BLEpicBLE’s Retail Mentoring Program welcomes a new host of retailers from a diverse range of categories. By Bianca Herron

Online retailer and specialist toy buying group Toymaster are a apart of the new host of retailers that joined Brand Licensing Europe’s (BLE) Retail Mentoring Program.

BLE’s program is one-of-a-kind in the United Kingdom. Organized by UBM and sponsored by the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA), the program is designed to give buying and merchandising professionals a deeper understanding of the licensing industry.

The mentees of this year’s course represent numerous retail categories and departments, including buyers, marketers and designers from apparel, gift, toys and leisure. Other notable program participants include fashion and apparel retailers M&Co; Morrisons, one of the largest supermarket chains in the UK; and the UK’s largest cinema chain ODEON and UCI Cinemas Group.

In addition, for the first time, all retailers who complete the course will receive Continuing Professional Development Certification Service (CPD) accreditation, which will help enhance each participant’s individual career paths.

“It’s fantastic to have the opportunity to enhance these young professional’s careers and skill sets within licensing,” BLE Brand Director, Anna Knight, said in a statement. "They are after all the future of this industry.”

AMERICANREDThe company aims to grow its brand licensing program into new categories. By Staff Writer

Seltzer Licensing Group is helping the American Red Cross expand its growing brand licensing program into new categories with five new licensing partners.

As the exclusive licensing agency for Red Cross brand licensing, Seltzer Licensing Group will develop a strategic licensing plan to bring the core principles of the Red Cross into new commercial categories.

Each new licensee will help reinforce American Red Cross’ commitment to educate and empower consumers to prepare for disasters or other emergencies before they happen. Additionally, all of the company’s licensed products will feature new branded packaging, developed to help consumers easily identify the trusted Red Cross name and the products recommended to have on hand in case of emergency.

“These five new licensees are just the beginning of the exciting brand licensing program we are implementing across the categories of health, safety, emergency preparedness, and lifestyle consumer products,” Seltzer Licensing Group President Stu Seltzer said in a release.

The new partners include:

* LifeStraw will offer LifeStraw American Red Cross portable water filtration products. LifeStraw’s water filtration products provide American consumers with the confidence that their water will be filtration safe for use in the event of emergencies.

* Hydro-Photon Inc. was selected to supply a Red Cross branded UV purifier. These SteriPEN innovative water purifiers provide clean, safe drinking water faster, easier and more effectively than other portable water disinfection methods, like pumps and chemicals. Its small, lightweight design provides for easy storage and makes them a critical component to any emergency preparedness kit for home or travel.

* Penn-Plax will offer Red Cross branded pet first aid, disaster relief and outdoor safety kits to help ensure that pets will be “Always Ready” for emergencies.

* 2253 Apparel will launch a lifestyle collection of adult clothing and accessories inspired by the Red Cross. Focusing on comfort and quality, the Red Cross collection will provide consumers a stylish way to show their support.

* 360° Student Travel by Westcoast Connection will take teens to Washington, D.C., on trips to receive emergency preparedness training and perform community service hours for the Red Cross. 

housewares logo A panel featuring millennials revealed that convenience is most important when cooking, which is why they are always in search of products, services or apps to help them save time. By Bianca Herron

One common theme during a panel at the 2017 International Home + Housewares Show was cooking – as long as it is convenient.

Held at Chicago’s McCormick Place March 18-21, the annual show’s first keynote, “Millennials Have a Lot to Say About Housewares,” was moderated by Maureen Azzato, editor-in-chief of Home Furnishing News (HFN), and Warren Shoulberg, HFN editorial director.

The panel included seven focus group members who ranged in age, occupation and marital/family status. Despite the fact that all panelists enjoying cooking, time is an issue for many, which is why they are always in search of products, services or apps to help them save time, according to a release.

When it came to their buying decisions, a few of the millennials noted they were influenced by social media platforms including Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, Tastemade and YouTube. In addition, television and cooking shows, and endorsements from friends and family – either in person or through social media – also played a critical role in their buying decisions.

Though others panelist were not “tied” to certain brands; how the product currently holds up or what people are saying right now was more important. “I really look at the rapport of the company right now,” Gabriella said. “This may have lasted 40 years for my grandma, but I might not have the same confidence that would be the case today.”

While some might expect millennials to lead the charge for connected products, the majority consensus was that products should offer greater value. “I’ve seen a lot of products that connect to your phone, and personally I don’t find a use for them,” Robert said. 

Extra Beanstalk aims to extend Filippo Berio into healthy foods such as pasta sauces, salad dressings and kits. By Staff Writer

Filippo Berio, a leading olive oil brand worldwide, has selected Beanstalk, a global brand licensing extension agency, as its strategic U.S. licensing partner.

With olive oil at the core of the Mediterranean diet, Beanstalk aims to extend Filippo Berio into healthy foods such as pasta sauces, salad dressings and kits, marinades, savory snacks, specialty olives, marinated vegetables, dips and spreads and crackers and specialty breads.

“Leveraging Beanstalk’s strategic licensing expertise will allow our world famous brand to enter additional complementary categories, and become even more relevant to consumers,” Marco de Ceglie, president and CEO at SALOV North America Corp., parent company of Filippo Berio, said in a release. “I am confident that we will identify many like-minded uncompromising partners in their specific categories.”

Beanstalk’s President and CEO Allison Ames added that the company is “thrilled” thrilled to announce its partnership with Filippo Berio in the U.S.

“The brand’s rich tradition and leadership position in the olive oil market makes Filippo Berio an ideal partner for healthy food extensions,” Ames added. “Its core vision of helping people live their lives healthier is important to consumers today as they look for the right food choices and seek to embrace the health advantages of a Mediterranean diet. We look forward to taking the brand into new aisles at retail, and to creating new ways for consumers to enjoy the flavor of Filippo Berio.”

Turnowsky The licensed products will include dinnerware and giftware distributed by Lifetime Brands. By Staff Writer

Leading international design house W. Turnowsky, Ltd. has entered into a license agreement with Lifetime Brands, Inc. for tabletop products featuring its designs.

The licensed products will include dinnerware and giftware distributed by Lifetime Brands under the Mikasa® and Pfaltzgraff® brands. The Brand Liaison, licensing agent for Turnowsky, created the deal.

“Home goods is a key category in our global expansion of the Turnowsky brand,” Turnowsky’s Marketing Director Guy Braun said in a release. “Lifetime Brands is the leader in this category so we are very excited about this partnership.”

Turnowsky designers bring a variety of creative styles and experience to its new partnership, including fashion, textiles, ceramics, art, and interior design. In addition, they also lead the evolution of constantly changing design trends including the latest color pallets, materials and techniques. The Turnowsky brand and designs are now available for licensing in products ranging from fashion, accessories, home goods, home décor, kitchen textiles, giftware and more.

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