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Recognizable brand names such as Disney and Coca-Cola remain popular among consumers and often generate a higher price point than generic goods.

The licensing industry continues to grow and licensed products are driving retail sales as consumers demand more of their favorite brands. In fact, the licensing industry now accounts for an estimated $251.8 billion in retail sales globally each year. 

As retailers, it is important to stay connected to the ever-growing licensing industry and upcoming trends to ensure your store is filled with the latest products and brands consumers are looking for.

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To get a sense of just how much excitement was building up in advance of The 2015 International Home + Housewares Show, consider this: the show sold out in late December, more than 10 weeks before opening day. Owned at operated by the International Housewares Association, the show ran from March 7-10 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

The show hosted more than 2,100 exhibitors from around the world, including 400 new companies that exhibited for the first time. The show attracted exhibitors from 49 countries and more than 60,000 attendees.

Nutrish Web Image

Launched in 2014, Nutrish for Cats joins the Rachael Ray Nutrish line of super-premium food and treats for dogs, and Ray’s personal proceeds from the new cat food line will also fund organizations that help animals in need. Nutrish for Cats is available in both dry and wet recipes, all of which feature premium natural ingredients that deliver great taste that cats instinctively love.

Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, Ray’s partner in Nutrish for Dogs, is also responsible for the creation of Nutrish for Cats. Ray’s personal proceeds from the sale of Rachael Ray Nutrish products support animal organizations, resulting in more than $7.2 million in donations to date. 

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This February, hundreds of thousands of the world’s most innovative children’s playthings will fill the vast aisles of the North American International Toy Fair. Owned and operated by the U.S. Toy Industry Association (TIA), the 112th iteration of the show will take place at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center from Saturday, Feb. 14 through Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015.

Toy Fair has evolved into the largest toy and youth entertainment product marketplace in the Western Hemisphere with an ever-growing domestic and international audience that includes manufacturers, distributors, retailers, licensors, entertainment executives and inventors. Last year’s show welcomed an 11 percent surge in international buyers, an 8 percent rise in exhibitors and a 5 percent increase in total attendance, bringing the total number of show visitors to nearly 27,000.

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Two of the largest wine and food festivals in the United States are four-day, star-studded gatherings that showcase the talents of the world’s most renowned wine and spirits producers, chefs and culinary personalities. 

But behind the glitz and glamour of the two festivals are noteworthy causes and a school that were really the driving forces for creating these two events. “The goal was to create a world-class event and food festival that helped raise funds in Florida for education and in New York City for the hunger causes,” says Lee Brian Schrager, founder and vice president of corporate communications and national events at Southern Wine and Spirits of America. “People have a great time, they get educated and meet great chefs and winemakers, but the bottom line that is most important is raising funds,” Schrager adds. 

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