a Kid in Georgia Who Hasn’t Vaped Before,'” Fox News Channel, June 7, 2018 available online here; “Differences Between E-Cigs and Vaporizers” available online here; Jayne O’Donnell, “FDA to Limit Sale of Sweet-Flavored E-Cigarettes in Hope of Curbing Teen Vaping ‘Epidemic’,” Lansing State Journal, November 9, 2018, updated November 10, 2018 available online here; “Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act Table of Contents,” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, January 7, 2018 available online here; Ashley Welch, “Juul to Halt Sales of Flavored E-Cigarettes in Retail Stores,” CBS News, November 13, 2018 available online here.
Original sources: Wells Fargo, Nielsen. Nielsen tracks sales at mass merchandisers and convenience stores.
Image source: Rolandmey, “e-cigarette-steam-evaporator-health-1881957,” Pixabay, December 5, 2016 available online here.


turkeyAccording to the National Turkey Federation, 45-46 million turkeys are killed each year to supply the demand for turkey on Thanksgiving Day in the United States. Year-round, per capita consumption of turkey was 16.4 pounds in 2017. Most of the turkeys sold in supermarkets, 99.9%, are the Broad Breasted White variety. This variety, a cross between the White Holland and the Broad Breasted Bronze breeds, first became popular in the 1960s as breeders wanted to supply the most meat at the lowest price. Broad Breasted Whites were bred for high breast meat content. As a result, they cannot walk well, cannot fly and males cannot sire offspring naturally. Breeders must use artificial insemination.

The other 0.1% of turkeys sold are American heritage varieties. There are 10 varieties recognized by the American Poultry Association’s turkey Standard of Perfection of 1874. They are Standard Bronze, Bourbon Red, Narragansett, Jersey Buff, Slate, Black Spanish, White Holland, Royal Palm, White Midget, and Beltsville Small White. These turkeys are “bred for fine flavor, beauty … and a good yield of meat from the food provided.”1 These varieties have been bred over hundreds of years in the United States and Europe. They more closely resemble wild turkeys in that they can run, fly, and breed naturally.

Because of the popularity of Broad Breasted Whites, heritage varieties nearly became extinct in 1990. An effort to revive the breeds began in 1997. That year there were only about 1,300 breeding birds. In 2016, there were 14,500. Large commercial farms raise Broad Breasted Whites for sale to supermarkets. American heritage turkeys are mostly found on smaller farms that raise a limited number yearly. Heritage turkeys are therefore much more expensive than Broad Breasted Whites.

Today’s market size shows the number of pounds of turkey produced in the United States in 2017.2 This was a 2.2% increase over 2016. Due to oversupply, with prices hitting a seven-year low, several companies planned to scale back production in 2018. The top 5 companies in terms of production were, in order: Butterball, Jennie-O Turkey Store, Cargill Protein, Farbest Foods, and Kraft Heinz Co.

1 Source: “Heritage Turkeys,” Heritage Turkey Foundation available online here. The meat content is close to a 50/50 ratio of thigh meat and breast meat.

2 Source: WATT PoultryUSA, March 2018, page 54. The USDA reports production was 5.98 billion pounds (total farm production minus condemnations) in 2017. Full source citations below.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2017
Market size: 7.433 billion pounds
Sources: Austin Alonzo, “Top US Turkey Producers Growing Amid Challenging Markets,” WATT PoultryUSA, March 2018, pages 54-57 available online here; “Heritage Turkeys,” Heritage Turkey Foundation available online here; “U.S. Meats Supply and Use,” World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, United States Department of Agriculture, October 11, 2018 available online here; Adam Gabbatt, “Taste of Thanksgiving Past: Why Heritage Turkeys are Making a Comeback,” The Guardian, November 21, 2017 available online here; Jennifer Calfas, “Here’s How Many Turkeys Are Killed Each Year for Thanksgiving,” Time, November 16, 2017 available online here; “Turkey Breed Facts: Broad Breasted White,” Local Harvest, January 27, 2011 available online here; Virginia Van Zanten, “The 4 Best Places to Order Your Heritage Thanksgiving Turkey,” Vogue, November 12, 2015 available online here.
Image source: PublicDomainPictures,”celebration-christmas-cuisine-315079,” Pixabay, April 5, 2014 available online here.

Video Games

video gamesThe number of active gamers worldwide exceeds 2.3 billion, 46% of whom buy video games. Video game enthusiasts not only play video games, they read about them and discuss them in online communities. They also watch esports and their favorite players on video game streaming services.

Video games have come a long way since Atari’s Pong debuted in arcades in 1972. Graphics have improved greatly, from 8-bit in the 1970s, 3D in the 1990s and high-definition in the early 2000s to augmented and virtual reality currently. Video game enthusiasts have a wide range of genres to choose from: action, adventure, role-playing, strategy, simulation, sports, logic, and trivia, to name a few. Gamers can play against the computer, with a few friends, or as part of a team in massively multiplayer online games.

Worldwide, mobile games are expected to generate 51% of video game sales in 2018, console games 25% and PC games 24%. Smartphone game revenue is projected to reach $56.4 billion in 2018, more than 80% of total mobile gaming revenue.

