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The Shelf Life of Food and Beverage Collaborations

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Three panelists offered in-depth insight into F&B collaborations during License Global’s webinar.

License Global hosted a webinar May 27, "Ordering Up: How F&B is Feeding Limited Edition Drops," as part of its License Global Live series, discussing ways that food and beverage companies have been collaborating with other brands in new and innovative ways. The panel, moderated by Daniel Avener, chief executive officer, MDR Brand Management, featured Jen Levin, brand licensing manager, North America, Mondelēz International; Ernie Savo, senior director, global licensing and business development, The Hershey Company and Julian Baek, associate brand manager, Popsicle, Unilever.

The webinar opened with a discussion about the success of F&B collabs and whether there’s a future for them. During the pandemic, collaborations have been gaining traction, most likely because consumers gravitate to what is familiar, comfortable and convenient.

The discussion then moved to things to consider when brands partner up and what drives success. According to Savo, when considering a brand collaboration think about your objectives and then consider which brands or categories make the most sense. He explains that collaborations are a marketing tool, but they’re only effective when you’re sure that you’re authentic.

“Not just authentic to your own brand, but authentic to your brand partner as well,” says Savo.

Levin agrees and adds that when partnering with other brands, it important to trust the strength of the brand you’re partnering with. For example, a food company partnering with a make-up brand needs to be cognizant and trust that the makeup brand knows makeup.

“We’re brand protectors of our brand and our licensees and partners are protectors of their brands,” says Levin.

The panel also says that when two brands come together, it’s important to stay focused on the purpose of the partnering.

“Consumers go crazy about limited-edition collaborations because of the exclusivity and scarcity,” says Baek. “You have to make things that people will buy and love.”

Other relevant topics included starting a collaboration and the key characteristics a brand must have for a good cooperative effort. Levin says the crux of it is understanding both brands, making sure they align and that the combo resonates with the consumer. The webinar ended with a discussion about the future of brand collaborations. All the panelists agreed that these collaborations aren’t going away.

Check out the webinar on demand here.

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