Brand Licensing Europe Unveils 2018 Theme


The annual European licensing trade show will celebrate its 20th anniversary, Oct. 9-11.

EUROPE–As Brand Licensing Europe heads into its 20th year, UBM has revealed that this year’s theme will be food and beverage. The company is also calling on the industry to contribute and collaborate with the BLE team to create a “vibrant celebration” at the show this October.

“Food and beverage is one of the fastest growing and most robust categories within licensing,” says Anna Knight, brand director, BLE. “But it’s also incredibly innovative and dynamic, reinventing itself continuously in line with new trends and lifestyle choices. Health and fitness has been a huge influence over the sector since the ‘80s, but most recently the whole wellbeing and clean-eating phenomenon has had a huge impact on the category with no signs of fading any time soon. Previously, BLE has adopted themes that have unintentionally favored brand owners, but food and beverage is more inclusive, embracing licensors and licensees.”

According to UBM, the BLE team is keen for the industry to play an integral part in developing this year’s theme and is open to ideas that will spotlight the sector. Current initiatives for this year’s theme include keynotes, seminars, celebrity appearances, cook-offs, demos and on-stand samplings.

Additionally, UBM owns Food Ingredients Europe (FIE), the biggest food and beverage show in the world, allowing the licensing trade show to leverage its existing relationship with food and beverage manufacturers in order to benefit BLE exhibitors and visitors.

The 20th annual Brand Licensing Europe is set to take place Oct. 9-11 at London’s Olympia exhibition hall.

eOne Details Upcoming ‘PJ Masks’ Theme Park


Leolandia’s new themed area is currently in progress and slated for a 2019 opening.


EUROPE–Entertainment One has entered into an agreement with Italian theme park company Leolandia for a themed attraction based on its animated preschool TV property “PJ Masks.”

The multi-year agreement will mark the brand’s entrance into the theme park arena when it opens its doors to the public in 2019 and extends the partnership between eOne and Leolandia following their prior collaboration on the Il Mondo di “Peppa Pig” attraction in 2014.

“Innovation and vision are our driving force, so we are very pleased to extend our collaboration with eOne and are making a substantial investment in what we believe will be a very popular attraction for young children,” says Giuseppe Ira, president, Leolandia. “The project will start in the 2018 season and will be developed in the coming years to create a truly unique guest experience. We will offer new attractions, entertainment, shows, restaurant service and visitors will have the opportunity to meet their favorite heroes Catboy, Owlette and Gekko and snap a souvenir photo with them to treasure from this memorable experience.”

Furthermore, development on a dedicated area at the theme park, which is based just outside of Milan, is currently underway.

“‘PJ Masks’ has rapidly soared in popularity to become one of the leading preschool properties in Italy, so a dedicated themed attraction is the obvious next step in the incredible trajectory of this much-loved children’s brand,” says Andrew Carley, executive vice president, global brands, family and brands, eOne. “The significant investment that Leolandia is making underlines our own strategy of building the brand for the long term and we’re delighted to be partnering with them to bring the show to life. The combination of this new attraction and two new series in the pipeline ensures that we will continue to grow ‘PJ Masks’ for many years to come.”

Cap’n Crunch Anchors New Licensing Program


A line of apparel, sleepwear and more with the Cap’n Crunch iconic mascot will be in stores nationwide.

NORTH AMERICA–Brand Central has signed on the first licensing partners for Cap’n Crunch cereal.

The new licensees include Ripple Junction for apparel; Mad Engine for sleepwear, loungewear and apparel; and Funko for collectible figures.

These brand extensions trail the collaboration between Cap’n Crunch and streetwear brand Kith, which featured a lifestyle-driven collection of products and pop-up shops.

“We are excited to develop and launch fun products and collaborations that tap into the brand’s pop culture status,” says Ross Misher, chief executive officer, Brand Central.

Brand Central is also looking to bring the brand into additional product categories including accessories, collectibles, housewares and food and beverage consumables.