Today’s market size shows the projected global sales of video games in 2018 and 2021. Overall, sales increased by 13.3% from 2017 to 2018. Smartphone game sales grew the most, 29.0%, followed by tablet games (+13.1%) and boxed/downloaded PC games (+4.5%). Console game sales rose 4.1% over this time period. Browser PC game sales, however, dropped 13.9%. Which games are most popular? God of War for the PS4 topped sales with nearly 4.6 million units sold in 2018, followed by Monster Hunter: World (PS4, 4.3 million) and Far Cry 5 (PS4, 3.5 million).

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2018 and 2021
Market size: $137.9 billion and $180.1 billion respectively
Sources: Leo Sun, “The World’s Top 5 Video Game Markets,” Lansing State Journal, August 25, 2018, page 3B; Tom Wijman, “Newzoo’s 2018 Report: Insights Into The $137.9 Billion Global Games Market,” June 20, 2018 available online here; “Video Game History,” History, 2017 available online here; “Global Yearly Chart,” VGChartz available online here.
Original source: Newzoo.
Image source: Pexels, “candy-crush-device-electronics-game-1869655,” Pixabay, November 29, 2016 available online here. Use of image does not constitute endorsement.

Shopping Mall Churches

church pewsJCPenney, Sears, Macy’s. Household names. Retailers that have been around for more than 100 years and in many cases have been anchor stores in shopping malls around the country, attracting shoppers to the mall itself and to the smaller retailers therein. In recent years, with the rise in popularity of online shopping, large department stores such as these have struggled to make a profit and have closed hundreds of stores leaving many malls with no anchor to draw shoppers. Smaller traditional mall retailers such as Claire’s, Gap, Banana Republic, J. Crew, and Abercrombie & Fitch have not fared well either. Combined, these stores closed more than 400 locations in the first 8 months of 2018 alone. Overall more than 5,000 stores closed during this time period.

Faced with a dwindling supply of brick-and-mortar stores to occupy the empty retail spaces, mall property owners have looked elsewhere for tenants: theaters, restaurants, medical and wellness clinics, and gyms, businesses that will draw in foot traffic on a daily basis. Because churches are not open every day, they were not considered a preferred tenant. Until now.

Storefront churches have existed since the late-1800s in urban African-American neighborhoods. In addition to religious ministry, these churches offer educational and financial resources to the community. In the 21st century, storefront churches are being established in predominantly Latino and Asian neighborhoods as well as in poorer rural communities throughout the United States. There has also been an increase in storefront mosques and temples in recent years. Churches in malls and open-air shopping centers are a newer concept than storefront churches, but evangelization to the greater community by establishing a presence in their respective venues is a priority for both.

Today’s market size shows the number of malls and open-air shopping centers that have at least one house of worship in them as of August 2017.1 Some malls have more than one, such as The Outlets in Loveland, Colorado. It houses three churches and a synagogue. In some cases, churches have been buying neglected mall properties to house their own congregations and, in some cases, others’. In 2015 Hope Church bought Grand Cities Mall in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The mall is now home to their congregation, as well as congregations from two other churches, a women’s pregnancy center, a music school, an indoor playground, and a lightsaber combat academy.

1 Since then, at least one more mall has welcomed a church congregation. In mid-September 2018, Impact Church opened in Lansing Mall in Delta Township, Michigan.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: August 2017
Market size: At least 111
Sources: Esther Fung, “For Some Struggling Malls, Churches Offer Second Life,” The Wall Street Journal, October 10, 2017 available online here; Eric Lacy, “Lansing Mall’s Church Ready for First Service, ” Lansing State Journal, September 10, 2018, page 1A; Esther Trattner, “Sick Stores: These Are The Chains That Are Dying Off Fastest,” MoneyWise, August 24, 2018 available online here; “Let the Church Say Amen,” Independent Lens, 2017 available online here; Kate Taylor, “Thousands of Americans Are Going to Church in Dead Malls,” Business Insider, June 19, 2017 available online here.
Image source: miltritter, “church-pews-religion-christian-1398784,” Pixabay, May 18, 2016 available online here.


specialty pumpkinsPumpkins. The quintessential autumn vegetable. Carved into jack-o-lanterns for Halloween. Baked into pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Used as a flavoring in everything from coffee and creamers to ice cream, beer, and rum. In the 52 weeks ended August 25, 2018, pet parents spent more than $109 million for pumpkin-flavored dog food, a 124% jump from the previous 52-week period. For several years now pumpkin has been the most popular Halloween costume for pets.

Today’s market size shows the total production value of pumpkins in the United States in 2017. That year, growers harvested 69,340 acres, down from 71,400 acres in 2016, but well above the 45,900 acres a decade ago. The production value of pumpkins for the fresh market was $172.1 million in 2017, far above the $13.6 million for pumpkins harvested for processing. In acres harvested, the top 5 states were Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, California, and New York. Nearly 80% of Illinois’ pumpkin harvest is grown for processing.

