With the Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit approaching in June, License Global is chatting with speakers about the event, the licensing industry, life after lockdown and more.
We spoke with Marie-Laure Marchand, senior vice president, global consumer products and business development, Chefclub, about the food and entertainment industries, how it fits into licensing, her upcoming panel at B&LIS and more.
License Global: Food and entertainment have been two of the largest consumer product categories in 2020. How do you see the categories evolving in 2021 and beyond, and where does Chefclub fit into that?
Marie-Laure Marchand: The pandemic has drastically changed consumer eating habits, and home cooking has quite significantly increased last year. I believe that this trend is not just a fad, it is more a long-term structural change to our society. People are in need of healthier ways of living, and preparing meals offers them the opportunity to control what they eat. This is the reason why cooking-related licensing has a bright future. Moreover, entertainment has always been a key category, but the crisis has increased the amount of time spent in front of a screen, whether it is a TV, tablet, computer or mobile. Chefclub, the “eat-ertainment” brand, is at the crossroad between cooking and entertainment and is very well positioned to give consumers an answer to their needs. Being a digital brand, we offer a unique experience to our community by proposing creative recipes with ordinary and affordable ingredients that bring everyone in the kitchen! With our Chefclub Kids initiative, we offer a fresh and new take on family cooking empowering children to get creative and be independent in the kitchen, while discovering fruits and vegetables.
LG: Licensed products with Tefal were announced in January 2021. How do you see this line expanding, and what new lines are you looking forward to that you can share?
MLM: We announced a new partnership with Groupe SEB, with the launch of a colorful range of products under the brand license Chefclub by Tefal. The range has more than 50 SKUs including skillets, saucepans, kitchen tools and small domestic appliances. Co-created with the Chefclub community, this range combines Chefclub and SEB’s expertise, creating a fun and inspirational cooking-experience. The first products were launched in France at retail in January for Crepes Day Celebration with a line of different pans, bakeware and an electric pancake maker. Specific POP materials were massively displayed across France in grocery stores. The rest of the Chefclub By Tefal line will be launched this year in France and internationally (Germany, Italy, Spain, the U.K.) and will be sold offline and online as well as directly to consumers on the Tefal and Chefclub websites.
The new brand Chefclub by Tefal benefits from an unprecedented visibility on social networks and will broaden Groupe SEB’s reach, touching all those who are discovering or rediscovering the joys of cooking thanks to our content. By joining forces with Groupe SEB, the number 1 world reference for small domestic appliances and cookware, Chefclub has access to recognized industrial expertise, the renown of the Tefal brand and a broader retail network which will allow our community to discover our products via SEB’s retail channels.
New products are currently under development for 2022, including more innovative products along with a line of small electric appliances.
LG: Chefclub is a global brand. What global trends have you noticed in the licensing industry over the past year that you see carrying on into the future?
MLM: I have noticed two main trends:
• Experience – consumers do not only look for licensed products, they want more and need strong brand values and storytelling to rely on. They need to share an emotional bond with property and this is the reason why experiential marketing is essential. At Chefclub, we develop internally our own line of innovative products designed for kids while building unforgettable memories, tying in creative digital content and experiences. Selling a licensed product is not enough anymore and licensors/licensees will have to consider the overall experience they’re offering to the end consumers to be successful in this overcrowded market.
• DTC approach/online sales – the pandemic has accelerated retail disruption and favored ecommerce, boosting online sales at a fast pace. Licensors and licensees have been forced to develop a direct-to-consumer approach to be able to keep selling their products. This will have a serious impact on licensing which historically relies on retail sales for the most part. I think that this is a game-changer and will allow small brands to emerge with a DTC approach opening new doors to many independent and creative companies
LG: Why is B&LIS an important event for the licensing industry this year?
MLM: Since the pandemic, we haven’t been able to gather with our licensing partners and it is essential to stay connected and up to speed with the upcoming trends. B&LIS is a great opportunity to reconnect with the licensing industry, share best practices and learn what’s new in this ever-changing market. Be ahead of the game!
LG: What topic(s) will you be addressing during B&LIS?
MLM: I’ll present Chefclub’s unique approach and explain how we have evolved in only five years’ time from a French video-first company to the most successful eat-ertainment brand. I will also walk attendees through and detail our DTC and retail experience.
Be sure to register here for the virtual Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit, being held from June 9-11, 2021. To learn more about the conversation Chefclub will be participating in, "Cross-industry strategy brainstorm: Bringing the in-store experience offering to life for current and future consumers," click here and check out Day One.