Our top trends and promotional product picks for 2023

Team M&M recently attended Merchandise World – the UK’s largest promotional merchandise trade exhibition.  It’s the perfect opportunity to catch up with our contacts and suppliers AND to get both a glimpse at and our hands on the latest, hottest and must have products for the coming year.  Just think of the goodie bags we came home with! 

Throughout the show, eco friendly options and sustainability were the key themes.  There was innovation in terms of new and unusual materials and processes but the scope was broad, covering packaging, traceability, manufacturing and disposal too, with a focus on products being recyclable and not just recycled. 

We’ve put our heads together and collated some of our favourites from the popular products we see our clients order every day.  And then added in a few wild cards too. 


Unsurprisingly, drinkware continues to be a popular branded gift, whether for the office or leisure. After all, being well hydrated can help boost energy levels, mood and concentration and even affect our sleep quality, whilst reusable drinkware reduces plastic and other waste.  Some of our shared show standouts included: 

  • The super-stylish Milan travel mug definitely made us look twice.  This double walled, heat resistant mug is manufactured from borosilicate glass, meaning it is durable, impact resistant and easy to clean, and is wrapped with a silicone band for a safe, ergonomic grip – and your all important branding.
  • The Fuel combines quality and functionality in a stylish sports bottle.  Manufactured from marine grade stainless steel, it’s made to last whilst keeping drinks hot or cold.  Before you say hmm, so what’s new, this bottle comes with two interchangeable lids – an integrated flip lid with a sipping spout/straw for thirst quenching cold drinks then swap for a screw top lid when hot drinks are the order of the day.
  • Whilst we are all familiar with the Chilly-style bottle, the new Ashford Oscar is sure to turn a few heads.  Yes, it’s double walled and can keep your drinks hot for up to 12 hours and chilled for up to 24, but it’s the golden colour that caught our eye.  Ideal if you want to reward the stars in your office or showcase your brand.

MilanFuelAshford Oscar


Useful products get used over and over again, so get it right and a reusable bag can get your branding out and about, day after day.  With new products, styles and materials being regularly introduced, there’s something for every campaign, budget or backstory. 

  • If you’re struggling to choose between a backpack and a shopper, then the 2in1 Backpack Shopper is just the ticket.  Made from rPET polyester, with woven handles and padded shoulder straps, this clever bag is available in black or grey, has a large branding area and easily converts between a backpack and a long-handled shopper.  We think this is going to be a popular choice.
  • The Kompul bag introduced us to rPET felt.  This fabric is the result of the combination of the recycling processes of plastic materials along with the millenary technique of felt manufacturing, resulting in an eco-trend material that, in addition to being of recycled origin, also becomes recyclable.  Add in leatherette handles and this bag, available in both grey and natural colours, is a very good-looking choice indeed.
  • Say goodbye to forgotten drinks bottles!  Drawstring bags are popular with schools, clubs, sports fans, gym goers and more.  And the Marty offers more too, with a handy integral polyester mesh bottle pocket.  Whilst the body of this rPET bag is black, it also features a coloured side panel in royal blue, grey or red.
  • Finally in this category, the on trend, Puffer backpack.  This ‘bubble’ polyester rucksack features padded adjustable shoulder straps, and a front, zipper pocket complete with a faux leather patch for your company logo.

2in1 Backpack ShopperKompul bagMarty drawstring bagsPuffer backpack


From notebooks to pens or post-its, promotional stationery keeps your brand front and centre, working hard for you every day.  Customisation, sustainability and innovation stood out here – and we were definitely spoilt for choice in terms of notebooks in particular, from neon brights to pastel shades, and everything in between. 

  • Let’s kick off with the Kensington distressed leather pocket notebook.  The cover of this A5 book features E-leather, where leather wastage and scrap, destined for landfill, is repurposed in a water powered, clean, energy efficient manner – and it’s UK manufactured.   Available with sustainably sourced lined, squared, plain cream or 100% recycled paper.

Now two very different notebooks with one thing in common – coffee. 

  • The cover of the Cafeco recycled notebook is made from recycled office waste and post industrial coffee cup waste.  Manufactured in the UK, the white lined paper is 100% recycled  from consumer waste and the whole notebook can be recycled post use.  Available in a wide range of colours, the Cafeco is suitable for debossing, foil blocking or full colour printing.
  • The eco-friendly covers of the aptly named Coffee notebook contain 50% coffee ground waste.  This A5 spiral bound notebook comes in just one colour (coffee brown of course) and contains 70 sheets of lined paper – and just for the record, no it doesn’t smell of coffee. 
  • Journals and planners are also growing in popularity – whether business or wellness focussed.  With recycled and recyclable choices, multiple branding options, a myriad of cover colours and customisable content in terms of page numbers and makeups, you have the opportunity to create a truly bespoke branded product.
  • Sustainability is a growing story in the promotional pen market, but our best in show pick is a pencil.  The Eternity is a bamboo pencil that’s designed to last and last, thanks to a specially produced 99% graphite nib, meaning it can be used over again without wearing down.  The pencil is available with a black or white eraser.  Definitely one you need to try for yourself.

Kensington distressed leather pocket notebookCafeco recycled notebookCoffee notebookWellness JournalEternity bamboo pencil

In other stories… 

Wellbeing essentials packs are a firm favourite in the office, and another useful essential from the same range stood out this year.  A handbag (or pocket) sized, recyclable aluminium jar of sunblock.  Made in the UK, it’s water resistant, fragrance free, non-greasy and great for sensitive areas such as lips, ears or noses.  Just add your branding to the label on the screw top lid and you’re ready for any surprise sunny days.

Staying in the wellness theme, Scentered offers a range of 100% natural aromatherapy products to address the most common wellbeing needs, from improving sleep, to reducing stress and anxiety.  From balms to candles, everything is beautifully and sustainably packaged, with numerous options for branding and personalised messaging to suit all budgets.

Eco is still a driving force in tech and gadgets, but we think one new product that deserves a mention is a wireless charger made from recycled paper!

SunblockScentered aromatherapyWireless charger made from recycled paper

One trend we weren’t necessarily expecting this year was socks, and lots of them.  From seasonal to specialist (think skiing, cycling, sports or workwear) to bamboo, rPET and upcycled, the list goes on.   

And finally, whilst it’s not unusual to pay a premium for an express service, one supplier is promoting a saver service.  If you aren’t in a hurry and happy to commit to a four week max production time, then you benefit from a discount.  It really can pay to be organised! 

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