In recent years the demand for specialty and heirloom pumpkin varieties has grown. Some popular varieties include Big Mac, Blue, Cotton Candy, Valenciano, Festival, Cinderella and Fairytale. The Cotton Candy and Valenciano varieties have a white hue. The Fairytale variety turns a shade of mahogany when mature. The Cinderella, so named because of its resemblance to Cinderella’s transformed coach, is a French heirloom variety that was cultivated by the Pilgrims.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2017
Market size: $185.8 million
Sources: “Quick Stats,” United States Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service available online here; Ana Serafin Smith, “Halloween Spending to Reach $9 Billion,” National Retail Federation Press Release, September 20, 2018 available online here; “Pumpkin Spice Sales Growth Makes a Hot Return in Late-August” available online here; “Pumpkins: Background & Statistics,” United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, September 13, 2018 available online here; “Historical Highlights and Related Releases,” National Retail Federation available online here; Tess Koman, “55 Fall-Flavored Things You Can Eat Right Now,” Delish, September 12, 2018 available online here; Lizzie Fuhr, “8 Funky Pumpkin Varieties for a Festive Fall,” PopSugar, October 5, 2012 available online here.
Image source: Renee_Olmsted_Photography, “pumpkins-halloween-stems-autumn-956428,” Pixabay, September 25, 2015 available online here.

Meat Substitutes

Meat substitutes soy medallions cauliflower potatoesIn the 2000s, documentaries attempted to expose the animal welfare, environmental, and economic impacts related to large-scale industrial farming. More recently, studies have been published linking the decreased consumption of meat and the increased consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to lower death rates, reduced production of greenhouse gases, and healthcare-related savings. According to a study published in PNAS, adopting global dietary guidelines such as these could reduce deaths by 5.1 million by 2050, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly one-third, and save $700-1,000 billion per year in healthcare costs. The Global Burden Disease study, led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, found that six of the top 10 risk factors for early death worldwide were linked to a poor diet. Researchers concluded that a diet high in red meat and sugary drinks and low in fruit, vegetables, and whole grains contributed to 30.8 million deaths, or 21% of the global population in 2013, up from 25.1 million in 1990.

According to GlobalData, 70% of the world’s population is either reducing their consumption of meat or eschewing meat altogether. In the United States alone, the percentage of people who describe themselves as vegan jumped six-fold from 2014 to 2017. In Great Britain, the number of people identifying as vegan jumped 350% over the past decade. In Portugal, the number of vegetarians increased 400% over the same time period. Faced with increased obesity, Type-2 diabetes, and heart disease in their populations, countries such as Canada and China have proposed or implemented new nutrition guidelines calling for their citizens to eat a plant-rich diet. In the past 30 years, China’s meat consumption has quadrupled; however, China’s new food guidelines encourage its population to halve their meat consumption by 2030.

In 2017, 26% of consumers in the United States reported reducing their meat consumption in the past 12 months and 36% reported buying plant-based meat substitutes. According to a California Walnut Board study, 83% of Americans would be interested in making meatless recipes if the taste and texture would be similar to meat-centric dishes. According to Chuck Jolley, president of the Meat Industry Hall of Fame, the popularity of plant-based meat substitutes is one of the six biggest challenges for animal agriculture in 2018 as more of these products are sold in mainstream grocery stores and restaurants. Whether people are concerned about animal welfare, environmental issues or their health, the percentage of people giving up meat completely is quite small. Of the countries mentioned above, in the United States, 6% of the population identifies as vegan; in Great Britain, 3.25%;1 and in Portugal, 0.6%. Of course, not all consumers of meat substitutes are vegetarians or vegans. According to Beyond Meat’s executive chairman, Seth Goldman, 70% of consumers who purchase their Beyond Burger2 product are flexitarians, meat eaters who are reducing their meat consumption.

Today’s market size shows the global sales of meat substitutes in 2017 and projected for 2018, 2023 and 2025. Real meat will continue to have a place at the table in most households around the world. Global sales of meat substitutes were a small fraction of the $90 billion real meat market in 2017.

1 Figure is for 2016.
2 Mention of the company and its product does not constitute an endorsement.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2017, 2018, 2023 and 2025
Market size: $4.2 billion, $4.6 billion, $6.4 billion and $7.5 billion respectively
Sources: Zlati Meyer, “Missouri Is First State to Regulate the Word ‘Meat’,” USA Today for the Lansing State Journal, August 29, 2918, page 3B; “Plant-Based Diets Could Save Millions of Lives and Dramatically Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” March 21, 2016 available online here; Madlen Davies, “Poor Diet Is the Biggest Cause of Early Death Across the World – With Red Meat and Sugary Drinks Responsible for One in Five Deaths,” Daily Mail, October 6, 2016 available online here; Becky Schilling, “The Future of Plant-Based Foods,” Supermarket News, September 21, 2017 available online here; Michael Pellman Rowland, “Millennials Are Driving The Worldwide Shift Away From Meat,” Forbes, March 23, 2018 available online here; “Why the Global Rise in Vegan and Plant-Based Eating Isn’t a Fad (600% Increase in U.S. Vegans + Other Astounding Stats),” Food Revolution Network, January 18, 2018 available online here; Chris Bennett, “Flesh and Blood: What’s the Future of Fake Meat?” Drovers, August 13, 2018 available online here; Elaine Watson, “An Estimated 70% of Beyond Burger Fans Are Meat Eaters, Not Vegans/Vegetarians, says Beyond Meat,”, January 12, 2018 available online here; Chuck Jolley, “Six Greatest Ag Challenges for 2018,” Feedstuffs, December 6, 2017 available online here; “Vegan Society Poll,” Ipsos MORI, May 16, 2016 available online here; “Number of Vegetarians in Portugal Rises by 400 Percent in 10 Years,” The Portugal News Online, December 10, 2017 available online here.
Original source: Figures for 2017 and 2025 are from Allied Market Research.
Image source: Kalhh, “cauliflower-potato-soy-medalions-943005,” Pixabay, September 17, 2015 available online here.

