9 Fave Gifting Categories for Father’s Day

We know…dads aren’t the most complicated species. But when you’re a brand or retailer trying to cash in on more sales during the Father’s Day gifting season, it can be complicated trying to help gift givers find (and buy!) the perfect gift.

Thus, our New Moms team asked the experts — the proud dads of EMA. Ranging from new dads to granddads, New Millennial fathers to Boomer fathers, and geeky dads to hipster dads, here are nine categories they offered, as well as some insights to convince shoppers to say no to ugly neckties, cologne samplers and executive trinkets.

1. It’s all in the cards. An overwhelming number of our dads opened up with this insight: “Nothing is better than a hand-made card.” Whether it’s the first scribble a toddler makes on drawing paper or a goofy sentiment a teenager writes on a craftier card, dad really loves the teary eye or the little chuckles these moments bring. Encourage gift givers to buy the materials needed to create a card dad will really cherish.

2. The way to his heart is through his stomach. Ice cream. Breakfast in bed with the kids. Meat. Our dads at EMA love them all (unless they’re vegetarian or sugar-free). And they love, love, really love grilling for the whole family. Grocery retailers: Encourage gift givers to buy all the ingredients for making dad breakfast in bed. Restaurants: Offer gift certificates with the unique flavors of dad in mind. Retailers: Get your grill on — with top-quality steak, BBQ sauce, recipe books, grilling utensils and more that will help dad feast on his favorite foods, as well as enjoy more family cookout time.

3. The sentimental touch. Top ideas in this category include a book of poems, a t-shirt or tote with baby’s handprint, or a “Best Dad Ever” trophy or t-shirt. One dad touched on the true insight of child gifting by saying, “To have that personal sentiment from your child — to know for that moment they were just solely thinking about pleasing you — well, nothing in the world beats that.”

4. More R & R. Ah yes, the old rest and relaxation. This response was especially popular among the new dads on our team. After many sleepless nights (and emptier wallets) the first year of fatherhood, the best gifts for them are of the non-child variety. Encourage new dad gift givers to think about the pre-dad years and indulge dad with accessories or tools for his favorite hobby or a night on the town with a curfew that’s later than tubby time. A couple of hand-made coupons redeemable for a full night’s sleep and a diaper-changing free day are also excellent ideas.

5. It’s cocktail time. After a hard day’s work — whether in the yard or the office — dad deserves a little something to help him relax before he starts dispensing fatherly advice. Father’s Day is a great opportunity for wine and spirit stores or beverage centers to capitalize on. Home brewing kits, unique six packs of craft beer and a premium bottle of single-malt Scotch whiskey topped the list as gifts EMA dads most wish for.

6. Office love. Dad spends many hours in the office supporting the ones he loves. Nothing says “I love you” better than a framed picture of the family, a tablet skin with a selfie of mom and the kids, an art drawing, or a little toy one of the kids selected for his desk. This stuff will spark a big smile at every glance. And remind dad that his best gifts are always waiting for him when he gets home.

7. Quality family time. Many of the dads polled said they “just want to spend time with their families on Father’s Day.” Granted, time isn’t something you can sell, but you can encourage gift givers to purchase items that give dad the opportunity to enjoy more family time, not to mention fresh air and exercise. Think camping gear, sporting goods, family bikes, hiking stuff and outdoor games. The gifts may wear out over time, but the family memories will last forever.

8. Good for on-the-go. For the dad who spends significant time in planes, trains or automobiles, time away from the kids can be heart wrenching. “We love you daddy” travel mugs, a unique travel bag or a keychain with the kids’ picture helps this dad keep his children close when he is far away.

9. Be a good sport. There are many ideas you can promote for the sports fan dad. Help gift givers score tickets to the big game or hit a hole in one with golf packages or gear. For the more flexible dad, yoga passes are a real treat.

Make it a win-win on Father’s Day. Help moms and kids be a little more thoughtful with gift giving and win more sales for Father’s Day and beyond.