Thermos UK taps illustrator Rachel Ellen for kids’ range

Thermos UK has signed an exclusive three-year licensing agreement with popular children’s stationery and greetings card designer Rachel Ellen to create a unique FUNtainer range of bottles, food flasks and lunch bags.

The iconic Thermos brand will initially launch four themed children’s collections featuring illustrations that are instantly recognisable as Rachel Ellen creations. The cute, brightly coloured Dinosaur, Pirate, Mermaid and Unicorn collections will feature a FUNtainer Bottle to keep drinks cool for up to 12 hours, a FUNtainer Food Flask to keep foods hot or cold and a Lunch Kit for transporting packed lunches.

Rachel Ellen Designs was founded in 1997 when Rachel retired from a career as a professional ballet dancer and began hand painting greeting cards at her kitchen table. Twenty-five years later the company is one of the leading publishers in the UK and a market leader in the children’s greeting card, stationery and gift sector, distributed to more than 40 countries worldwide.

Rachel says: “I’ve grown up using Thermos products, as my parents and grandparents did before me. I was therefore delighted to collaborate with such an iconic brand and use some of my best-loved designs to bring a children’s range to life. Everyone loves a fun food and drink container – kids and adults alike!”

Nick Kime, MD at Thermos UK, adds: “Thermos has been around for over 100 years and we actually launched our first children’s lunchbox way back in 1957 in the US, when two million of our Roy Rogers design were sold. We have since remained at the forefront of innovation in the sector, continuing to develop the hottest and coolest products for people on the go and our FUNtainer products have been a best-seller in the UK since they were introduced almost 20 years ago.

“Partnering with Rachel Ellen is a natural fit for our brand. Her instantly recognisable designs will resonate with children and their parents alike.”

The Rachel Ellen range from Thermos UK is BPA free and the FUNtainer Bottle and FUNtainer Food Flask come with a five-year guarantee.

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Thermos warms up for new kids range with Rachel Ellen

Thermos, the 117 year old brand known for keeping drinks and soups hot while on the go, is expanding its presence in the children’s space with a new range developed in partnership with the award-winning greeting card and stationery designer, Rachel Ellen.

Forged by Rachel Ellen’s licensing agent, The Point. 1888, the partnership will see the Rachel Ellen brand apply its designs to Thermos’ popular children’s products, including insulated bottles, food containers, and lunch bags.

This deal marks the first partnership that The Point.1888 has secured for Rachel Ellen since starting with the brand in late 2020. Having developed an in-depth retail and category strategy aligned to Rachel Ellen’s brand vision, The Point.1888 embarked on a search for licensee partners who would make a good fit, produce high quality products and also wouldn’t conflict with the brand’s own award-winning ranges.

It is hoped the partnership will bring a lot of benefits to both partners: strengthening the affiliation Rachel Ellen’s fans have with the brand and also helping Thermos to develop its kids range in the UK.

Janine Richmond, senior commercial manager for Home at The Point.1888, said: “Thermos was one of the first contacts we presented to Rachel Ellen. Having first met the Thermos team when I joined The Point.1888 in 2018, I understood which licenses were most likely to appeal and so could envisage a Rachel Ellen range being a fantastic addition to its collection.

“We know there is demand from Rachel Ellen’s existing customer base for kids lunch products and with the conversations with retailers already in full swing, we can see a great opportunity to broaden the offering and open new doors.”

Rachel Church, the creator and lead designer for Rachel Ellen, added: “Thermos is such an iconic brand, and its products are fantastic quality, so useful and we feel it’s perfect for our demographic. Seeing my designs on new products is always exciting, especially on great products and ones that I would buy myself. The initial concepts are looking vibrant and colourful and I can’t wait to see the finished product.

“I’m also so grateful to The Point.1888 for making it happen. It has been very refreshing and uplifting to start working with them – they are all so positive, informative and thorough which is wonderful, and it’s nice to feel valued.”

James Sheldon, trading manager for Thermos UK, said: “We are delighted to be working with Rachel Ellen. We were looking for opportunities to expand our kids range and instantly saw the synergies between the two brands. The designs are colourful, fun and exciting and we’re really looking forward to seeing them on our products.

“ThePoint.1888 saw the potential in linking Thermos UK and Rachel Ellen together and have been fantastic to work with, enabling the development of the relationship and making the entire process seamless.”