Maura Regan Named President of LIMA

LIMA has announced that Maura Regan has been named President of the organization effective July 1. She will succeed current LIMA President, Charles Riotto, who retires on June 30 after a 21-year career with LIMA. Regan currently serves as Executive Vice President. In her new position, she will leverage her vast licensing knowledge and international expertise to further expand LIMA’s services and offerings to the global industry.

“Maura is a respected and influential member of the global licensing community who has already brought an incredible strategic vision to our global interests,” said Riotto. “She is perfectly positioned to lead LIMA into our next exciting chapter. Her impact will further enhance LIMA’s role as the industry’s thought leader and authoritative voice as licensing continues to grow around the world.”

In 2016, Regan joined LIMA following a 17-year career with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization responsible for Sesame Street. As Senior Vice President and General Manager, International Media Business, she oversaw the Workshop’s international distribution and licensing business. Prior to that Regan was SVP and GM of Global Consumer Products and, before going to Sesame Workshop, held executive positions with Scholastic Entertainment and MTV Networks. She served as Chairman of the LIMA Board of Directors from 2012-2014.

Regan is a fellow of the US-Japan Foundation Leadership program and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.  She was recognized as a top leader in business by Irish-America Magazine. Regan resides in New York City with her husband Jim and has a grown daughter Fiona.

Global candy giants Mondelez, Nestle hike prices, feel the crush of domestic rivals


MUMBAI: Local candy makers, including Parle, and DS Foods grabbed shares from multinationals in the Rs 7,500-crore confectionery segment, as per latest Nielsen data sourced from industry officials.

Global firms such as Perfetti Van Melle, Mondelez and Nestle either remained stagnant or lost share last calendar year, hurt by higher prices of their wares in a stressed market due to demonetisation. Marketers feel even a 50 paise price hike could impact growth in the price sensitive category.

Over the past three years, Mondelez India relaunched Halls from 50 paise earlier to Rs 1 and doubled its price of Choclairs to Rs 2 while Perfetti Van Melle India launched most of its candies including Alpenliebe at Rs 1 and upwards. Parle Products, however, kept their product prices unchanged. “Post demonetisation, lot of lower denomination currency came back into circulation that had helped sales for a 50 paise product.

But at the same time, the practice of consumers accepting a Rs 1 toffee from grocers stopped to a large extent,” said B Krishna Rao, category head at Parle Products that sells brands including Mango Bite and Poppins. Parle gained 160bps in 2017 with 16% in the confectionery space, while Perfetti lost share marginally by 20bps at 10.2%. Including chewing gums, Perfetti is by far the market leader controlling nearly a quarter of the overall market. As a category, the entire industry has been trying to move to Rs 1 price point after increase in the price of sugar, other raw materials and even packaging costs.


“The focus has been on premiumisation with significant growth achieved for the Rs 1 and above portfolio in the confectionery segment. Growth has been achieved through introduction of differentiated offerings under the Candyman range,” said a spokesperson at ITC that gained 130 bps to reach at 10.2% share. To be sure, India’s leading chocolate makers too posted near decade-low growth in sales last fiscal, as health-conscious consumers cut back on discretionary buying in a slowing economy.

Mondelez, India’s largest chocolate maker, and Nestle’s chocolate divisions saw sales rise by about 6% each in the year to March 2017 — better than a year ago but far from the double-digit growth the candy rivals have seen in most of the last decade. Yet, they remain bullish in the candy segment that has also seen a rush of new players both from large food companies such as DS foods as well as regional local brands.

“As leaders in chocolates and strong challengers in other categories we operate in, we continue to invest and innovate our brands,” said Amit Shah, associate director — marketing (gum, candy & beverages) at Mondelez India, that sell Halls and Cadbury Choclairs. Perfetti too posted below 1% growth for the second consecutive year last fiscal and said competition is getting intense, especially in the candies segment.

“Whilst we had moved much of our portfolio from the 50 paise price point to Rs 1, with product value addition, the bulk of the market stays at 50 paise, leading to strong market challenges,” it said in the annual filing with the Registrar of Companies last year.



