Amongst magazines, crosswords are the biggest single theme, clearly visible on any shelf you run into. The selection is extensive: Lehtipiste distributes more than 130 different crossword products. In 2022, crosswords amounted to 24% of all annual magazine sales in euros and approx. 40% in number of copies sold. During the coronavirus pandemic, crosswords became the highest selling theme, and it is still growing in popularity among consumers. We asked two major crosswords publishers to clarify why crosswords are so popular and to describe what the future of crosswords looks like.
Kirsikka Ristikot: Crosswords are well-liked among seniors, and more popular with women than men. They are a great way to spend time. There is no question that crosswords with image clues will be around for a long time. Crosswords are especially fun on vacations, even with the younger generation, as they are easy to pack for travel. Over the years, the quality of crossword magazines has improved and the vocabulary used today is quite good and colourful. Many other hobbies are increasingly competing for people’s time, and the way the young and the middle-aged used media has changed quite a bit. This means that even crosswords have to adapt to new environments in the future. Reaching new, younger audiences is important to us. In order to captivate younger consumers, the vocabulary has to be adapted to fit the needs of newer generations.
Onni Kustannus: The crossword market is growing and doing well. One significant factor is the increasing number of 1- and 2-person households and pensioners. Crosswords provide low-cost entertainment with definite advantages. Using your brain helps prevent / slow down the development of dementia. In fact, we should raise awareness of this. Our brain is an irreplaceable hard drive that should be kept in good shape throughout our life. When doing crosswords, our brains are stimulated, our vocabulary becomes more extensive and we gain knowledge. Our versatile selection of crosswords, from image clues to cryptics and sudokus, guarantees something fun for everyone.