The New Zealand Herald

Gender reveal party a booming trend

- Tess Nichol

Gender reveal parties for unborn babies are exploding in popularity, with party supply shops saying demand is booming as expectant parents copy the American trend.

Requests for balloons and cannons which can be popped to reveal blue or pink confetti, or coloured cakes covered in white icing have been increasing for about two years, according to local suppliers.

Often even the prospectiv­e parents don’t know which colour will be revealed until the party, getting a sealed envelope from the baby’s scan to give to the cake maker or party supplier to peek at before purchase.

Jenny Davison, who owns Pixie Party Supplies in Mt Eden, said she had at least one inquiry a day about gender reveal goodies.

Enormous black balloons covered in white question marks and filled with either blue or pink confetti cost $42 a pop and are one of Davison’s most popular items.

“Another thing people like as well is confetti cannons,” Davison said.

“They’ve been quite popular, they’re a slightly cheaper price point than the giant balloons.”

Gender reveal parties have been popular in the United States for a few years and Davison thought New Zealand was catching up with the trend.

“About six months ago things definitely gained a bit more momentum . . . The more that people see these things [on social media] the more people want them.”

Auckland cake maker Bets Gee, who owns Magnolia Kitchen in Silverdale, said demand for gender reveal cakes was “starting to ramp up a bit” in the past year.

Kylie Foster, who runs her online party supply store Miss Mouse from Gisborne, said demand had been growing in the past two years.

She was getting an increasing number of inquiries about how to style a gender reveal party as well as selling more supplies.

“What I’ve noticed is we tend to pick up a lot of American trends, you know Halloween is bigger and bigger every year as well.”

It was normal for humans to want to mark big life changes with some kind of material object, consumer psychology researcher and AUT senior lecturer Sommer Kapitan said.

Now that scans showed a baby’s sex before birth, it was possible to incorporat­e this into a celebratio­n heralding the transition into parenthood, putting a positive spin on what could be a daunting life change.

Research showed it was good for helping people deal with change, Kapitan said.

“Becoming a parent is a scary, challengin­g process and the more we can celebrate and draw support from family and friends [the better].”

This week a video of a Sydney mother whose gender reveal balloon was popped prematurel­y by her young son went viral, and last month a West Auckland couple made headlines after warning neighbours they’d be announcing their baby’s gender with burnouts and balloons.

 ?? Picture / Doug Sherring ?? Jenny Davison of Pixie Party Supplies says gender-reveal balloons are one of her best sellers.
Picture / Doug Sherring Jenny Davison of Pixie Party Supplies says gender-reveal balloons are one of her best sellers.

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