Masaba – A person, brand and an inspiration

Even on a day off, Masaba Gupta Manthena doesn’t like to take a day off. She was under the weather on the day we were to speak with her and initially canceled the meeting. But later agreed to chat over the phone with as she had time to spare. She certainly represents the rare breed of designers/entrepreneurs who cannot sit around while there’s work to be done!
For those who came in late – here’s a little primer from her website –
Masaba is a diffusion line label under Masaba Gupta. Masaba graduated from SNDT women’s university in 2009 with a diploma in Apparel Manufacture and Design. 

The label made its fashion week debut at Lakme Fashion week, titled Gen next 2009. The strength of the label lies in the ability to marry traditional, Indian sensibilities and aesthetics while keeping the modern context alive.
masaba-gupta-collection-1ILP: You have a very flamboyant style. Lots of color, vibrancy and you are known for your quirky prints. Who is your ideal customer?
Masaba: i don’t really design for a particular type of customer. But over the years we’ve seen customers who typically buy from Zara, H&M & the like, buy our products. Even women who wear traditional kanjivaram sarees, buy from us – so I don’t like to put it in a box. I would say our customers enjoy standing out a bit, but not too much – the outfit shouldn’t be gaudy or sticking out. She should be an ‘opinionated’ dresser. The label has become synonymous with color. Customers tell us, people actually come up to them and ask if we are wearing Masaba. We enjoy that.
ILP: One of your last collections with Satya Paul in 2014 was a collaboration with Disney. How did that come about and how did it fair?
Masaba: It was my last collection for Satya Paul, and the marketing team was in discussion with Disney. Satya Paul is associated with elder women. My job was to get in younger customers. Disney was also keen to come on board. The idea of putting Mickey and Minnie on a saree seemed like a lot of fun. We did a whole range of products – we did shirts, sarees, tunics, ties for men. So it did extremely well. Some were anchor products to drive people to the store and see what’s going on. They were more Instagram friendly. But considering we were selling to 30-35 Satya Paul stores with an 80% sell through – the collection got a great response. The sarees were done interestingly, for example just Minnie’s ears across the saree with polka dots. We didn’t want it to look too gimmicky or kiddie. But our younger customers were happy they could shop with their mums and get them some fun Disney fan wear.
ILP: Besides licensing third-party brands to add spice to the “House of Masaba” label – you have licensed your brand to many collaborations like Titan raga, a lipstick line with Lakme, capsule athleisure line with Koovs even a branded line of flavored water with Himalayan. What are the checkboxes for you before licensing your brand and signing on the dotted line?
masaba-gupta-collection-2Masaba: Himalayan was a sponsor at Fashion Week, so I did a line of fashion wear themed around the fruit. It was not a licensing deal. I enjoyed doing Titan Raga very much. Brands come and say we are losing out on younger clientele. They have budgets but are not able to connect
with the youth. Another example was Fiama DI Wills shower gel, the printed packaging was signed off by me. In retrospect, I feel we licensed the brand to way too many people. I was young and flattered to have brands approach us. My advice to youngsters is to watch their step and know your DNA. I’m actually a fashion designer for clothes. I Took on Titan Raga and didn’t do anything else for some time because I wanted the products to have their moment. Collaborations can only be successful if the brand and the designer are on the same page. Also, they can’t be packaged and promoted the old way. Now we (House of Masaba) have put a stop on all collaborations for the entire year, want to be more focused on clothing. I want to stick to my strengths. Koovs was great. It’s great when the brand has distribution, reach and marketing muscle to offer you. Looking back though I would not have done some of them. E.g. I designed a car once but it didn’t really do anything for anybody. Brands don’t understand that temporary bursts of PR don’t make sense. There has to be a larger vision and symbiosis for all concerned parties.
ILP: What’s your take on Indian companies leveraging the power of brand licensing to jumpstart their business or enter new markets?
Masaba: You have to be really selfish about who you lend your name to. Example Manish Arora has done some great brand associations with Adidas, Mac etc. Even his stuff is so colorful.
