TGI Fridays adds new products to Tesco range

TGI Fridays, the iconic American Bar & Grill, has continued its collaboration with SV Cuisine to launch the new restaurant-inspired BBQ Beef Brisket and Buffalo Chicken Wings, in a partnership brokered by TGI Fridays’ global licensing agent, Beanstalk.

Alongside the launch of these new dishes, the TGI Smoked Pork Ribs with BBQ Sauce has been extended to additional Tesco stores.

“Building on the success in Tesco of our TGI Smoked Pork Ribs with BBQ Sauce, we have successfully widened the offer of TGI products to Tesco shoppers,” says James Conway, Head of Sales at SV Cuisine. “Supported by in-store and online promotional activity, the TGI Fridays brand is set to reach additional shoppers and new levels of sales.”

“We’re excited to see this range in the UK’s biggest supermarket continue to grow, through our partnership with TGI Fridays and SV Cuisine,” says Louise French, Senior Vice President at Beanstalk. “With the addition of these new dishes and the roll-out of the range across even more Tesco stores, TGI Fridays continues to offer consumers even more ways to recreate the TGI Fridays experience at home, for the whole family to enjoy!”

The TGI Fridays BBQ Beef Brisket and Buffalo Chicken Wings are available in Tesco stores and online now.

Banijay Brands cooks up MasterChef condiments with Baxters

Banijay Brands has cooked up a tasty new partnership with the food manufacturer, Baxters to develop a range of branded marinades, dressings, and table sauces for the popular cooking IP, MasterChef.

The new deal – covering the UK and Eire, the Nordics, Benelux, Germany, Czech Republic, and the Middle East – will see the MasterChef food products land at retail later this year. It will also partner with previous MasterChef UK champions Ping Coombes, Thomas Frake, and Saliha Mahmood Ahmed to feature the winning chefs on the packaging.

Each of the champions will vouch for their ‘Champions Choice’ of products, and create bespoke recipes and tips on how to best use these.

Grown over 150 years and four generations, Baxters sits on shelves around the world. The collaboration with Banijay Brands has produced an exciting array of products that stay true to the ethos of MasterChef, giving home cooks the ingredients to transform their dishes from ordinary to extraordinary.

Alice Bernardi, director of international brand licensing at Banijay Brands, said: “With food being such an integral element of MasterChef, it was extremely important for us to find the right partner; with the experience, retail presence, and most of all, passion, for the brand.

“We’ve found all of these elements in Baxters Food Group, and we are confident that together we will bring a product range to consumers that will surprise and delight everyone.”

Matthew Bowler-Jones, European sales director at Baxters Food Group, added: “We are delighted to be partnering with Banijay Brands to launch this innovative new range of condiments. Combining both companies’ passion and strength in food and flavour is sure to be a recipe for success.”

Created by Franc Roddam, MasterChef is the world’s most successful cookery television format with 63 local adaptations, broadcast in over 200 countries and watched by more than 300 million people globally. MasterChef has a digital footprint of more than 34 million fans totalling in excess of 4 billion views across YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

The MasterChef brand extends into huge range of commercial activities across consumer products, experiential, publishing, and digital.

Finsbury Food Group expands Diageo partnership to launch Gordon’s Pink Gin cake

The UK cake manufacturer, Finsbury Food Group is expanding on its partnership with the global drinks giant, Diageo to launch a new collaboration with the best-selling gin brand, Gordon’s.

Tapping into the ongoing success of the gin market, Finsbury has partnered with Gordon’s to launch one of the brand’s signature distilled gins in cake form, resulting in the new Gordon’s Premium Pink Cake, a pink and white sponge layered cake with raspberry jam and topped with Gordon’s Premium Pink flavoured frosting.

Having sold more than one million cases in its first two years, Gordon’s Pink Gin has tapped into a wave of consumer demand for distilled gins that now account for around 40 per cent of the total gin market by both volume and value. Lockdown saw sales in the market surge by 37 per cent in the 12 months to March 27, 2021.

Finsbury has worked in close partnership with brand owner Diageo since 2018, when it introduced the first range of adult-only cakes with Baileys. The Baileys range has listings in all major supermarkets, having since expanded to feature products such as the Chocolate Treat Blondie Bars, Salted Caramel Cupcakes, Chocolate Yule Log and two celebration cake variants in Strawberries & Cream and Chocolate Marble.

Emma Hamilton, brand manager for Finsbury Food Group, said: “We’ve worked with Diageo for many years and have seen huge success when we’ve previously married together their well-loved drinks with our expertise in crafting beautiful cakes. At Finsbury we are always looking for ways to bring innovation into the cake category, and excite the public with the launch of new products that they’ve never seen before.

