Logan Paul’s Prime may have made the biggest noise but Ed Sheeran, Lewis Capaldi and even Dolly Parton have leapt aboard the celebrity brands bandwagon
Stars have long been associated with booze brands. Take Ryan Reynolds’ or Katherine Jenkins’ gin, P Diddy’s vodka, David Beckham’s whisky and, er, Donald Trump’s wine.
But now famous faces are pivoting into food and (soft) drinks.
Ed Sheeran’s release of Tingly Ted’s hot sauces is the latest high-profile example of a celeb entering grocery.
Nowadays it seems you aren’t really a celebrity without your own line of smelly candles (Gwyneth Paltrow), functional drinks (Bella Hadid) or indeed ‘Big Sexy Cheese Pizzas’ (Lewis Capaldi).
Paul Schaafsma is the man behind Benchmark Drinks, which transformed celebrity wine from a novelty into an exciting and growing category. Since its inception in 2018, it has secured big names under its umbrella such as Kylie Minogue, Gary Barlow and Graham Norton.
Wines by Kylie Minogue have now sold more than eight million bottles, are listed across 31 countries globally and offer the biggest selling premium rosé in the UK, according to Benchmark.
Speaking about the diversification of celeb brands and the products they create, Schaafsma says success relies on consumers resonating with the celebrity personalities. The more consumers know, like, identify with and trust the celebrity behind the product, the more likely they are to purchase.
“What the proliferation of celebrity brands has demonstrated is that people recognise the brand through the personality and they see that product as matching their lifestyle,” he says.
“With wine, 93% of consumers haven’t been to a winery and a lot of the products don’t mean much to them. But when they see a brand from a star they know – a brand that’s part of their lifestyle and a personality they associate with fun and good times – it creates credibility for the product.”
The most prominent example of this craze is the Prime Hydration sports drink, which has seen viral success after its UK launch in January by influencers Logan Paul and KSI.
“Take Prime as an example. It’s just another drink but it’s associated with celebs and therefore it has more kudos and resonates better with the customer.” adds Schaafsma.
‘You need to over-deliver to the consumer for the phenomenon to continue’
He’s not surprised to see more and more celebs launching their own products, but cautions that the quality needs to be up to scratch to avoid being criticised as gimmicks.
“Brands need to be careful and make products that deliver on quality, whether it’s wine or spirits or hot sauce… You need to over-deliver to the consumer for the phenomenon to continue,” he adds.
“That’s why we put so much effort into our products, so that critics can’t say anything negative.
“In food they must maintain that as well to avoid people becoming cynical.”
Here are a few examples of celebrity-fronted food and beverage brands that have popped up recently:
Prime – Logan Paul & KSI
Products: Seven flavours
Price: £2 for 500ml – £2.50
Available: Supermarkerts, convenience stores and online
On the surface, there is little to mark this brand out from its contenders.
It has all the attributes of a standard sports drink: bright packaging, electrolytes, vitamin B12 and fruit & vegetable juices for colour.
But with YouTube heavyweight influencers Logan Paul and KSI behind it, demand for the drink was gathering steam before the first batches had left the depots.
Asda was first to stock it under an exclusive deal that ended in January. Subsequent launches in Aldi and Sainsbury’s garnered attention amid chaotic scenes of long queues and shoppers scrambling to buy limited stock.
Buying restrictions were put in place and Prime’s reputation was burnished. Indeed, hardly a day goes by without Prime hitting headlines, making for a great example of the kind of success star power can lend to an otherwise everyday product.
Lewis Capaldi’s Pizzas
Products: The Big Sexy Cheesy One and The Big Sexy Meaty One
Available: Tesco and Iceland
While Lewis Capaldi has become a household name for his music, the singer has a side hustle for some extra dough.
Capaldi said he came up with the idea for his pizza colleciton during lockdown. In an Instagram post he said: “It took a while, it was a lot of trial and error, it was a lot of long nights by myself to try and come up with what would become my Big Sexy Pizzas.
“Eventually that spark just ignited and I stumbled upon greatness… The Big Sexy Pizzas were born. These pizzas are big and they are sexy and they burst in your mouth. They just fill your mouth wall to wall with flavour, yummy yummy yummy juicy juice flavour.”
Ed Sheeran’s Tingly Ted’s
Products: Tingly and Xtra Tingly
Ed Sheeran is a well-known lover of spice and has been famed for his frequent trips to Nando’s, becoming a holder of the chain’s much sought-after black card.
Now Sheeran has partnered with Heinz to launch his own brand of hot sauces.
Tingly Ted’s has debuted with two variants: Tingly and Xtra Tingly. Tingly is a medium hot sauce, while Xtra Tingly is “for anyone who wants to take the heat up to the next level”.
View this post on Instagram
Bella Hadid’s Kin Euphorics
Products: Canned drinks and made to mix beverages
Price: £40 for eight
Designed to get consumers to “ignite the light within”, Kin Euphorics contains adatogens that are claimed to reduce stress and nootropics to positively affect brain function and botanicals that provide the taste.
The functional beverages are designed using ingredients that “nourish mind and body”.
These “energy-transforming ingredients” help “tune your mood” and “activate the power, energy, and peace that is already in you”.
All of this is to say it’s a slightly hippie brand. Hadid and co-founder and CEO Jen Batchelor feature an Eye of Providence on the brand’s website, alongside their star signs, the meeting of which apparently amounts to a “karmic connection”.
CleanCo – Spencer Matthews
Product range: Six non-alcoholic spirits
Available: Across the mults and online
Made in Chelsea star Spencer Matthews launched the zero-alcohol spirit brand after giving up booze himself.
CleanCo offers a range of gin, rum, tequila and whisky replacements.
The sugar-free, vegan spirits contain about 13 calories per 50ml serving and are sold in 70cl bottles.
It gives consumers the chance to “enjoy the delicious, refreshing cocktails you know and love without the repercussions”.
In January this year, the brand pulled in a £7m cash injection from group of investors, including former Diageo executive Ursula Burns and digital-first investment firm Stonebridge, which is advising CleanCo on its growth plans.
View this post on Instagram
Dolly Parton’s Baking Collection
Product range: Six baking mixes
Price: $12 (£9.63)
Available: US and online
The 9 to 5 singer last year announced a new collaboration with Duncan Hines called Dolly Parton’s Baking Collection.
Country music star Parton’s limited-edition baking collections includes two brownie mixes, one biscuit mix, and a sweet cornbread and muffin mix, which first became available in January this year, but have since sold out.
No1 Living – Jonny Wilkinson
Products: Health shots, kombucha and water kefir
Available: Waitrose and online
Rugby star Jonny Wilkinson’s No1 Living range is one of the forefathers of celebrity food and drink brands.
Now, the label is expanding with a raft of kombucha shots and kefir water on the market
Which celebrities are adding star power to food and drink?
- Currently reading
Fame game: the celebrity brands winning space on shelves