Why Living Nature soft toy sales are thriving

The latest updates from Keycraft's beloved soft toy animal brand

Posted: 28th September 2022
Posted by:
Why Living Nature soft toy sales are thriving

Living Nature™ stuffed animals are cute and comforting friends for life. Designed to look realistic; but with an irresistible cuddly appeal, they’re the closest that owners can get to the real thing without lots of bills, accessories and poop scooping!

We’ve seen Living Nature sales accelerate rapidly over the last few years. 2020 was Living Nature’s biggest growth year to date, with 267% revenue growth YOY. We put that success down to the following trends, which our retailer partners can also take advantage of.

1. Product enhancements for sustainability

Since launching Living Nature in 2008, we’ve updated the manufacturing process to include more sustainable materials. We’ve also updated the hang tags for additional buyer appeal.

Living Nature toys feature a hang tag with facts about the animal, such as behaviour, habitat and food. They also feature a green ‘Naturli’ hang tag, detailing how many recycled plastic bottles were used to make them. The soft elements are made either entirely from recycled plastic, or at least the stuffing uses recycled plastic.

A desire to protect the natural world and demand for environmentally-friendly products is a big driver for today’s consumers. Eight out of 10 respondents surveyed said that sustainability is important for them, with a majority willing to change buying behaviours or pay a premium for brands that are environmentally responsible.

2. Increased promotional budget

Keycraft has invested in PR and advertising to turn the Living Nature brand into a household name for all occasions, especially for animal lovers.

In 2020, we spent over £100,000 advertising on social media and Google to build brand visibility and recognition. We’ve continued to make a significant investment into 2021, gaining further momentum.

3. Retail diversification

We’re working with more partners who are diversifying their retail or business strategy to introduce toys and gift items. This proves to be a lucrative additional revenue stream for many business models, and Living Nature leads the way as our premium gifting toy brand.

For example, we offer a Living Nature dropshipping service for the Friends of Joules ecommerce site - ‘an online marketplace for a contemporary country lifestyle’. We ship 50+ daily orders directly to Friends of Joules customers.

Or take Wicksteed Park, an amusement park in the beautiful English Countryside. They recently introduced a toy shop selling Living Nature toys (among other Keycraft brands), leveraging their family-oriented customer demographic to create a new revenue stream.

4. Soft toy market growth & gifting trends

The soft toy market is growing, and that’s predicted to continue in the longer term. Fact.MRreports that the global market demand for stuffed toys is projected to grow by compound annual growth rate of 6% between 2019 and 2029. Millennials (aged 25-40) are the primary demographic driving sales growth, with gifting trends being a major contributing factor.

Cuddly Living Nature animals make perfect gifts for children, babies and adults alike, driving their growing success.

More News & Insights

Keeping abreast of innovative thinking and industry news gives us the competitive edge.

Why should retailers use seasonal events to increase footfall and profit?

Find out why small to medium retailers and family attractions should use seasonal events to increase footfall and profit.

Retailers 10 most common Christmas grotto questions

We've collated the top questions we get asked from retailers about Christmas grotto's, read the answers here.

How can retail theatre help increase profits in my retail store?

Learn how retail theatre can really drive your customers to purchase.