ECRM’S General Merchandising Programs: Trends to Watch

    Can't attend all the virtual expos? Trendspotter Nancy Trent has you covered! Here's a sampling of the trends she spotted at the ECRM General Merchandising programs.

    Sales of household cleaning and paper products have exploded over the last year. ECRM Connect’s General Merchandising programs are doing a major push to anniversary those sales for next year, allowing for brands to achieve the same results, if not better. The program helps brands push their products out through collaboration and connecting, giving them the means to boost or maintain sales for their yearly goals. 

    “There are new products on the market that can eliminate germs for extended periods of time, and as consumers continue to be cognitive of health and wellness, they are looking for products that are safe,” says Tony Giovanini, SVP of General Merchandise with ECRM.  “We also saw a push for more sustainable and eco-friendly products within these categories.”

    Examples of sustainability at the recent ECRM Connect General Merchandise event included True Organic Products, a line of retail organic fertilizer with a Food Safety Certification. True Organic’s mission is to return more soil to its organic roots by providing home gardeners with plant foods and products made from ethically sourced, premium organic ingredients that yield the healthiest results for people and the planet. They’re a group of people passionate about soil sustainability—and about avoiding the perils of synthetic, petrol. 

    Another example is KeepCool USA, which offers reusable shopping bags made from recycled PET in a wide range of prints and sizes. At ECRM, the company was introducing its new Supernatural Paper material line, which resembles “vegan leather” to bring next-level design and function into the shopping tote and insulated bag category. KeepCool USA’s mission is to transform shopping behavior for the better while simultaneously protecting the environment by promoting the use of reusable shopping bags. 

    In addition to sustainability, it was noticeable that necessary personal care products are also becoming more fun.    

    Ashtel Studios has multiple brands to support the health and wellness of everyone in the family. The company’s Smart Care brand has all the essentials needed to keep clean and healthy including the #1 selling hand sanitizer during the pandemic and fun 3D Cube Tissues. Their BrushBuddies brand, the first to introduce a talking toothbrush, keeps kids brushing in all the right places for as long as necessary. The new Soniclean brand is an invitation-only subscription service that offers you the most premium brush at a value you cannot find anywhere else. 

    ECRM and RangeMe continue to be a driving force for buyer and seller engagement in these times when connectivity may be difficult for many manufacturers and retailers. They help emerging brands get discovered, while also serving to facilitate the planning needs of retailers with existing flagship and challenger brands.  

    The ECRM Connect virtual platform is best in class for not just virtual interaction but for company information, brand profiles, product review and note taking. The company’s proprietary virtual meeting platform brings conversations to life with a comprehensive live video experience that features several productivity tools for a top-notch meeting experience. 


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    Nancy Trent is a writer and speaker, a lifelong health advocate, a globe-trotting trend watcher and the founder and president of Trent & Company, a New York-based marketing communications firm with an office in Los Angeles. Trent & Company, which launched many fitness brands, grew out of Nancy’s personal commitment to helping people live longer and healthier lives. A former journalist for New York magazine, Nancy has written seven books on healthy lifestyles, serves on the editorial boards of several magazines and travels around the world speaking at conferences and trade shows on trends in the marketplace. She is a recognized expert in PR with more than 30 years of experience creating and managing highly successful campaigns. Nancy can be reached at (212) 966-0024 or through e-mail at You may also visit