SILC21 | The Insights Family: “Kids are becoming leaders in sustainable consumption”

Children’s consumption habits are changing and a new generation of consumers are looking to become leaders in shopping sustainably, is the message to emerge from day one of two of this week’s Sustainability in Licensing Conference.

An opening presentation given by The Insights Family’s chief product officer, Jonathan Watson, highlighted that today’s children will be the next leaders in sustainability, and that it was the responsibility of the kids’ entertainment industry to “empower them to do so.”

The two day Sustainability in Licensing Conference (SILC21) kicked off on Thursday, June 24th with a line up of representatives and change makers from across industries, including those from The Eden Project, Tesco, and George at Asda among others, each showcasing the latest developments in the nationwide (and global) drive for better sustainability practices within the business of consumer products.

The session was opened with a presentation from the insights and family intelligence specialist, The Insight Family who offered a deep dive into the most recent data from across the global markets on the children’s and family sector’s relationship with the topic of environmentalism and sustainability.

Key to the presentation were findings around children’s growing understanding of the sustainability conversation, highlighting that it was now a global concern for kids aged six to 12, and that this was filtering down to spending habits today.

Currently over 45 per cent of children aged six to 18 in the UK say they would spend more on something that is environmentally friendly or sustainable. At the same time, youngsters are engaging with the topic far more actively across social media platforms such as Twtich and Discord as they seek out like-minded individuals to talk about the topics.

“Far from being passive observers, kids are thinking about their purchases more than ever, and becoming leaders in sustainable consumption,” said Watson. “Many are now willing to pay an increased price, showing how building sustainability into your business can not only result in increased brand advocacy and financial growth, but can save the planet along the way.”

The discussion spanned the topics of food consumption – the environment is now a major consideration for 22 per cent of UK children’s food choices – to the removal of children’s magazines containing plastic throw-away toys from Waitrose.

“Data has shown that 32 per cent of parents who shop at Waitrose say the environment is their biggest concern. That’s twice as many as the average,” explained Watson. “They are more likely to be the parents teaching their kids about their actions and the environment.

“Likewise, we asked kids why they purchase a magazine. The number that say it’s for the free toy on the front has been reducing over the last few quarters. However, it is still the number one reason for their choice.”

This will be a conflict that many brands in the children’s magazine sector will have to negotiate over the next few years.

Watson concluded: “Making sustainability easier for kids, teens and parents to understand is imperative. It’s important to be empathetic, practical and inclusive of parents so that consumers feel like they are empowered.

“Kids want to make a change, and we need to make it easier for them to do this.”

The Sustainability in Licensing Conference will continue today with speakers from ZURU Toys and LEGO taking to the stage among others.

Emoji renews its partnership with Lojas Americanas for themed Easter Eggs across Brazil

The Emoji Company has renewed its partnership with Lojas Americanas to launch another line of Easter Eggs across Brazil through its own D’elicce brand, an official licensee of the Emoji franchise.

Under the renewed partnership, that will see themed easter eggs launch for the second year running, the product range will be available in more than 1,700 points of sales, as well as via the app and online Lojas Americanas shopping platform. Lojas Americanas is recognised as one of the largest retail chains in the country.

We are excited to work for the second year with Americanas through their own brand D´elicce in Brazil for the Easter Season, they develop high quality products and have a great distribution capacity, which allows reaching consumers in more than 700 cities across the country,” says Celso Rafael, CEO of Lotus Global Mkt, responsible for the brand licensing in Brazil. 

“For the emoji company, it is a great pleasure to be part of this important holiday for children and adults through this amazing partnership with Lojas Americanas and its own brand D’elicce,” added Marco Hüsges, CEO and founder of the emoji brand.

Planeta Junior launches Maya the Bee ice cream across Poland with Cools Group Studio

The European entertainment company, Planeta Junior, has signed a new licensing agreement with Cools Group Studio and Studio 100 to launch Maya the Bee bio ice cream dots across Poland. The deal marks the first time that the ice cream brand has partnered with a character IP.

Available from the end of April this year, the range will deliver a variety of flavours like bubble gum, cream, cotton candy, and vanilla, while being made of natural ingredients and free of colourants or preservatives.

“The adventures of Maya the Bee bring joy to successive generations. I myself perfectly remember the cartoons from my youth. We are very much looking forward to working with Studio 100 and Planeta Junior and I am convinced that together we will create an excellent product,” said Przemyslaw Rogowski, CEO of Cools Group. 

