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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.

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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You’d have to be living on Mars to think that the advertising tactics of yesterday are the same tactics that reach and engage the youth of today. The media landscape is changing before our very eyes. Young consumers are in complete control over their content, audiences are consuming their information through multiple screens, and an engaged consumer trumps an exposed consumer.

So, how does this apply to driving consumers in store to buy your product? If you’re a buyer, no matter the category, you are concerned with how your on-shelf products are being marketed. 

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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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While marketing to millennials includes technology outreach such as cell phones and social media, experiential marketing inside stores is also important. While providing shoppers with an environment that is sophisticated, attractive and friendly, presentation and attention to detail are critical. 

Millennial Impact

Millennials have become a dominant buying force. A 2014 study by Accenture described them as “a trillion-dollar demographic” that has transformed shopping. Accenture’s study put the number of millennials in the United States at 80 million and estimated their annual domestic spending at $600 billion. “If retailers want to give millennials the seamless experience they have come to expect, they must radically change the way they operate,” the study warned. Agencies helping stores transition from traditional marketing agree. “You need to connect on some level because there has to be engagement,” says Christina Papale, vice-president of strategy for CBX, a New York-based brand agency. 

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