There are many categories in packaged food, and beauty and personal care in Western Europe which remain untapped by character licensing. Restrictions on unhealthy food packaging are a challenge, but healthy eating and product formulation could bring opportunities. Character licensing in dental health offers prospects, although unfavourable demographics may hinder growth. This is an exciting journey shaped by key developments and opportunities presented by a rich and developed region.
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Retail value sales of licensed and non-licensed licensing related categories in packaged food, and beauty and personal care* reached USD267 billion (2017) and USD38 billion (2016), respectively, in Western Europe. Dairy, the largest category in food, is projected grow by USD1.8 billion by 2022, while oral care, an important category for character licensing, is forecast a 2% CAGR in constant value terms over 2016-2021.
Western Europe had the lowest birth rate globally in 2016, at just 10.9 births per 1,000 inhabitants, which is expected to drop to 9.9 by 2030. Although a declining birth rate and postponing motherhood suggest trouble for character licensing targeting children, with higher disposable incomes and fewer children, parents are likely to increase the amount that is spent on their children, becoming less concerned about the prices and short life cycles.
Other baby food** is a category with considerable prospects for characters, since, unlike milk formula, there is no legislation that prevents licensing. There is also great interest in protein coming from other sources than meat, and on-the-go dairy products that provide non-meat protein. On the back of this trend, three categories stand out in particular which offer good potential for character licensing: cheese, flavoured milk drinks and drinking yogurt. Fruit and nut bars also remains broadly untapped.
While there is already much licensed merchandise targeting children, when children reach a certain age it tends to stop. In shampoo, there is an opportunity to target tweens, young boys and girls with character licensed merchandise. In men’s grooming, characters could expand their penetration by targeting male consumers at an earlier age. Skin care, deodorants, fragrances and hair care also present good prospects. Character heroes from Marvel, DC Comics and Star Wars could lead the way, as they are well positioned to target this demographic.
Note: *Packaged Food = Breakfast cereals , Ice cream, Dairy, Confectionery, Soup , Cakes, Pasta, Savoury snacks, Sweet biscuits, snack bars and fruit snacks. Beauty and Personal Care = Baby and child-specific products, Oral care, Colour cosmetics and Fragrances.
Note: ** Includes packaged food products specifically marketed for babies such as baby rusks, teething biscuits, baby fruit juices and baby pasta, but excludes dried and prepared baby food and milk formula.