Joachim Knödler, head of licensing at Studio 100 Media, added: “We are thankful for the trust Cools Group places in us and in Maya to be the first ever license signed for their delicious Bio ice cream. We cannot wait for the first warm days and summer to be here, to bring this amazing product to kids and their families.” 

Planeta Junior holds the licensing and broadcasting rights to the Maya the Bee brand in Iberia, Italy, Greece and licensing rights in the CEE as Studio 100 agents. 

With strong values of respect for the environment, care of nature, biodiversity, freedom and friendship, Maya has become the face of a number of bio and natural products as well as social responsibility actions such as the recent Greenpeace campaign #SOSABEJAS, aimed at raising awareness and sensitizing children to the need to save bees. 

Chefclub teams with Upyaa! to launch kids culinary toys and play-sets

The digital culinary brand, Chefclub has partnered with Upyaa! to launch a new range of toys and games throughout Europe, enabling kids to engage with a collection of creative play-sets and undertake their own journey to becoming little chefs.

The new sets will encourage kids to create their own ice cream, popsicles, and chocolate bars while each pack includes a booklet with three recipes, designed to help little ones be creative and become autonomous in the kitchen.

The Chefclub Kids culinary collection will be developed around the themes of chocolate, ice cream, and smoothies and will be composed of six products: Best Friends Chocolate Bar Set, Funny Face Chocolate Bar Set, Chocolatier Kit, Ice Cream Set, Popsicle, and Surprise Ice Cream Bar.

The first products will be sold in France in Spring/Summer 2021 and will be released in other European countries thereafter.

Chefclub is recognised as the world’s leading broadcaster of culinary videos on social media, with more than a billion views worldwide and more than 600 million monthly views in Europe. Chefclub’s easy, inspiring, and innovative recipes have already gained over 95 million followers worldwide and 20 million people in Europe.

Meanwhile, Chefclub Kids has more than 20 million monthly views in Europe and has an active and growing community. 

Marie-Laure Marchand, SVP, global consumer products and business development at Chefclub, said: “Since its launch at the end of 2019, our digital channel, Chefclub Kids, has been increasingly successful with families with children. It seemed natural for us to partner with Upyaa! a specialist in culinary and educational games to complete our product offering for the youngest and to make our debut into the games/toys categories.”

Stéphane Borgeais, co-founder of Upyaa! added: “Chefclub Kids is a very important license for us and we are happy to start this partnership with such a dynamic franchise. With Chefclub Kids, we are motivated and will offer six products based on the themes of chocolate and ice cream. Our objective is to add 50 per cent of new products per year over the next two years.

“To date, the collection has already received excellent response and we will be available, from this spring, in all the specialty shops and websites.”

Hard Rock International appoints Cronus Global as it moves into health, home goods, games and toys in 2021

Hard Rock International has appointed Cronus Global as its licensing representative as the dining, entertainment and hospitality brand continues with its plans to expand its licensed product footprint on a global scale.

The partnership will introduce Hard Rock branded products into categories including health and beauty, home goods, pet products, games and toys for the first time in the North American market in 2021.

“We are thrilled to partner with Cronus Global to extend Hard Rock’s consumer reach into a broad range of product categories that emphasize our brand’s identity that’s built on music and entertainment,” said Mark Linduski, director of licensing at Hard Rock International.

“Through Cronus Global’s long-term relationships with industry leaders, we will introduce collections of unique products that attract new and existing Hard Rock enthusiasts alike. We look forward to the opportunities that will emerge as we work with Cronus Global to expand our retail distribution and strengthen our brand presence worldwide.”

Kristin Calzada, president of Cronus Global, added: “Cronus Global is excited to partner with Hard Rock International to develop lifestyle products aimed at bringing the vibrancy of the Hard Rock experience directly into consumers’ homes.

“From launching the Hard Rock health and beauty collection to rolling out a new merchandise program for kids, we’re excited to help expand and diversify the connection of Hard Rock to its fans through licensing initiatives and brand collaborations.”

To learn more about potential licensing opportunities with Hard Rock, contact Mark Linduski, Director of Licensing for Hard Rock International, at

Aardman teams with Yeo Valley Organic to bring Timmy Time to the Little Yeos kids’ range

The multi award-winning independent animation studio, Aardman, has teamed up with the British organic brand, Yeo Valley Organic to bring its recently re-launched pre-school favourite, Timmy Time to the company’s kids’ range Little Yeos.

The partnership marks the fourth time that Aardman has teamed with the Little Yeos brand. The new promotion will feature Timmy – the smallest lamb in the Shaun the Sheep flock and the star of his own spin off series, Timmy Time, which returned to CBeebies in the UK last year.