“We know gin lovers will want to snap this up, but we’ve made sure that there’s enough beautiful flavours and toppings to delight those who aren’t as partial to gin too. We are thrilled to be collaborating with Gordon’s on their first cake, hopefully the first of many, and can’t wait to see people enjoying the Premium Pink cake as it lands this summer.”

Declan Hassett, senior licensing manager at Diageo, added: “At Gordon’s we work hard to challenge the industry, stay ahead of the curve and set the trends when it comes to our special Distilled Collection. We invest heavily in product innovation and following the hugely successful launch of our Premium Pink Gin in 2017, we wanted to create something really different and special for our customers. There was no better choice than partnering with Finsbury to make our cake dreams a reality.”

Gordon’s Premium Pink Cake will be available in ASDA stores and online from 25th July, and in Tesco from 6th September.

Digital food brand Chefclub signs Fashion UK for family apparel range across Europe

The digital food brand developed to inspire audiences into the kitchen, Chefclub, has joined forces with Fashion UK, the leading European textiles and accessories licensee, to launch an officially licensed Chefclub apparel collection for the family.

The new range will launch in spring/summer next year with a cross-generational appeal that promises to be ‘fun, fashionable, and of course gourmet.’ The collection will be initially available to all major European retailers across France, Germany, and the UK.

Established in Paris in 2016, Chefclub is a digital kitchen brand that has seen rapid growth across Europe, the US, Latin America, and China thanks to its regular output of video content across social media platforms. The brand’s mission is to ‘transform the kitchen into a space for sharing and having fun.’

To date, Chefclub content has tallied up more than two billion organic views each month, with 100 million followers worldwide.

Its new partnership with Fashion UK follows the recent deal with Groupe SEB for the production of a range of Chefclub by Tefal cookware. The company joins to strengthen the growing roster of Chefclub licensees as well as its international presence in the licensing arena.

He’ll have a Caninety Nine, please! Battersea launches a new ice cream range just for dogs

The UK’s 160 year old animal charity, Battersea is demonstrating its flair for canine cuisine with the launch of an ice cream range specially made for dogs.

Surprisingly not called Caninety Nine, the range is made using real fruit puress and includes Strawberry and Apple & Banana flavours, and has been produced by Jude’s, Britain’s first Carbon Negative ice cream and desserts specialist. The deal was brokered by Battersea’s brand licensing agent, The Point. 1888.

Under the partner, five per cent of the sale proceeds of the range will be invested back into the animal charity.

Chow Mezger, MD of Jude’s, said: “As a family of dog-lovers we are delighted to launch Ice Cream for Dogs so now the whole family, including the pooch, can enjoy our utterly delicious ice cream. Our family Jack Russell Tinker loved being chief taste tester and we’re pleased to say that Ice Cream for Dogs has her full approval.

“Working with Battersea has also been fantastic, and we couldn’t be more proud to support their vital work to help dogs and cats everywhere.”

Sarah Van Kirk, licensing manager at Battersea, added: “Battersea is delighted to be working with an innovative and environmentally conscious UK based company like Jude’s. We’re really excited about this collaboration with royalties from each product going directly towards the care of dogs and cats.”

The Point.1888 looks to create new products based on the gaps it sees at retail; rather than what it thinks the brand’s target demographic might like. This supports a higher chance of retailer buy-in and a better sales performance. In 2020, it delivered record-breaking sales using this approach in Iceland for an ice cream range inspired by the iconic sweet brands of its client Barratts.

Gabbi Langdorf, senior international and brand manager at The Point.1888, said: “We love working with brands with purpose and are thrilled that such an innovative product will be raising funds to help support Battersea’s important work. The timing of the launch couldn’t be better – long may this great weather continue.”

The ice cream range is now available to buy from Ocado.

SEGA Europe details ‘hand-picked’ Sonic partner line up across toys, textiles, food & drink and more

SEGA Europe has unveiled a new line up of merchandise and consumer product deals for its flagship character, Sonic the Hedgehog, in what it has billed ‘a hand-picked line up of industry leaders’ to help celebrate the property’s landmark 30th anniversary this year.

With production on the film sequel, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 now underway and the recent unveiling of the new Netflix series, Sonic Prime – both slated for 2022 – SEGA is enticing audiences with ‘plenty to get excited about in Sonic’s immediate future’ thanks to a swathe of new partners for the brand.

“This is a momentous year for Sonic the Hedgehog and his fans, and we are incredibly proud to be partnering with so many leaders in their field across such a diverse range of product categories,” said Jason Rice, director of brand licensing at SEGA of Europe. “Our partners list will continue to grow throughout the year so look out for more exciting announcements in the near future!”