masaba-gupta-collection-4ILP: Are you planning any collaborations with international brands in the near future?
Yes & No. We have a very big deal in the works with one of the biggest shows on Netflix. I will probably do something completely different – e.g. shoes etc. I am open to collaborating with other designers & artists, not just brands. Don’t want to do anything short term.  I want to do things that have some LIFE!
ILP: You seem to have a strong presence online with your own e-commerce store ( How is that fairing? Is it targeted at the Indian audience or International NRI?
Masaba: A lot of our online sales come from tier 2 tier 3 cities, also NRI’s when they visit India. But otherwise its mostly people who don’t have access to our stores which are only in bigger cities. And also through WhatsApp. We have a dedicated WhatsApp channel manned 24/7. People take a picture of the outfit and send it and place an order. People want to engage in conversations. I would say in terms of orders coming in first – Offline, then WhatsApp and then online. Maybe its because we haven’t advertised our online store. We have a scattered presence across online destinations like Pernia’s pop-up shop etc and have not done any specific advertising for our online yet…
ILP: Where do you draw your inspiration from for your various collections?
Masaba: It always been so different and varied. A place I’ve traveled to, a person I meet, a movie I’ve seen, something gifted to me. Now, it’s all about data. Some colors that customers like, which particular style is doing well? We’ve become more data-centric. A while back I started painting and that became another source of inspiration. Inspiration comes from very varied places.
ILP: Your favorite Muse?
Masaba: My mother. She’s so critical of me, and you need honesty.
ILP: What is your aspiration for brand ‘House of Masaba’?
Masaba: We are in a very tricky space right now – we’ve opened 3 stores in last month. Some in malls as a shop in shops, some in cafes. We are focussing on diffusion wear – the bridge to luxury, it’s not pret and not luxury – so it’s not burning a hole in your pocket. It’s Impactful wear. You can wear it throughout the day. People can also wear it again and again. Repeatability has gone down in fashion and we wanted to address that gap. Another focus for us is weddings, people want to look good but the clothes should not be too expensive. Also, they shouldn’t be too heavy and embroidered and wear you down. We hope to be a festive brand by end of the year.
ILP: What advice would you give to younger fashion designers who are just entering the industry?
Masaba: That, it’s not as fun as it looks unless you are working from your home and supplying to 1-2 stores. The business of fashion is very hard just like any other business. Do you want to be in fashion as a hobby or the business or just want to attend page 3 parties and see your pictures splashed all over? If you’re in it for the business aspect then put your head down and work.  You need to know whom you are catering to. Be individualistic. I see a lot of new designers tending to ape current trends. When I started I thought I want to do it as a hobby – but now my whole viewpoint on fashion has changed.
ILP: Given your lineage, the daughter of 2 huge celebrities, has that helped or hindered you?
Masaba: It helped me in the beginning for sure, I always thought – why was there more attention given to me vs the other 6 designers. Everyone wanted to know – what is she going to do? Some people come to try and put you down, to see how bad you can do and goof up. I made my debut about 7 years ago when everyone wanted to be a fashion designer. People want to know my story, again and again, they find it an intriguing journey. People are interested in the story and success of my label. The only drawback is when people think you’re over-rated. It’s a double-edged sword. But I feel privileged.
ILP: Now that you’ve set up and run your own label, what’s a day like in Masaba’s life?
Masaba: I’m usually up at 7 am, I workout with my trainer or run, eat breakfast, do phone calls, check email etc and then off to work by 10-10:30 till 6:30-7.  I come back and have dinner 7:30 pm, spend some time on social media – review our brand and creative work (lighter stuff), follow up on events if I’m involved in any etc.I am off to bed by 11-11:30. I don’t really catch up with people during the week as I don’t like to upset my schedule. I am a complete workaholic! Even now I’ve been down with the flu for the past 3 days and I can’t wait to get back!

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