Gender reveal parties are exploding in popularity, with party supply shops saying demand in New Zealand is booming as Kiwis start copying 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, in which case they will produce a copy of their baby's scan for the cake maker or party supplier to peek at before purchase.

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Jenny Davison, who owns Pixie Party Supplies in Mt Eden, said she had at least one enquiry 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 were one of Davison's most popular items.

The company she ordered the balloons from had even started producing new designs in response to growing demand globally.

"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."

Jenny Davison of Pixie Party Supplies with a gender reveal balloon, one of her most popular gender reveal items in a growing market. Photo / Doug Sherring
Jenny Davison of Pixie Party Supplies with a gender reveal balloon, one of her most popular gender reveal items in a growing market. Photo / Doug Sherring

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

"Within the last year it seems to have just, suddenly everybody seems to want them," she said.

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"About six months ago things definitely gained a bit more momentum."

Davison expected the trend to grow as more Kiwis shared their gender reveal party photos on social media.

"The more that people see these things the more people want them."

Auckland cake maker Bets Gee, who owns Magnolia Kitchen in Silverdale, said she was starting to see the Kiwi market catch up with the global trend, with demand for gender reveal cakes "starting to ramp up a bit" in the last year.

"It's definitely something that's on trend," she said.

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Baby Guppy is a....👶🏼🙈 @martyguptill31

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

She was getting an increasing number of enquiries 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 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.

And while buying stuff we don't necessarily need might not be great for the planet, research showed it was good at helping us deal with change, Kapitan said.

"We can go gendered even if the world doesn't need to be that gendered, which helps us celebrate the person who's coming.

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

Earlier 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.

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