In the world of toys and collectibles, SEGA of Europe has recently teamed up with toy innovation company, Wow! Stuff, on its award-winning Wow! Pods range, which will feature light-up characters from the Sonic universe, housed within interconnecting display cases.

A new deal has also been inked with HoloToyz, who will be launching a range of stickers, decals and temporary tattoos embedded with augmented reality technology which can be brought to life via its free HoloToyz app, while long standing partner First4Figures will also be launching a brand-new, limited edition 30th Anniversary resin statue. 

Meanwhile several deals have been inked with leading players across home, textiles and personal care including, Character World for bedding, Groovy UK for bath robes, towels and washbags, Stor for tableware, and UK based company Corsair will market a brand-new range of kids’ toiletries including wash mitts and bath fizzers.

In the gifting and greetings cards space, SEGA Europe continues to add new partnerships to support an already flourishing business. Fizz Creations is preparing gift sets, drinkware, electrical accessories, games & puzzles and even Christmas decorations, whilst leading online retailer Moonpig, has already launched a successful series of personalised greetings cards.

The Sonic licensing programme is also expanding into food & beverage with leading UK based food manufacturer Finsbury Foods set to launch branded celebration cakes into major grocers later this year, and G FUEL’s Sonic branded energy drink, already a massive hit in the US, will be arriving to UK shores soon. 

In the world of contemporary art and pop culture SEGA Europe is proud to be partnering with Moor Art Gallery for a series of exclusive screen-printed poster art and 30th Anniversary commemorative enamel PINS, all slated to launch later this year.

And finally, The Blue Blur’s existing fashion & lifestyle business is set to grow and expand with a series of new collaborations including high-end fashion designer, Marc Jacques Burton. He is set to market a limited 30th Anniversary capsule collection, including jackets, hoodies, tees, and accessories to be distributed online and through select luxury fashion outlets worldwide.

Elsewhere, Global Brands Group is developing an exclusive new kids’ apparel range for leading fashion retailer Skechers, to launch throughout Europe in the near future.

Golden Goose lifts lid on new Del Monte Frozen Fruit partnership with Iceland

The UK’s popular fruit brand, Del Monte has lifted the lid on a new collaborative partnership with Iceland that will see the retailer launch an extensive new Del Monte Frozen Fruit range.

In a deal brokered by the licensing agency, Golden Goose, the pair have launched the new line exclusively at Iceland and The Food Warehouse, both online and in store. The range has been developed in response to ‘increasing consumer demand for frozen foods.’

A total of 11 lines feature in the range, including single variant packs of popular fruits such as Del Monte Frozen Raspberries, and Del Monte Frozen Blueberries, as well as convenient solution orientated offerings such as Del Monte Strawberry and Banana Smoothie Mix.

The products will be listed across the majority of the Iceland and The Food Warehouse estate in the UK, with selected lines available in the Republic of Ireland. Del Monte Frozen Pomegranate Seeds will be exclusive to The Food Warehouse. 

  Martin Tilney, senior commercial director for Del Monte UK and Europe, said: “Just like Iceland, we are very focussed on offering consumers quality, convenient solutions for creating delicious and nutritious meals at home. We have over 125 years’ experience in delivering handpicked fruit of exceptional quality, kept perfectly fresh in a range of formats including canned and now, frozen too.

“This proposition is perfectly suited to the modern, health aware consumer and we are delighted to be working with Iceland to bring this range to market.” 

Andrew Staniland, trading director at Iceland, added: “We’re proud to be working with Del Monte on this frozen fruit range which allows us to offer the best quality frozen fruit options to our customers. Del Monte is well recognised as a leading household name in the fruit sector and we were excited to see the introduction of frozen options in this exclusive range.

“Frozen fruit not only offers convenience and value, it is also an incredible way to lock in nutrients and guarantee quality by freezing the best varieties at peak season. The exclusive Del Monte range is a great option for our shoppers allowing them to reduce food waste whilst feeding their families delicious, healthy fruit. We’re looking forward to seeing the response from customers as the products launch in stores and online.”

Antonia Habdank-Toczyska, client and strategy director at Golden Goose, concluded: “The Del Monte brand is immediately recognisable as a sign of fruit quality and we expect it to grow the category for Iceland. This strategic partnership is another building block in the expansion of the Del Monte® licensing programme which we will continue to develop.”

Icefresh Foods launches Minions Ice Creams exclusively with Aldi stores across the UK

Icefresh Foods has embarked on a new partnership with Universal Brand Development to launch a line of Minions Ice Creams, a range taking inspiration from the hit kids’ franchise and launched exclusively with Aldi stores across the UK.

The range – marking Aldi’s first – has hit stores from today (Monday, May 17th), offering a vanilla and blue raspberry ice cream inspired by the popular Minions characters. The lollies feature distinctive yellow bodies, blue overalls, and a signature Minions eye. A box of six retails at £1.49.

