Here's a pandemic story you can jot down in ink. Preferrably with one of Newell Brands Inc.'s many brands of pens.
With most students headed back to in-person school this fall, demand is on the rise for items like Sharpies, Paper Mate pens and Elmer's glue. Luckily for the Atlanta-based consumer products maker, Newell has a large U.S.-based supply chain.
"The vast majority of what we sell in writing is manufactured in the U.S." Newell Chief Financial Officer Chris Peterson said during the company's quarterly earnings call July 30. "So we are not in the business of dealing with ocean freight, port issues, availability of raw materials and components as we are on some of our other businesses."
The website Supply Chain Dive notes that recent surveys indicate that U.S. consumers expect to spend an additional 9 percent on back-to-school items in 2021.
Newell President and CEO Ravi Saligram said core sales of the writing business increased more than 25 percent.
Newell also owns the Contigo brand and notes that it likewise will benefit from another pandemic school supply: reusable water bottles.
"We know parents are navigating new challenges this back-to-school season. Our priority at Contigo is to make them feel confident in their kids' transition to in-person learning by providing an effortless drinking experience" said Reggie Moore, vice president and general manager for beverage in the outdoor and recreation business unit at Newell Brands, in a news release. "Our research tells us that 80 percent of parents are planning to send their child to school with a reusable water bottle, making it a top item on shopping lists this year."