The partnership on Little Yeos Fruity Favourites four-pack will support children’s education in learning more about the environment, healthy lifestyle and taking care of the planet supporting Yeo Valley Organic’s latest campaign to encourage its consumers to Put Nature First.

The campaign, which is set to run for two-years, will allow Yeo Valley to feature Timmy Time on its channels sharing content about the environment and healthy lifestyles.

Tor Crockatt, Little Yeos brand manager, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with Aardman again and continuing our partnership on the Little Yeos range. Little Yeos is perfect for pre-school children and just like Timmy, our core consumers are also heading off to nursery school.

“Timmy’s cozy little Nursery in an old farm building nestled in the rolling hills, is like the real Yeo Valley family dairy farm in Somerset. As organic dairy farmers we’re keen to help show children the importance of the environment and ways they can help to Put Nature First.

“Just as Timmy and his animal friends learn together, we’ll be bringing a little bit of that to our Little Yeos consumers too.”

Laura Burr, senior brand manager from Aardman, added: “We are so pleased to be partnering with Yeo Valley Organic again. Timmy loves learning about the world and we are delighted that this collaboration goes beyond a straightforward on-pack promotion, providing Timmy and his friends with a platform to help Yeo Valley Organic inspire young children to Put Nature First.”

Little Yeos Fruity Favourites are billed as 100 per cent organic, made with real fruit purees and no artificial flavours and available in most supermarkets. The Timmy Time partnership is now appearing on packs in store.

Interview: Ready Steady Cook whips up fresh new licensing take for the modern audience

Of the many changes necessitated by the arrival of the pandemic, a common experience that we have all shared over the course of the past nine months of lockdown, is that – in some capacity or another – it has made home cooks of us all. With more time spent in the home, it was inevitable that even more time would be spent in the kitchen.

Toss this into the same salad bowl as the matter that coronavirus has forced many of us to think more carefully about the money we are spending, and underlined the importance and value of the sustainability message through a heightened consumer awareness of environmental issues, and it would appear that the relaunch of Banijay’s hit afternoon TV series, Ready Steady Cook couldn’t have been more timely.

Over the course of the decade that has passed since Ready Steady Cook was last on air, things – the world – has certainly changed. Consumer sensibilities have shifted, sustainability is a topic increasingly on the minds of shoppers, and our relationship with food and its value has evolved somewhat, and as it finds new life on the BBC once again, it is all of these points that the popular cooking challenge television show that first surfaced some 25 years ago, is looking to encapsulate.

Following the announcement this week that Banijay isn’t just re-heating, but firing up a whole new audience passion around the Ready Steady Cook IP, catches up with Alice Bernardi, director of international brand licensing at Banijay Brands, to discover how licensing will be promoting the show’s new values for an audience of reinvigorated home cooks.

Can you tell us why now is an exciting time to be relaunching the licensing plans around Ready Steady Cook?  

It’s an incredibly exciting and appropriate time to re-launch the licensing programme around Ready Steady Cook because the world has changed a lot since the show was last on air in the UK – over 10 years ago – and times have certainly changed. Our attitude to food, it’s provenance, preserving the climate and our increased awareness of eating a balanced diet have all contributed to a different culinary environment. More than ever sustainability and ethically produced food are part of our day to day thinking as we make purchase decisions around what to cook with.   

There are a number of initiatives that the show is adopting to reflect this – for example, plastic bags have been replaced with re-usable jute bags, single plastic use is avoided with glass being used as much as possible, recycling is so important as part of the show with colour coded waste bins both on set and backstage, local suppliers are used as much as possible and given the show is produced in Scotland this gives a fantastic range of great fresh and seasonal produce and at the end of the day, unused fruit and vegetables and non-perishable goods are delivered to a local food bank.  

So the production team works incredibly hard to deliver this key element of the show which as we all know could not be more relevant nor important in 2020.  An additional element which remains so relevant is cooking on a budget and making sure that we don’t throw away our surplus food but find a way to re-use it. 

Households everywhere are challenged with weekly budgets and finding a way to cook wholesome and tasty food cost effectively at the same time as being aware of the impact food has on the environment is a compelling proposition. In the most recent series, we are using the same values as 15 years ago with contestants who had a shopping budget of just £3.50 up to £10 which adds an additional challenge given inflation, but wanted it feel inclusive, which is what we want to reflect in the licensing programme, there will be something for everyone.  

What is the strength of Ready Steady Cook here in the UK? How has it maintained its popularity over the years?