Icefresh brand manager, Lucy Wright, said: “We’re so excited to be launching yummy Minions Ice Creams this summer. It’s been really important to us to be able to bring the UK some much-needed fun and we cannot wait to see the response.”

Established in 1983 Icefresh Foods works in collaborative partnership with manufacturers and brands to supply quality, award-winning ice cream and desserts to the UK retail and foodservice markets.  

Bimber Distillery partners with Transport for London to launch The Spirit of the Underground collection

London’s award-winning Bimber Distillery has launched its “The Spirit of the Underground” collection of single malt whiskies, each featuring a different station on the London Underground network. The partnership between the distillery and Transport for London was brokered by the brand’s global licensing agency, TSBA Group.

The launch range showcases four well-known Tube stations: Waterloo, Baker Street, King’s Cross St Pancra, and Oxford Circus, with each bottle featuring stylish iconography presenting a unique piece of London’s history. Each comes adorned with an eye-catching label and packaging design that observes the significance of each station’s location.

The four initial releases of the collection have been selected from the distillery’s finest ex-bourbon casks and are offered at full cask strength and without chill filtration. Each reveals a highly individual, but perfectly balanced merger of aroma and flavour that reflects the passion and craft of Bimber.

The cask selected for the Baker Street expression was chosen by the members of the 2020 Bimber Klub Tasting Panel – the distillery’s rapidly growing membership community.

 Speaking of the launch, Bimber spokesperson Matt McKay said: “We’re delighted to unveil this exciting new partnership and the first expressions of The Spirit of the Underground Collection. As we approach the fifth anniversary of our spirit, this collaboration with Transport for London celebrates both one of the great engineering projects of the past 200 years and the ongoing development of our spirit. Bimber is very much a product of London and we’re thrilled to showcase our single malt whisky in this most incredible way.”

With 270 stations on the network to select from, The Spirit of the Underground Collection is intended to grow alongside Bimber. New expressions will be added in batches (four single casks at a time) populating each of the Underground’s 11 lines and reflecting the vibrancy and multiplicity of the stations and locations throughout the capital city.

Julie Dixon, head of customer information design and partnerships at Transport for London, said: “This imaginative collaboration really shows off the visual splendour of our historic and instantly recognisable Underground network. It’s been great to work with a London-based distillery to create this collection and we hope fans of whisky will enjoy this collection as it grows.”

Release one of The Spirit of the Underground Collection will be available later this month with an RRP of £125 per bottle. Release two, which will feature four more iconic London Underground stations, is scheduled to be unveiled over the coming months.

All the expressions in The Spirit of the Underground Collection were crafted to Bimber’s exacting standards. The spirit was produced from the distillery’s single farm barley and malted on a dedicated floor at Warminster Maltings before being fermented for seven days in bespoke, on-site constructed American oak washbacks.

Distillation took place in Bimber’s customised stills which possess an increased copper surface area, which results in a rich fruit-forward, layered spirit. 

Swizzels cooks up a treat in cookie mix partnership with Food Innovations Baking Group

The British sweet manufacturer, Swizzels, has teamed with Food Innovations Baking Group to launch a Giant Drumstick Squashie Cookie mix, bringing the Original Raspberry and Milk Drumstick and Drumstick Original flavours to a new market of sweet-toothed fans.

The cookie mix is now available at B&M stores nationwide, targeting Squashies fans across the country, or any one looking to jazz up their celebrations this summer with personalised cookies. The mix is baked with with Original Raspberry and Milk flavoured Drumstick Squashies, and comes with Drumstick Original flavoured icing.

The range has been developed to tap into the demand for giant cookies that, according to Food Innovations, has been growing here in the UK.

Sarah-Louise, marketing manager at Swizzels, said: “Drumstick Squashies is our best selling product, so we’re thrilled to have combined it with a cookie mix, allowing fans to enjoy Squashies in a new, fun way.

“The personalisation element also makes it perfect for so many celebrations – whether it’s a birthday, anniversary or even a gender reveal party, it’s a great alternative to a celebration cake.”

Clare Boothman, brand and licensing manager at Food Innovations, said: “Giant cookies have increased in popularity and this collaboration with Swizzels’ Drumstick Squashies is a winning combination. They look fantastic on fixture and the kits are consumer friendly to make for all ages. We are receiving amazing feedback from consumers on this product as it allows them to show their creative side.”

Swizzels is the UK’s largest family-owned independent sugar confectionery business and one of the few confectionery companies to still manufacture sweets in the UK.

The company makes a range of well-known products including Love Hearts, Refreshers, Drumstick Lollies, Rainbow Drops, Double Lollies, Squashies and Fruity Pops.