Hey–here’s an article from the HawaiiBusiness.com site, “Ukulele Boom Generates Global Sales for Hawaii Companies.” It shows that ukes are such a popular product that many of these U.S. companies, such as Koolau, are outsourcing some of their uke construction to Asia. But it also points out how popular ukes have become, to sales levels that no one could imagine ten years ago:
Ukulele sales are growing so rapidly that NAMM – the 9,000-member National Association of Music Merchants – started tracking domestic sales two years ago as part of its global sales report. U.S. sales jumped 16 percent in 2010 over the previous year and the organization expects a similar increase this year.
“Ukuleles are a hot ticket right now,” says NAMM marketing and communications director Scott Robertson. “The popularity of the instrument continues to surge. There are quite a few popular artists including ukuleles in their music and people are responding to that. Plus it’s a less intimidating instrument, very portable, and easy to get started and play your troubles away.”
Take a look. There’s also a brief (and far from complete, but worth reading anyway) history of the uke as a consumer product.