Tribal Gaming Operations

Gaming - RouletteThe year 2018 marks the 30th anniversary of federally regulated tribal gaming in the United States. President Ronald Reagan signed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act on October 17, 1988. It established the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) and the regulatory structure for gaming on tribal lands.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Native American communities opened bingo parlors to provide economic opportunities to those living on the reservations. State law allowed bingo parlors in California and Florida, but the industry was heavily regulated. Some tribes did not comply with these regulations and the states tried to shut down the operations. The tribes, however, claimed the states had no jurisdiction on the reservations. The Supreme Court affirmed reservation sovereignty in the 1987 case California v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians. The court ruled unless a state prohibits all gambling, that state cannot prohibit or regulate gaming on reservations. As a result, more tribes began opening gaming establishments. At the same time, states lobbied the federal government to pass laws that would allow them to regulate such businesses. The regulations, they argued, would help prevent organized crime. They also wanted to tax tribal gaming revenue.

Congress’s response was The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. It established three classes of gaming and separate regulations for each. Class I gaming includes traditional gaming used in celebrations and ceremonies and social gaming for small prizes. These are exclusively regulated by the tribes themselves. For Class II gaming, which includes bingo and non-banked card games, tribes have the authority to conduct, regulate and license such businesses, but all regulations are subject to approval by the NIGC. Class III games are usually found in a casino: slot machines, blackjack, and roulette, for example. Tribes are restricted in their ability to regulate such gaming. Among other requirements, the tribe must enter into a compact with the state in which the casino will operate and this compact must be approved by the Secretary of the Interior.

Today’s market size shows the number of tribal gaming operations in the United States and total gross revenues for 1997, 2007 and 2017. In 1988 tribal gaming grossed $110 million. In 2017, $32.4 billion. The 494 gaming operations in existence in 2017 were owned by 242 federally recognized tribes.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 1997, 2007 and 2017
Market size (number of operations): 266, 391 and 494, respectively
Market size (gross revenue): $7.5 billion, $26.1 billion and $32.4 billion, respectively
Sources: “Gross Gaming Revenue Reports,” National Indian Gaming Commission, available online here; “Indian Gaming Regulatory Act,” Wikipedia, August 20, 2018 available online here; “2017 Indian Gaming Revenues Increase 3.9% to $32.4 Billion,” National Indian Gaming Commission Press Release, June 26, 2018 available online here.
Image source: GregMontani, “luck-lucky-number-17-roulette-839037,” Pixabay, July 12, 2015 available online here.

Diabetic Shoes

Diabetic shoesAccording to the World Health Organization, more than 400 million people in the world were living with diabetes in 2014, up from 108 million in 1980. The International Diabetes Federation predicts this number will reach 645 million by 2040. Type 1 diabetes, sometimes called juvenile or childhood-onset diabetes, occurs when a person’s immune system attacks the pancreatic cells that produce insulin. As a result, people living with Type 1 diabetes must take insulin on a daily basis. There is no known way to prevent Type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes occurs when a person’s body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Most of the people with diabetes have this form of the disease, including 90-95% of people with diabetes in the United States. People with excess body weight and who are physically inactive are at a higher risk of contracting Type 2 diabetes as are those with a family history of Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes used to be called adult-onset diabetes, but in recent years this condition has been seen in children also. While some people with Type 2 diabetes can control their blood sugar with diet and exercise, others need medications to do so. Some classes of medications to treat Type 2 diabetes either help the body secrete more insulin or improve the body tissue’s sensitivity to insulin in order for the body to use it more effectively. In some cases, those with Type 2 diabetes have to take insulin also. Other types of diabetes include gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy and goes away after the baby is born; monogenic diabetes, which is an inherited form of diabetes; and cystic fibrosis-related diabetes.

If a person’s blood sugar is not properly controlled, high blood glucose levels can contribute to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye problems, dental disease, nerve damage, poor circulation and foot problems. Because of poor circulation, any injury to the foot may take longer to heal or lead to infection. If there is nerve damage, a person may not realize that they have a foot injury and the problem could be exacerbated. Nerve damage can also change the shape of the foot making regular shoes feel uncomfortable. Diabetic shoes are a type of orthopedic shoe for people with neuropathy, nerve damage, a foot deformity or an existing foot injury. They are designed to relieve excess pressure on the foot, reduce shock, reduce joint motion and provide extra room for custom orthotics. These shoes can be custom-made from a mold of a person’s foot to provide a better fit.

