There’s A Global Colored Pencil Shortage And It’s The Adult Coloring Book’s Fault
Whether you think adult coloring books are a delightful way to zen out or just … dumb, here’s an objective drawback to their popularity: they’re messing with your kid’s colored pencil supply. The New Zealand Herald reports that adult coloring book sales have increased anywhere from 923 percent to 36,600 percent depending on how you run the numbers. As a result, colored pencil manufacturers are being spread too thin, leading to a potential global colored pencil shortage (gasp!). And since your kid ate all the crayons, now you’re both screwed.
The world’s biggest wooden pencil manufacturer, Faber-Castell, has had such a hard time keeping up with the double-digit growth of colored pencils they’ve been forced to run more shifts at their factories to keep up. Brazil also experienced a shortage recently and European pencil manufacturers Staedtler and Stabilo had trouble matching the demand as well, and not because they were too busy heckling muppets (different Staedtlers). There’s some evidence that coloring books are good for grownups, but it appears that this is one of those “too much of a good thing” situations. Unless you think adult coloring books are dumb, in which case maybe you’re smiling smugly.
Manufacturers think the trend is driving demand for more variety and higher quality pencils. “People are now not satisfied with ‘just’ 36 colors and we are noticing a trend in people preferring bigger sets of 72 or even 120 colors for coloring,” Sandra Suppa from Faber-Castell told the Independent. So, to all the adult coloring book fans out there: do what’s right and settle for the 36 set. And for all the haters … don’t be so smug.
[H/T] The Independent