Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - 12

Upfront

TGI FRIDAYS

with Marinara Sauce as frozen snacks,
while Inventure has marketed salty
snack treats in flavors such as "Crunchy
Fries," "Mozzarella Sticks," "Potato
Skins" and "Onion Rings."
"Heinz has helped us replicate the experience of the brand in their food offerings, and Inventure's products invoke the
flavor profiles that Fridays guests expect,"
says Carl Robie, vice president of global
strategic sourcing and brand licensing.
Both Heinz and Inventure continue to
improve on their existing lines. For example, Heinz is refreshing the packaging
of the frozen snack products such as the
Loaded Cheddar & Bacon Potato Skins
and Mozzarella Sticks that it produces
for Fridays. The company is also making
quality improvements to the Potato Skins
products with Heinz, including adding
applewood bacon.
"Fridays has been a valued partner of
ours since we first began our licensing
relationship in 2000.  The snack line
has since become a consumer favorite in
grocery, vending and convenient store
channels and we're looking forward to
continuing to build the brand's portfolio
of premium snack options that parallel the exciting flavor combinations of
Friday's menus," said Steve Sklar, senior
vice president and general manager for
Inventure Foods, Inc.   
Fridays takes a highly collaborative
approach to licensing with its partners,
which Robie says has allowed it to retain
long-term partners. This includes quarterly updates and business reviews as well as
biweekly calls. "We work closely to make
sure all of our licensees are well aware of
what is happening with our brand," he
notes. "We work closely with our food
and beverage research and development
teams to make sure all licensed products
are representative of our brand."

Expansion Opportunities
Last year, Fridays took a major step
toward expanding licensing beyond its
existing categories of frozen snacks and
appetizers to soups, sides and sauces,
12

RETAIL-MERCHANDISER.COM

salty snacks and alcoholic beverages. The company in July 2014
hired licensing agency Beanstalk
to extend the brand and secure
new licensees globally. "Beanstalk
is an industry leader in licensing,"
Durbin says. "It is a natural partnership for them to carry the Fridays
flag and extend our signature food
and drink lines."
Beanstalk is working with Heinz,
Inventure and other potential
licensee partners on product
development and expanded
distribution while also pursuing new product categories.
Beanstalk's past experience with
a number of leading brands and
properties, as well its global
reach, made it an attractive
partner, Robie notes.
In addition to hiring Beanstalk, Fridays within the past
two years also secured two
new licensees. Campbell Soup
Company is now partnering with
the company on a line of 15 refrigerated fresh side dishes, soups and sauces
including soup flavors such as Fully
Loaded Baked Potato and Kickin' Cajun
Style Jambalaya and sauces including
Korean BBQ. The range is now available
in portions of the United States, with a
national launch anticipated later this year.
American Vintage Beverage, a division of Mark Anthony Group - the
makers of Mike's Hard Lemonade
- entered into a licensing agreement
to distribute flavored alcoholic malt
beverages in 2013. The partnership last
year expanded to include ready-to-drink
cocktails, including the TGIF Authentic
Bar collection, launched in fall 2014.
The collection includes four flavors: Ultimate Mudslide, Long Island Iced Tea,
Strawberry Margarita and Barbados
Rum Punch. Ready-to-drink cocktails
are a category Fridays helped to pioneer
with previous licensees and now wishes
to expand upon, Durbin notes.
The new products and licensees will

January/February 2015

continue the company's history of
offering high-quality and flavorful food
and beverages perfect for social gatherings. "We're very proud of the products
we've licensed and the relationships we
have with our partners, and are thrilled
that we've been able to provide our
customers with the ability to enjoy our
signature food and drinks in alternative
channels," Durbin adds. O


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015

Contents
Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - Cover1
Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - Cover2
Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - 1
Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - 2
Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - Contents
Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - 4
Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - 5
Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - 6
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Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - 8
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