Today’s market size shows the total global sales of diabetic shoes in 2015 and projected for 2024. In 2015, more than half of sales—$2.54 billion—were in the United States. As the number of people with diabetes increases, the population ages, disposable incomes rise, and innovations in design create more comfortable and stylish shoes, the market for diabetic shoes is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.1% from 2016 to 2024.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2015 and 2024
Market size: $5.0 billion and $9.9 billion, respectively
Sources: “Diabetic Shoes Market,” Transparency Market Research Report Preview, February 2017 available online here; “Diabetes,” World Health Organization, November 15, 2017 available online here; “What is Diabetes?” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, November 2016 available online here; Stephanie Watson and Kathryn Watson, “Do I Need Diabetic Shoes?” Healthine, July 15, 2016 available online here; “Type 2 Diabetes,” Mayo Clinic available online here.
Image source: Brainy J [CC0], from Wikimedia Commons, July 8, 2014 available online here.

Women’s Footwear in China

Women's footwearWhere were your shoes made? More than 60% of shoes sold globally are manufactured in and exported from China. In China, the market for women’s footwear has seen a compounded annual growth rate of 8.7% over the past 5 years. As disposable income rises, many consumers want to buy higher quality footwear. Several foreign luxury brands such as Bally, Christian Louboutin, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton, to name a few, are courting the Chinese consumer by using social media marketing and partnerships with Chinese influencers and celebrities, as well as employing Chinese actresses as spokespersons in order to increase their market share. Today’s market size shows the total sales of women’s footwear in China in 2016 and 2018. The figure for 2018 is projected.

Geographic reference: China
Year: 2016 and 2018
Market size: 224.7 billion RMB ($33.8 billion) and more than 260 billion RMB ($39.1 billion), respectively
Sources: Christine Lee, “Fashion Houses Fight for Market Share in the Booming Chinese Shoe Market,” Jing Daily, July 19, 2018 available online here.
Image source: Capri23auto, “high-heeled-shoes-pumps-2812638,” Pixabay, November 2017 available online here.

Firewall as a Service

cloud computing security firewallA firewall prevents unauthorized access to a network based on a defined set of security rules. For more than two decades firewalls have been used to provide network security. Firewalls can be hardware-based or software-based or both.

Firewall as a Service (FWaaS) is a cloud-based service in which an organization’s firewall is centralized to monitor traffic coming from multiple locations within the organization, from mobile users and the internet. Without using FWaaS, employees in a company’s IT department may spend time maintaining multiple firewalls in multiple locations. Besides responding to cyber threats, this includes updating hardware and software to thwart new threats or to comply with new government regulations and verifying that security rules are consistent throughout the network. FWaaS creates a centralized point of access for network traffic with the ability to automatically scale the service depending upon need, adding more network locations or adding bandwidth capabilities. The provider of these services is responsible for maintaining the firewall infrastructure. FWaaS providers have dedicated security teams that monitor systems, provide necessary updates and respond to network security threats.

Today’s market size shows the amount spent globally on FWaaS in 2017 and 2022. Data for 2022 are projected. The market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 24.9% from 2017 to 2022. An increasing need for more sophisticated network security, the ability to rapidly upgrade firewall protocols, and reduced operating costs are some reasons the demand for FWaaS is expected to increase over the next 5 years. Major vendors of FWaaS are Barracuda Networks, Cato Networks, Check Point Software Technologies, Cisco Systems, Forcepoint, Fortinet, Juniper Networks, Palo Alto Networks, WatchGuard, and Zscaler.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2017 and 2022
Market size: $0.56 billion and $1.70 billion respectively
Sources: “Firewall as a Service Market Worth 1.70 Billion USD by 2022,” Cision PR Newswire, March 2, 2018 available online here; Dave Greenfield, “What is Firewall as a Service and Why Do You Need It?” Cato Networks, April 16, 2018 available online here; Alan Zeichick, “Understanding Cloud-Based Firewalls,” enterprise.nxt, February 20, 2017 available online here; “What is a Firewall?” Cisco, available online here.
Original source: MarketsandMarkets
Image source: wynpnt, “cloud-computing-network-internet-2001090,” Pixabay, January 23, 2017 available online here.

Web Application Firewalls

CybersecurityA web application is a computer program that uses an internet browser as a client interface. Some examples of web applications are email clients such as Gmail; productivity applications such as G Suite and Microsoft 365, which include word processors and spreadsheets; and multi-player online gaming applications. Online banking and investing websites that allow users to access their accounts and perform transactions are also examples of web applications. As these applications have gotten more complex and the storage of sensitive data has gotten more prevalent, the need for sophisticated security has increased.

