A report on corporate gift-giving just released by the Advertising Specialty Institute found companies are spending an average of $79 to thank each employee this holiday season, with 23% reporting they will spend over $100 per employee.
ASI's nationwide 2017 Corporate Gift Spending Survey also found that, on average, employers thanking customers or prospects for their business will spend an average of $46 on each.
All told, 75% of companies are planning to spend the same amount as last year on employee gifts and holiday presents for customers, while 17% will reduce their spending, a significant change from 9% last year.
The gifts respondents described as "best ever" ranged from a scuba suit, airline gift card, and leather-bound calendar to a handwritten thank-you letter and gourmet cupcakes.
Apparel and gift cards are the two most popular employee gifts, with apparel on the rise over the past three years, from 29% to 40%, ASI's study shows.
Almost half the companies giving gifts will imprint them with their logo, an increase over last year.
Survey methodology: ASI surveyed 472 people from a cross-section of industries who have a personal role in decisions about procuring corporate gifts for either employees or clients/prospects. Over a third of companies polled had not finalized their gift-giving plans by the time of ASI's survey.