After teaming up with Heinz and Yoplait for a line of PAW Patrol-inspired food items, Nickelodeon’s offering in the food and beverage market is coming on leaps and bounds. In a super interview with Licensing.biz, Marianne James, Vice President Commercial Partnerships, Consumer Products and Experiences, UK & Ireland at Nickelodeon UK reveals why the firm is on the look out for new partners that can represent its core brand values.
What are your thoughts on the licensed food and drink market? Have you noticed strong growth recently?
There has been a significant growth in the licensed food and drink market recently, with so much more potential to grow, and Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products (NVCP) has been partnering with key licensees to offer customers innovative and exciting food and drink products.
Healthy eating is a key focus at the moment and although we still have a significant treat business, we are very pleased with the healthy food and drink partners we’ve recently signed deals with. Our partnership with Yoplait is the perfect example of what we’re trying to achieve – aligning our universally loved family brands with the market leader in any particular category.
Can you tell me a bit about your partnership with Heinz? What can fans expect to see from this deal?
Heinz has been a long-standing partner of NVCP and PAW Patrol is the most recent property to be incorporated into this partnership. After launching toddler biscuits earlier this year, we’ve worked with the food giant to launch a new range this summer that includes Pasta Shapes in Tomato Sauce Snap Pots, dried Pasta Shapes and Pasta Sauce.
How successful has the recent launch of yoghurts with Yoplait been?
The launch of the Yoplait PAW Patrol fromage frais has seen incredible success, becoming our best performing licensed SKU at Asda across all categories, and not just across food and drink. The results of the yogurts show how a single low price FMCG SKU can drive important revenue to the business.
With a line of PAW Patrol-inspired yogurt already available, which Nickelodeon brand best lends itself to the food and drink market?
Nickelodeon has a wide range of universally known properties that lend themselves to the food and drink categories. The Turtles have seen tremendous success in this area, as has SpongeBob. Currently, PAW Patrol is the global phenomenon that continues to generate interest from across the licensing industry, and is a key property for us in driving the revenue within FMCG.
But opportunities always arise for our other Nickelodeon properties. We’ve seen Blaze and the Monster Machines over performing on-air this year and there is a strong appetite for the brand from our licensees and retailers, initially for the toy range, but now across other categories also. Likewise, Shimmer and Shine has seen amazing success with the Mattel toy range, and with over 23 UK licensees now on board, food and drink is an area of focus.
Properties move into the world of FMCG once they have proven success in other categories, and a number of Nickelodeon properties are at that tipping point.
What do you look for when seeking new partners in the food and drink category?
The Yoplait yoghurts range was a phenomenal success and we are expecting some great results from the Heinz range as well, especially with the amount of marketing that was secured to support the launch. The market has room for more product innovation, and we are looking for new partners that could represent our core brand values and align with our properties to help us further grow this area of business.
Are there any new deals in this sector you can shout about?
NVCP is always looking for new opportunities to partner with the best licensees in the industry. Among our most recent partnerships, we are currently working with Maxwell Foods to launch some snacking raisins this month that PAW Patrol fans should be really excited about.
Another collaboration with Bio-Synergy has seen the production of flavoured water and fruit and oat already available in the market. And as the market grows, more deals will continue to be announced…watch this space.
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