One type of security measure is a firewall. A firewall prevents unauthorized access to a network based on a defined set of security rules. For more than two decades firewalls have been used to provide network security. Some types of firewalls include packet-filtering, state-inspection, unified threat management, and next-generation. Early firewalls examined the packets that came through the network, but they couldn’t distinguish between valid application layer protocol requests, data, and malicious code disguised as valid traffic or data. The need for application layer protection became necessary as attacks against web servers became more frequent. Benefits of application layer firewall protection include being able to block specific content or websites, control the execution of files and control the handling of data by specific applications.

Today’s market size shows the amount spent on web application firewalls globally in 2017 and projected for 2023. Governmental organizations and e-commerce companies are the top two targets of cyber attacks. The organizations themselves are not the only ones vulnerable to attack. The malware that infects the web application can infect the users’ computers also.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2017 and 2023
Market size: $2.37 billion and $5.92 billion respectively
Sources: “Global Web Application Firewall Market 2018-2023 – Segmented by Component, Organization Size, Industry Vertical, and Region –,” Business Wire Press Release, May 14, 2018 available online here; Margaret Rouse, Casey Clark and Michael Cobb, “Firewall,” TechTarget, February 2018 available online here; “What is a Firewall?” available online here; Daniel Nations, “What Exactly Is a Web Application?” Lifewire, February 22, 2018, updated by Elise Moreau available online here.
Image source: JanBaby, “security-secure-locked-technology-2168233,” Pixabay, March 23, 2017 available online here.

Bitcoin Ransomware Payments

RansomwareAccording to the 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report, in 2017 there were 53,308 cybersecurity incidents worldwide with more than 2,200 data breaches. As a percentage of all malware incidents, ransomware incidents have risen dramatically since 2013. More than 40% of malware incidents involved ransomware in 2017. Ransomware is a type of malicious software that prevents a user from accessing their computer or mobile device, either by disabling the operating system or encrypting files, until a ransom is paid. The ransom usually totals a few hundred dollars per infected computer. Ransomware can infect servers as well as individual devices. People clicking on an infected email attachment, visiting infected websites or clicking on ads that contain malware are some ways that computers can get infected. Ransomware targets vulnerabilities in software. Updates to software attempt to remove these vulnerabilities so that cybercriminals can’t exploit them.

According to the FBI, ransomware infects more than 100,000 computers worldwide per day and payments to cybercriminals total nearly $1 billion per year. However, the cost of a ransomware attack goes beyond the payment to the attacker. Even after paying the ransom about 20% of companies do not get their data back. The costs associated with business downtime, recovery of files and increased spending on cybersecurity are many times greater. According to Kaspersky Lab, in 2016 the average ransom demand was $300, but the average cost to a small to medium-sized company due to a ransomware attack was $99,000. Globally, the cost of cybercrime is expected to reach $6 trillion by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015. Today’s market size shows the minimum amount of ransom paid to cybercriminals in Bitcoin from 2013 to mid-2017 based on analysis of 35 ransomware families. As of May 2018, there were more than 500 known families of ransomware that demand Bitcoin as payment.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2013 to mid-2017
Market size: $12.8 million
Sources: Alex Lielacher, “Size of Bitcoin Ransomware Market ‘Overhyped’ in the Media,” Brave NewCoin, April 23, 2018 available online here; “Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein Delivers Remarks at the Cambridge Cyber Summit,” The United States Department of Justice, October 4, 2017, updated October 6, 2017 available online here; Masara Paquet-Clouston, et. al., Ransomware Payments in the Bitcoin Ecosystem, May 2018 available online here; 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report, 11th Edition, Verizon, April 2018 available online here; “The Cost of Cryptomalware: SMBs at Gunpoint,” Kaspersky Lab Daily, September 7, 2016 avalable online here; Tamara Chuang, “Inside the Profitable Underworld of Ransomware,” Government Technology, March 5, 2018 available online here.
Image source: TheDigitalArtist, “ransomware-cyber-crime-malware-2320941,” Pixabay, May 18, 2017 available online here.

Summer Enrichment Programs

summer enrichment programs, summer campWhat did you do on your summer vacation? The ubiquitous question that’s asked of children and young adults as they return to classes in the fall. The responses may differ greatly depending upon what country the student lives in or how wealthy their parents are. Many students may say they attended summer camp. When parents and grandparents in the United States think of their experiences at summer camp they may remember rustic cabins, swimming, canoeing, arts and crafts, and sitting around a campfire in the evenings. However, increasingly in the U.S. and around the world summer camps, or summer enrichment programs as they are sometimes called, cater to niche interests or focus on in-demand workforce skills. According to the American Camp Association, the percentage of camps offering science, technology, engineering, and math programs grew from less than 25% in 2014 to more than 33% in 2017. Demand for such camps is increasing as more affluent parents want to give their children not only an enjoyable experience but also a competitive advantage in school and in the workforce, even if many of these students are still in elementary school. As summer enrichment programs become more specialized, exclusive, and expensive, fewer students from lower- and middle-income families will be able to take advantage of these opportunities.

In China, many wealthy parents send their children abroad in the summer to take advantage of study tours in the hopes of broadening their children’s view of the world and preparing them to attend college in other countries. Today’s market size shows the estimated amount Chinese parents will spend on study tours abroad in 2018. An estimated 1 million Chinese students will take these tours this year. According to Chu Zhaohui, a researcher at the National Institute of Education Sciences,1 the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia are the top three destinations for study abroad tours.

