Brand collabs to melt the heart

When is an ice cream not an ice cream? When it’s a shirt, necklace or even pyjamas.

Brand collaborations and licensing deals are nothing new, but there’s been a surge of such activity in the ice cream space recently. We’ve seen ice cream brands adorning other food (or non-food) products, such as Golden Gaytime Popcorn, and other popular brands flavouring ice cream variants, such as the Chupa Chups Strawberry & Cream cone.

Justin Watson is the Managing Director of Assembl, a specialist brand extension licensing agency focused on design, lifestyle and FMCG brands. He says nostalgia plays an important role when it comes to the success of a brand outside its usual category or market.

“In categories like frozen desserts, which play into treating occasions, comfort and happiness are always key,” says Mr Watson.

“Familiar, loved brands evoke fond memories and take you back to those moments, and that’s why we love to play up and on the nostalgia of the brands in a partnership.”

Assembl works with many high-profile global brands, including Unilever/Streets, CUB, Perfetti Van Melle, and Diageo for Australia and New Zealand.

Mr Watson says the ice cream market is particularly ripe for licensing deals.

“Sweet and indulgent flavours like ice cream extend naturally into many food categories, but they do tend to work very well in, and as, frozen and chilled desserts,” he says.

“Bringing a known brand or flavour into the freezer that also has sweet or indulgent flavours is even better, as it creates and demands instant recognition with consumers and brings excitement to the overall category.”

Mr Watson says Assembl is proud of its work with Unilever/Streets, extending much-loved Streets brands including Golden Gaytime, Weis, Bubble O’Bill, Paddle Pop and Splice into new licensed product categories.

In the case of Golden Gaytime, the objective was to extend its fame outside the freezer and leverage the brand’s ‘mega snacking’ credentials.

“So, we launched the first food extension into the snacking aisle with the delicious Golden Gaytime Popcorn, delivering the ultimate iconic toffee and crumb in popcorn form. This brand extension has performed incredibly well since its launch last year,” says Mr Watson.

Read more about ice cream licensing examples and opportunities in the latest issue of Convenience World.

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