You can’t underestimate the power of a legacy show with such high awareness. Ready Steady Cook aired for 16 years on the BBC and is still much loved and recognised – the green peppers and red tomatoes are such strong icons which are instantly recalled by so many of us today. 

Many of today’s audience still remember coming home from school and watching the show when they were young and now can enjoy it as families with their kids. Originally it was broadcast in the same slot at 4.30pm, stripped daily on BBC 1 and was also on iPlayer. The show’s ratings were very strong, delivering a highly desirable younger audience of 16 to 34 year olds alongside adults aged 35 to 54. The show regularly performed above the slot average and has a consolidated audience of 2.35m viewers beating the BBC 1 slot average by 34 per cent.   

Internationally, the show has travelled to over 25 markets including the US, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany the Middle East and the Nordics. The simple format, combining a cooking challenge on a budget remains the same but with added timed food challenges and more curved balls from unpredictable audience participation which enhance the viewing experience. 

Having Rylan Clark Neal (X-Factor, Celebrity Big Brother) at the helm brings a new energy, charisma and passion to the show, appealing to both younger and older audiences, and is a hugely popular presenter here in the UK so is a big draw for audiences. And because he’s not a chef, I’m sure he makes those who are less talented in the kitchen feel a lot more included.

Rylan is the ideal foil to the five new chefs who have the task of completing the challenges and is able to hold the show together in a humorous and quick-witted way, keeping the pace and energy levels high. We have also made sure to reflect the current diverse range of foods we all now love, and our chefs feature recipes from all over the world so there’s something for everyone to relate to. 

Basically, the original and central message of brand is still as relevant as ever – cooking on a budget, in very little time – but with the important element of sustainability front and centre, which ultimately resonates with the viewers and is why it continues being so popular for all ages.

Lockdown seems to have encouraged more home cooks, and more home cooking than ever before. How will you be tapping into this new found audience through licensing? What are the key audiences you are looking to tap into here?

Exactly, lockdown made home cooks out of many of us! The world has never cooked at home more through pure necessity and with a focus back on the kitchen, cooking, whether you are enjoying an evening alone, with friends or family, it has become an even more important part of our daily lives as we connect through food.  But we have less money than before, so we need to cook carefully and hopefully responsibly. 

We still want to experiment with dishes and try new things, so this show encourages us to do this whilst still living within our means. So hopefully Ready Steady Cook offers everyone something they can take away and apply in their own lives. Our demographic is broad as cooking speaks to everyone so our licensing programme will offer cost effective products which are true to the ethos of the show and can be used by everyone and anyone with no barrier to entry.

What licensing deals will you be coming out of the starting blocks with? How will this set you up for a wider programme to roll out?  

Our initial licensing programme will focus on the core categories of publishing, foodstuffs and kitchenware. We see storage containers, measuring and recycling tools as key product lines. We’re also keen to develop an experiential offering so people can enjoy the brand in person and have fun with it – hopefully this space will open up more next year.   

Partnerships with organisations in the sustainability area are also a key area of focus to ensure the brand DNA extends off screen into real life practises. Great value for money resonates with today’s consumers and this will be factored into our licensing programme. We also know that consumers care more and more about what they eat and where in comes from both for health reasons and for environmental reasons. Therefore, we plan to offer consumers a range of products that will incorporate all of these elements and make Ready Steady Cook the standout brand in relation to sustainability.

What sort of retail partnerships will you be targeted with the licensing programme?

As we all know the retail landscape is in flux with the impact of lockdown. Consumer’s behaviour patterns have changed with online and value more dominant than ever. We will respond to this and partner with the best and most appropriate retailers to deliver the best consumer offering.  We are open to multi territory partnerships delivering scale and working with organisations to amplify the sustainability message.

Emoji renews its partnership with Argentina’s Felfort to roll out more licensed chocolates across the region

The Emoji Company has renewed its partnership for the fourth year running with the Argentinian manufacturer, Felfort, the South American business that will continue to produce licensed chocolates, candies, cereals, and more for the global licensor.

Felfort and Emoji struck up their partnership in 2016 when the Argentina-based firm was tapped to develop and produce Emoji themed chocolate coins. Such was the success of the range across the region that the pair extended the line to include the more recent launch, Chocolate Jack.

“We could not choose a better association to continue building our brand in Argentina,” said Marco Heusges, CEO of The Emoji Company. “Emoji and Felfort provide excellent moments to all young people who love chocolate.”

The move comes as Argentina continues to battle through both the ongoing global Covid-19 emergency as well as its own current economic slow down. Despite this, Felfort continues to manufacture a wide variety of successful products, competing on equal footing with industries and imports from some of the world’s largest economies.