"Make room" may be the best adage. Food and beverage brands continue to turn up the heat in traditional channels of distribution...and nontraditional channels of distribution. Indeed, "leveraging" is the best term for the corporate brand arena.
asked licensing agents and brand owners for the latest to hit retail or initiatives that were underway. The answers varied from co-branding deals to engaging consumers with new food and beverage extensions in new aisles (from bakery to freezer, for example). Apparel is still the most sought-after product category for many brands, with retro-stylized Ts, sleepwear, and casual tops continuing to take the lead (even though some retailers have indicated "retro" has softened). But corporate brands and trademarks haven't even scratched the surface as this brief reveals well-recognized brands finally making their entrance into the world of licensing and merchandising (albeit with the consumer none the
both have entered the licensing fray for food licensing. According to Nell Roney of Nancy Bailey & Associates, the licensing agency for the brands will seek frozen novelties for Hostess and varied types of "other" breads for Wonder. Unexpectedly, Wonder got a marketing blitz from comedy film
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
in which Will Ferrell plays a fictitious Wonder Bread car driver. When the agency picked up client
there already were three licensees (including one for Tony Roma's grilling sauces); now the agency plans to put other meat applications and grilling accessories (BBQ utensil kits) on the table. For
"America's favorite coffee," Roney says coffee-flavored products are a natural. Meanwhile, client
recently launched under license
a patented product that allows consumers to take food from freezer to microwave. Yet another brand to entrench consumers' lives is
with expansion in the home category ("filling in the kid's room," says Roney); bath accessories are yet to be announced. The co-branded
tennis shoe (pictured, left) was introduced in Europe and is being readied for the U.S. at pro shops nationwide next spring, according to
licensing agency The Licensing Company (TLC). With
as "shoe" spokesperson, the marriage is blissful for these two companies that have different areas of expertise: Michelin is known for its tire and rubber innovations, while Babolat is a leading manufacturer of tennis rackets and accessories. And TLC continues to take the food and beverage sector seriously (hence the creation of a dedicated division) with major food deals on the horizon for confection-based brand
TLC also tells
to expect products ranging from chocolate to cigars for its "spirits"-based clients. The
Culinary Institute of America
with its licensing agency, Broadstreet, has been mastering professional brand extensions—culinary uniforms and restaurant/hotelware—but now is readying the program for consumers with kitchen electronics a new entrée. On the flip side is new client
(a master at the fast-food game) with an expected line of T-shirts and other fashion tops from an as-yet-unnamed licensee. According to Bill Cross of Broadstreet, expect Halloween costumes for the Burger King brand as early as this year (in the adult arena). For Broadstreet client
organic cereals, screensavers, and binoculars/optics will be first out. Urban retail chains
teamed up with The Joester Loria Group to promote
apparel in windows, in-store signage, radio promotion, and tickets to the Pepsi Smash concert headlined by
Mary J. Blige,
scheduled for the end of this month in Brooklyn, NY. For
bicycle helmets under license by Bell (shown at left) are first in a collection of Mountain Dew sports accessories and protective gear to ship to
(already in stores since June). On the apparel front, Mountain Dew made its debut at licensee
booth last month at MAGIC Marketplace. The line includes juniors' and young men's board shorts, swimwear, swim cover-ups, and casual tops and bottoms. Another interesting deal to come from Joester Loria is
Baby Genius Kideo
titles from licensee
. Scheduled to premiere on
this fall, the titles allow parents to insert their children's image into Baby Genius videos. And, if you're curious about
Joester Loria will be making announcements within the next month for the brand's first licensing partnership.
aims to attract the outdoor enthusiast with its first-time licensing program for its
beer brands. The company has enlisted licensing agency IMC Licensing to explore opportunities in camping, fishing, and hunting equipment, as well as outdoor recreation products and accessories (think fishing apparel, tents, hunting bags, and flashlights).
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