Gingerbread kits are a perennial category for the holidays each year. Most of the products feature pre-baked cookie pieces in the proper sizes and shapes, as well as frosting, candies for decoration, accessories such as paper character figures, and everything else needed to make a finished gingerbread house or other structure for display.
A variety of themes and designs are available, with licensed properties in the mix. This is a niche opportunity for the IP owners in terms of revenue, but it also represents a creative way to engage fans with their properties and brands.
Here are some of the key licensees active in the category:
- The Cookie Jar from Cookies United, a subsidiary of United Baking, offers kits inspired by Hasbro’s Candyland, Minions, Trolls, Snoopy, Frosty the Snowman, A Christmas Story, Elf on the Shelf, Scooby Doo, and Oreo, as well as a gingerbread cookie-decorating kit tied to the Marvel character Thanos and gingerbread battle-scene kits for Spider-Man and the Avengers.
- Create a Treat sells chocolate and gingerbread house kits for Hershey’s, Sour Patch Kids, and Oreo (with different designs than Cookie Jar’s), as well as Crayola, Barbie, and Hot Wheels. Other efforts have included products with Twizzlers and Haribo.
- Bee International’s portfolio of kits focuses on candy brands, including Nestlé Toll House, Just Born (Mike and Ikes, Peeps, and Hot Tamales), Airheads, Tootsie Roll, and others.
- Brand Castle’s 2021 gingerbread kit assortment featured Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Santa’s Workshop and a gingerbread tree) and M&Ms (a gingerbread stadium and a holiday house, as well as a haunted shack cookie kit for Halloween).
- Wilton’s character licenses in the gingerbread house category include Super Mario and Disney’s Mickey Mouse & Friends and Disney Princess. The latter are part of a broader licensing agreement with Disney encompassing a range of baking products featuring Disney/Pixar and Marvel characters.
Note that the licenses involved are focused heavily on characters (mostly evergreens, holiday and otherwise) and candy brands, both of which certainly make sense. But is there potential for other types of properties in this category?
Of course this is a small segment, and its nuances (low margins and royalties, food-safety regulations, the difficulty and expense of launching new products, lots of competition) make it somewhat of a high-effort/low-reward proposition that is not for everyone. Yet if the circumstances were right, one could imagine creative products associated with IP like architects, sports teams (stadiums), construction-related brands, and country-themed properties, not to mention celebrity chefs, home experts, and DIYers, among others.
A heads-up that we will not be publishing on Monday, December 27 or Thursday, December 30, 2021; our next post will be on Monday, January 3, 2022. We wish all of our readers a happy and healthy new year.