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Licensing Trends: What’s Feeding the Food Binge?

The eating and drinking-related segments continue to represent the growth area in corporate licensing.

Respondents to The Licensing Letter’s Annual Licensing Business Survey cite the following factors as driving the steady growth of food, drink and restaurant licensing. On the demand side:

  • Changes in eating habits, like “grazing,” or consuming 5 to 6 light meals per day—“more meal occasions increase the opportunity for licensed sales,” notes one licensor;
  • Less in-home stove use and the growing preference to “assemble” rather than cook meals;
  • Popularity of “good for you” and organic brands;
  • Taste for exotic flavors and spices, especially among millennials.

Factors on the supply side include more retail space for grocery thanks to warehouse stores like Costco and the expansion of giant retailers like Walmart into grocery. “Nowadays, you can find quality food in just about any store including pharmacies, convenience stores and even gas stations,” according to one respondent.

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