1 The National Institute of Education Sciences is a research division of the Ministry of Education in the People’s Republic of China.

Geographic reference: China
Year: 2018
Market size: $4.5 billion
Sources: “Mutually Assured Distraction,” The Economist, August 11, 2018, page 47; Ma Xuejing, “Study Tours Abroad More Hype Than Substance,” China Daily, June 22, 2018 available online here.
Original source: Ctrip, a Chinese travel agency
Image source: davidraynisley, “paddle-summer-camp-camp-summer-3414020,” Pixabay, May 2018 available online here.

Organic Food

Organic foodSales of organic food have grown considerably since 1990 when the Organic Food Production Act was signed into law. That law authorized the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program. One of the many responsibilities of this program is to develop standards for organically-produced agricultural products that have the USDA organic seal, ensuring that products meet consistent, uniform standards. These standards, along with the USDA organic seal, were first implemented in 2002. The program also maintains a list of certified organic operations and helps farmers and businesses learn how to get certified. In 2017 there were more than 24,000 certified organic operations in the United States. Between 1990 and 2002 sales of organic food products increased nearly 9-fold, from $1 billion in 1990 to $8.6 billion in 2002. In 2017, sales were more than $45 billion.

While still a small portion of overall food sales, organic food sales growth has outpaced overall food sales growth in each of the last ten years. Sales of organic food grew 17.5% in 2008, the highest growth in the last decade. That same year overall food sales grew 4.9%. In 2008, organic food sales made up 3.1% of all food sales in the country. By 2017, organic food sales grew to 5.5% of total food sales. Growth in the organic food sector that year slowed to 6.4%, but it was still well above the 1.1% growth in the overall food sector.

Fruits and vegetables were the largest organic food category in 2017, with sales of $16.5 billion, followed by dairy and eggs. However, the dairy and egg sector faced competition from the growing popularity of non-dairy milk alternatives and the USDA’s withdrawing of regulations in the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule in 2017, which caused many consumers to question the meaning of the USDA seal on these products, reduced demand. Growth in organic beverage sales outpaced overall organic food sales growth by 64% in 2017. Sales of organic fresh juices alone jumped 25%, reaching $1.2 billion or slightly more than one-fifth of total organic beverage sales that year.

Today’s market size shows the total sales of organic food for the years 2008 and 2017. According to a study conducted by Nielsen, 82% of households in the lower 48 states regularly bought organic food in 2017. This is up considerably from just 3 years earlier when a Gallup poll reported that 45% of households actively try to include organic foods in their diet.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2008 and 2017
Market size: $20.4 billion and $45.2 billion respectively.
Sources: Maggie McNeil, “Maturing U.S. Organic Sector Sees Steady Growth of 6.4 Percent in 2017,” Organic Trade Association Press Release, May 18, 2018 available online here; “National Organic Program,” United States Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Marketing Service avalable online here; Nate Birt, “Study: 82% of U.S. Households Buy Organic Food Regularly,” AgWEb, March 24, 2017 available online here; Rebecca Riffkin, “Forty-Five Percent of Americans Seek Out Organic Foods,” Gallup, August 7, 2014 available online here; Laura Batcha, “Organic Farming Has So Many Benefits for People,” Lansing State Journal, July 22, 2018, page 9A.
Image source: ErikaWittlieb, “vegetables-supermarket-market-food-1100198,” Pixabay, December 22, 2015 available online here. Use of image does not constitute endorsement of supermarket shown.

Airbnb Market in the Finger Lakes Wine Region of New York

Finger Lakes Wine RegionFrom the mid-1980s to the early 1990s, consumption of wine in the United States trended downward, however, since 1994 wine consumption has been trending upward. That year about 400 million gallons of wine were consumed. In 2016, 790 million gallons were. In the early 2000s, wholesalers began moving away from selling wine from small producers because demand for wine could be met by larger producers. As a result, owners of small vineyards began focusing their marketing efforts on tasting room experiences and direct-to-consumer sales to promote their products. In 2017, 60% of winery sales on average came from direct-to-consumer sources, more so the smaller the winery. For the largest wineries, less than 10% of sales were direct-to-consumer.

Agritourism, defined as “a commercial enterprise at a working farm, ranch, or agricultural plant conducted for the enjoyment of visitors that generates supplemental income for the owner,”1 of which winery tours are a part, grew in popularity around this time as more people became interested in experiential travel, healthy eating, learning about the food that they consume, and learning about rural, agricultural life. State and local tourism agencies began promoting wine trails, groups of wineries in close proximity that a tourist can visit in a day, as vacation destinations. These trails also offer themed events throughout the year in some cases pairing wine with food and art to appeal to a variety of visitors to the region. Restaurants, hotels, motels and other lodging options such as those offered on Airbnb2 also are benefitting from wine tourism. Today’s market size shows the amount Airbnb hosts in the Finger Lakes Wine Region of New York earned in 2017. Most of the 26,600 tourists who booked Airbnb lodging in this region came from nearby cities such as New York City, Rochester, and Buffalo. The Finger Lakes Wine Region is centered around Keuka, Seneca and Cayuga Lakes and includes more than 100 wineries, distilleries, and breweries. For comparison, Airbnb hosts in the Niagara Wine Region of Canada earned $12.9 million and welcomed more than 163,000 guests.

