Bob the Builder has been a firm favourite with the kids for a number of years now and his creator Hit Entertainment has capitalised on this popularity through licensing. A walk through any supermarket will find Bob the Builder yogurts, crisps, chocolate bars and celebration cakes, to name but a few. Hit Entertainment's director of consumer products, Europe, Katie Foster, says that although licensing on food is often pursued as secondary to other areas, such as toys and clothes, it is vital: "It's secondary in terms of timing: you need to build up the profile of the character in more recognised areas first, but the food side is crucial to the campaign and it's profitable for everyone involved." Foster says the company is very careful when choosing a licensing company and will deal only with manufacturers who supply one of the major multiple grocers. "You have to be very careful with food, it has to be of the highest standards, so we'll only work with a supplier who has all the relevant stamps from the supermarkets." She agrees that the market is changing and says consumers are much more demanding. "They want a much higher standard now, not just happy with a label slap, they want a good quality product." Foster says they are looking to create a long-term offering, eschewing the more traditional throwaway culture associated with licensing. She is optimistic for the future and doesn't think that the market is stagnating. She believes there's plenty of room for innovation to come. After all, she adds: "As long as children continue to watch TV, character licensing will always be popular." {{COVER FEATURE }}