Slime is sublime for Elmer's Glue sales

People inspired by social media to make homemade slime for fun -- and in some cases, profit -- are helping the bottom line of Newell Brands (NWL), the parent of Elmer’s Glue. That’s because the product is an integral part of the gooey concoction.

Liquid glue sales rose during the second half of 2016, and during the last four weeks of the year they more than doubled, according to Newell. The company plans to increase production of Elmer’s White School Glue, along with Glue-All, Glitter Glue and Clear Glues to meet the rising demand. It didn’t release specific volume or sales figures.

“We’ve seen a variety of slime recipes oozing through cyberspace over the past few weeks,” the Hoboken, New Jersey-based company said in a statement to CBS MoneyWatch. “Glitter slime, clear slime, sequin slime, glow-in-the-dark slime, puffy slime, and metallic slime are just a few of the gooey concoctions to surprise us, all of which use Elmer’s glue as a key ingredient.”

Some markets reported shortages of Elmer’s Glue, which has been a part of students’ school supplies since 1947, because of the slime craze. Hobby Lobby said it’s keeping up with the increase in glue sales. “Fortunately, we have been able to quickly respond to this fun crafting trend, and customers can still find white glue in most of our stores,” said spokeman Bob Miller. 

Newell, whose other brands include Sharpie markers, X-acto knives and Paper Mate pens, acquired Elmer’s for $500 million in 2015.

Borax sales are also on the rise because it can also be used to make slime. Doctors, however, are warning parents that Borax can be toxic if it’s not safely diluted.

Wannabe slime makers have no shortage of information. More than 1 million results appear on YouTube from a search for “homemade slime.” There are nearly 11,000 slime listings on the online crafts market Etsy (ETSY) and more than 2 million posts on the slippery substance on Instagram.

Entrepreneurs of all ages are trying to cash in on the worldwide phenomena. Izzy Vilchez, 12, of Nutley, New Jersey, has earned about $2,000 in slime sales over the past five months, most of which is earmarked for her college fund.

“Well, she doesn’t ask for lunch money anymore, that’s for sure,” her mother, Janice, told CBS New York.

© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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