1“What is Agritourism?” University of California Small Farm Program, June 1, 2012 available online here
2Mention of the company and its market size does not constitute an endorsement.

Geographic reference: Finger Lakes Wine Region, New York
Year: 2017
Market size: $3.8 million
Sources: The Citizen Staff, “Airbnb: Finger Lakes Wines a Draw,” The Citizen, June 3, 2018; Rob McMilan, State of the Wine Industry 2018, Silicon Valley Bank, 2018 available online here; “What is Agritourism?” University of California Small Farm Program, June 1, 2012 available online here; “Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail,” America’s Wine Trails, LLC available online here; “Taste,” Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism and Marketing Association, 2018 available online here.
Image source: By Flickr user: Valerie Knoblauch Canandaigua, New York [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Amusement and Theme Parks

Number of amusement parksWithin the economic sector Arts, Entertainment and Recreation is the Amusement and Theme Park Industry. According to the U.S. Census Bureau “[t]his industry comprises establishments … primarily engaged in operating a variety of attractions, such as mechanical rides, water rides, games, shows, theme exhibits, refreshment stands, and picnic grounds. These establishments may lease space to others on a concession basis.” As the graph above shows (click graph to enlarge), the number of amusement and theme parks fluctuated from 1998 to 2016. Some years there were fewer than the previous year; some years there were more. However, overall the number trended downward. There were 37.7% fewer amusement and theme parks in 2016 than there were in 1998. Employment in this industry also fluctuated during this time period, but in this case, the trend was upward. There were 37.1% more people employed in this industry in 2016 than in 1998: 157,336 and 114,786 respectively.

Fewer amusement and theme parks employing more people would indicate that overall these parks were larger in 2016 than in 1998. In 1998, the top 3 states with the most amusement and theme parks were Florida (87), Texas (82) and California (81). By 2016, Texas had the most parks with 74, followed by Florida and California with 59 and 54 respectively. However, of these three states, Texas employed the fewest workers in this industry, 8,965; Florida the most, 58,187. In 1998, Florida also employed the most workers in this industry, 38,844, followed by California (31,330) and Texas (12,352). How much did employees earn? In 1998, the average yearly salary for an amusement and theme park worker was $16,378. In 2016, $26,427, a 61.4% increase. Adjusting for inflation, the increase was not as large, 11.3%, but still outpaced inflation.

Today’s market size shows the revenues amusement and theme parks in the United States earned in 1998 and 2016. Revenues increased 131.2% during this time period, or slightly more than 59% when adjusting for inflation.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 1998 and 2016
Market size: $7.4 billion and $17.1 billion respectively
Sources: 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2016 Service Annual Survey, various publication dates available online here; County Business Patterns, various publication dates available online here; “Table B-3: Quantity and price indexes for gross domestic product, and percent changes, 1967-2017,” Economic Report of the President, February 2018 available online here; “2017 NAICS Definition: 713110 Amusement and Theme Parks,” North American Industry Classification System available online here.
Image source: Created in-house using data from County Business Patterns. Click graph to enlarge.


Polypropylene recycling symbolPolypropylene is a thermoplastic polymer made from propylene monomers and catalysts. It was first polymerized in 1951 by Philips petroleum scientists Paul Hogan and Robert Banks. In 1954 Italian chemist Giulio Natta perfected and synthesized the first polypropylene resin. By 1957 it was in widespread commercial production across Europe. Currently, it is one of the most commonly produced plastics in the world.

Because polypropylene can be combined with other polymers, the types of end uses can vary widely making it a versatile material with which to work. In 2016 global demand was 45 million metric tons, 30% of which was used in the packaging industry. Some other uses include automotive parts, furniture, dishwasher-safe plates, toys, carpets, upholstery, laboratory equipment and medical devices.

Today’s market size shows the estimated global sales of polypropylene in 2017 and projected for 2022. Polypropylene homopolymers are expected to be the fastest-growing type during this time period due to increasing demand in the automotive and medical industries, especially in the Asia Pacific region. The market for polypropylene is expected to grow the fastest in China, followed by India and South Korea from 2017 to 2022.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2017 estimated and 2022 projected
Market size: $75.40 billion and $99.17 billion respectively
Sources: “The Polypropylene Market Size is Estimated at USD 75.40 Billion and Projected to Reach USD 99.17 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 5.6% Between 2017 and 2022,” CISION PR Newswire Press Release, February 1, 2018 available online here; “Everything You Need to Know About Polypropylene (PP) Plastic,” Creative Mechanisms, 2016 available online here; and “Polypropylene,” Wikipedia, April 23, 2018 available online here.
Image source: OpenIcons,”recycle-5-pp-recycling-plastic-98858,” Pixabay, April 1, 2013 available online here.