lisa reiner quote web

Times are tough in the food and beverage world, especially if you are looking to get a new product on crowded shelves. With range rationalisation high on retailers’ agenda, getting them to take a punt on a piece of NPD can be hugely challenging.

So what does this mean for licensing? The ramification the current environment has on creating new products is quite simple: if it doesn’t offer a distinct USP, it will not make it to the shelves. In an industry that depends on NPD, operations such as Project Reset are by no means ideal for the licensing world, but through clever brand ‘matchmaking’ the obstacles can be overcome.

Our agency specialises in creating the perfect partnerships to produce licensed products, and our work has in no way been slowed down by Project Reset and similar retailer initiatives. For example, one of our clients, Diageo, has combatted the challenge of range rationalisation by remaining agile and true to its brands. Take Guinness Burts Chips - recently nominated for a licensing award, it has understood a gap in the market for a pairing that made sense for the Guinness brand: a pint and a packet of crisps.

Co-branding can also be a sound approach to licensing, and a key strategy for licensees to innovate and drive incremental sales for an existing brand or line. Launched earlier this year, Chupa Chups Calippo Shots saw two brands come together and create added value in the confectionery space, driving Chupa Chups consumers to the freezer.

A great gifting range is also an effective method for food brands to widen their offering to customers. For example, Spanish restaurant La Tasca catered to sangria lovers with its own unique branded gift sets in Boots, while smaller boutique brand The Hummingbird Bakery launched a successful range of American-inspired bakeware gifts, proving experiential and functional items can create a wonderful food branded product.

Licensing continues to be a strong business model that can distinguish a brand from its competitors and allow it to succeed in a very competitive space.

Lisa Reiner is MD, Europe & Asia Pacific, of Beanstalk