Archive | Food/Beverage

Party On

Last October, we took a look at the emergence of licensing deals and collaborations in the hard seltzer category. At the time, a handful of brands, such as Hard Rock and Ralph’s Italian Ices, had entered the category through partnerships with alcoholic beverage makers. Since then, this space has become a go-to category for appropriate […]

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Taste of Japan

Boxes of food—DIY meal kits, restaurant takeaway meals, and direct-to-consumer gift boxes filled with treats—have gained traction during the pandemic, thanks to their convenience, simplicity, and experiential characteristics. In the past couple of months, a mini-trend has emerged within this segment as purveyors of Japanese food in the U.S., U.K., and Europe have paired with […]

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Digital Cooking Brands Turn Up the Heat

Digital-native cooking brands have been expanding their licensing activities in the last year. The properties tend to appeal to a young-adult demographic that needs accessible information and inspiration to prepare healthy and good-tasting meals. They have large and active fan bases across YouTube, Instagram, and other social channels, as well as on their own websites […]

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Eating Out, At Home

The challenges faced by restaurants during COVID-19, especially those that do not have strong take-out, curbside, or delivery infrastructures in place, have been well-documented. Perhaps that is why there has been a flurry of announcements about new retail brand extensions—most often in the form of licensing deals—into the food and beverage category in the past […]

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A Weapon in the Chicken Sandwich Wars

Quick-service restaurants specializing in fried chicken, not to mention other fast-food chains including hamburger, taco, and pizza specialists, have introduced chicken sandwiches to great fanfare over the past couple of years, leading to the current so-called “chicken sandwich wars.” Experts trace the start of the war to a skirmish between an early Popeyes sandwich and […]

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Celebrities Crave QSR Tie-Ins

For quick-service restaurants, the past six months have represented somewhat of a golden age of celebrity tie-ins, as more and more athletes, musicians, influencers, and gamers have entered into promotional partnerships with fast food restaurants. Each initiative is unique, with some skewing toward the endorsement end of the spectrum, some being meal-centric, and others highlighting […]

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A Pop of Color and Flavor

Bold and unusual flavors and colors have long been a staple of popcorn sold by independent shops and specialty snack marketers. Examples range from sweet (peppermint, cinnamon bun, s’mores, amaretto, birthday cake) to savory (hickory, dill pickle, prickly pear, porcini mushroom, baked potato). Three new popcorn lines announced in the second half of this year […]

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Mooncakes Rising

Mooncakes are baked goods traditionally eaten during China’s Mid-Autumn Festival, which celebrates the moon and the fall harvest and is one of the most important Chinese festivals each year. Traditionally, mooncakes are round, two to four inches in diameter and up to two inches deep, with a filling commonly made of red bean or lotus […]

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Wine Pairings

One product category that has flourished during the pandemic is alcoholic beverages, including wine. From early March through mid-September, wine sales grew 19.3% in volume and 24.7% in dollar sales compared to the same period the previous year, according to Nielsen. A number of new licensed and collaborative wines, some limited editions and others under […]

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Spiked Seltzer Deals Bubble Up

Consumers in the U.S. purchased close to $1 billion in hard seltzer from March 7 to May 30, 2020, the first three months of the pandemic, compared to $1.5 billion for the whole of 2019, according to Nielsen. In the week ending June 6, the start of the summer season, hard seltzer sales—which have been […]

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