Videogame-related licenses were on display at the International Home + Housewares show in Chicago, and youth influencers such as Ryan (of Ryan Toysreview fame) and JoJo Siwa were either moving into the category for the first time or expanding their presence.
Among developments we saw during the early portion of the show:
In a changing of licensees, Oneida Group’ Anchor Hocking Glass subsidiary unveiled new Oneida flatware, cutlery and dinnerware, which were previously licensed to Robinson Home Products. And Star Glory replaced W Unlimited as the North America licensee for Westinghouse kitchen appliances and cookware, extending its previous agreement for Mexico, Latin and South America.
Robinson Home, which sued Oneida for breach of contract after Oneida accused it violating their agreement by selling in international markets, is continuing as the brand’s licensee for kitchen gadgets (ladles, whisks, etc.).
A spokesperson for Robinson Home said the company has “moved on” from its tabletop Oneida license (its top revenue generator in the category) to focus on building its own labels including CraftKitchen, Studio Cuisine and PrimeChef kitchen gadgets and cookware, anchored at the entry level by a licensed Sunbeam line.
Meanwhile, former Stanley licensee Dusco has re-introduced its security line under the Westinghouse label at Home Depot, including a video door bell, indoor, outdoor Wi-Fi and floodlight security cameras.
Videogames, YouTube Influencers Edge into Housewares
Videogames and YouTube influencers have been edging into housewares.
Zak Designs had separate displays at the show for YouTube- and gaming-related products, the latter including additions to the Minecraft-related products introduced last year. Pro gamer Robert Tyler Blevins, better known by his Ninja handle for playing Fortnite, added his brand to the company’s travel mugs, bento mugs and water bottles. IMG, which represents Fortnite, and Brand Central, which represents Ninja, are both said to be meeting potential housewares licensees at the show. Meanwhile, as Zak added Ninja, it also expanded its JoJo Siwa products to include dinnerware as well as smaller size water bottles to appeal to younger children outside Siwa’s core tween audience.
“There are so many consumers involved in gaming and watching YouTube, and retailers are aware of them, so the demand is coming from both ends,” says Zaks Vp Reggie Thomas.
Yet Silver Buffalo EVP Greg Alprin, who has met with both IMG and Brand Central and considered YouTube IP, remains focused on entertainment and corporate brands (Corona, Budweiser, Pabst Blue Ribbon) for its drinkware, party goods and a new venture into cookie jars.
“After the initial popularity of some of these properties, how much of the business will be left outside of traditional gaming departments or gaming retailers?” says Alprin. “I am cautious as to what the market is in the longer term.”
Separately, Zak also introduced a its first broad Halloween-themed collection of travel mugs, water, bottles encompassing licenses such as Peanuts, Nightmare Before Christmas, Star Wars, Harry Potter and others. It’s part of a bid the expand its distribution in Halloween specialty retailers such as Spencer Gifts’ Spirit Halloween and Party City’s Halloween City.
New Cookware Deals, Cuisinart Grill Expansion at Walmart
Cuisinart licensee The Fulham Group launched an exclusive program designed with Walmart for Cuisinart gas grills and accessories, including a new combo two-burner grill/griddle with a fold away prep table along with accessories and a half dozen Cuisinart seasonings. The grill ($224) is being carried in 3,300 Walmart stores. There also is a 23-SKU accessory line. Other Cuisinart grills are available through Bed, Bath and Beyond, Amazon and other retailers.
“We tried to grow brands and products in other categories, but we are focusing on Cuisinart now for outdoor grilling,” says Fulham VP Lois Glasgow. “We are trying capitalize on Cuisinart’s strength in the kitchen because we think it is a natural transition to the outdoor products.”
Meanwhile, Star Glory’s Westinghouse crepe pans, skillets and Dutch ovens launched on Amazon and will be part of an in-store demonstration program later this year at BJ’s Wholesale Club stores, says Star Glory President Anun Mahbubani. In expanding its distribution of Westinghouse products to North America, Star Glory developed products for a more health-conscious market, including air fryers and smoothie blenders, and added more horse power to the kitchen appliances, says Mahbubani.
Swiss Diamond Seeking Brand Licensees
Premium cookware supplier Swiss Diamond is seeking the first North American licensing deals for its brand and a new “Cooks in Love” label. It has licensing pacts in other parts of the world for cutlery, flatware, small electric appliances and glassware. Swiss Diamond expects to launch the lower priced “Cooks in Love by Swiss Diamond” brand and products later this year, targeting grocery chains.
“We have never made a concerted effort in North America and it was a question putting enough energy behind a licensing program and having enough time,” says Chairman Amir Alon.