Swanson Blog 03/18/2021


With months of misinformation and downright confusion about when, where and how to wear mask – it’s no wonder retailers are trying to figure the future of masks sales.  In this rapidly-evolving and competitive environment, up-to-date marketing information is essential to monitor performance and make critical decisions for growth and profitability by retailers.

In the early days of COVID, people were struggling to find any type of mask.  Initially, the basic 3 ply paper mask was “KING”.  Everybody was trying to get them, and everyone was wearing them.  Then the ever popular “gaiter” style or bandanas  increased popularity.  More recently, there has been higher demand for the basic cloth mask that has a nice design, or even words printed on them.  These new designs make it more fun to wear and be in style.  But what does the future hold in masks?

In the sports market, we have already seen UnderArmor’s Sports Masks sell out in just hours.  This masks offered new technology such as Spacer fabric which helps create air pockets to create structure, breathable open-cell foam and the inside layer uses Iso-Chill technology that disperses heat.  Nike also released a similar mask aimed at the avid sports enthusists.

And what about the extreme of silk masks with matching PJ sets from Dolce & Gabbana which tips the cash register at a whopping $1,193 per set?  However, 51% of silk masks sit at $20-40 in the US which is still a huge increase from the cost of the simple paper masks.

Finally, the new product on the mask horizon is designer mask coverings for formal dress or activities.  Designers have thought outside the box, but ensure that these new developments are still functional and provide the required protection.  These new extremely styish mask coverings include a jersey mask to wear underneath.

Just like with anything else, the mask market continues to evolve. The big question is, how will the government lifting mandatory mask requirements across the US effect ongoing masks sales?  This is a unknown at this point, but regardless companies large and small are moving forward with new designs, styles and accessories in this product line.