Adult Coloring Book Fad Causing Global Shortage Of Pencils?

While some opt to play games on their mobile devices to de-stress, others followed the bandwagon and gave into the coloring book trend. The past couple of years, sales of adult coloring books significantly increased from about a million units sold in 2014 to 12 million units in 2015, as Gizmodo reported.

These coloring books are full of intricate drawings that are waiting to be filled with color. According to, the adult coloring book craze was started by Scottish artist Johanna Basford, whose first adult coloring book, entitled Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Colouring Book, was released in 2013. Her coloring book sold millions of copies worldwide, and she has since released two more coloring books, with two more on the way this year.

The adult coloring book craze attracted millions, both young and old, as coloring is a good way to alleviate stress. The best way to fill in the colorless pages, as many say, is to use colored pencils, as they are perfect for coloring tiny shapes, unlike crayons, and they don't bleed into the next page like pens.

Now, there are reports that the adult coloring fad has brought about a global pencil shortage. According to The Independent, the largest pencil manufacturer, Faber-Castell, has reported that they are experiencing an immense growth in their sales of colored pencils. This has prompted the company to start doing double-shifts in their factory in Germany just to keep up with the demand. Sandra Suppa, a representative of Faber-Castell, released a statement to the news outlet.

"The production of our artists' pencils has increased strongly compared to the previous year. Currently, we are running more shifts than usual in our factory in Stein, Bavaria in order to satisfy the global needs for artists pencils related to the colouring trend for adults. The trend is continuing to this day and can be felt globally - from South America to Asia."
Last year, The New Zealand Herald also reported that other colored pencil manufacturers such as Stabilo and Staedtler are also experiencing sales growth and are struggling to keep up with the demand for colored pencils.

Suppa also said that adult coloring book lovers are not contented with regular colored pencils; they would rather use high-quality artist's pencils that can go for as much as $500. In addition, they aren't satisfied with 12 or 24 colors. They look for larger colored pencil sets that have 72 or more than a hundred different colors.

But is there really a shortage of colored pencils? Suppa said that while the demand is high, there is no shortage and they are trying their best to fill all orders, as Emily Stone from Faber-Castell told BT.
"We are not seeing a pencil shortage, but our production has increased significantly compared to the previous year thanks to the colouring trend."
Faber-Castell is one of the oldest and biggest manufacturers of pencils and pens. The company's headquarters is in Germany, and they have 14 factories worldwide. However, most of their products are manufactured in Brazil. According to their website, the company needs 150,000 tons of wood yearly to meet the demands. However, the company makes sure that they do their part in replenishing the resources they get from Mother Nature. Almost 30 years ago, the company started the wood supply program, wherein they plant millions of tree seedlings in Brazil.[Image via Shutterstock]