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Trademarks/Brands

Food, Electronics Drive 2018 Corporate TM/Brand-based Growth

Contact the editor at karina@plainlanguagemedia.com

The U.S. and Canada generated nearly $29.8 billion in licensed retail sales of goods based on corporate trademarks/brands in 2018. The largest product categories by dollar growth in that year were food/beverages, consumer electronics, and apparel.


Sales of licensed corporate trademark/brand-based food/beverages were up 1.8% in 2018 to reach $10.1 billion. With 33.8% share of all sales in the property type, food/beverages took up the largest share of all trademark/brand-based sales in 2018, but actually dropped by 0.1 percentage point in share compared to 2017. Despite the drop in share, the category actually grew by $178 million.

Consumer electronics jumped 2.0%, or $82 million in value, to reach a total of $4.2 billion in licensed trademark/brand-based retail sales.

The third-largest category by share jumped by 0.1 percentage point in share. Licensed apparel sales grew 2.2% to reach $2.8 billion, or $60 million. Accessories jumped at a slightly faster rate, 2.5%, for an even $2.0 billion in sales. Meanwhile, footwear sales enjoyed 2.3% growth in 2018 to reach $1.8 billion in value.

Health and beauty aids (HBA) observed a strong year with a 3.3% increase in licensed sales, for a total of just over $1.0 billion.

The only other product category to break $1 billion in sales, licensed sporting goods, had just 1.9% growth to land at $1.2 billion.

Turning around a years-long trend, licensed paper-based goods did surpisingly well with publishing up 2.3% to reach $912 million in sales and stationery/paper up 5.4% to reach $93 million in sales.

Home goods were on a downturn compared to 2017 growth rates; in 2018, sales of licensed furniture/home furnishings were up 1.7% to reach $907 million, while housewares were up 1.6% (total $525 million in sales) and domestics were up 5.5% ($84 million). Within the smaller other category, hardware and paint was up 3.4% ($181 million) and gardening was up 4.0% ($122 million).

Sales of licensed toys/games based on trademarl/brand properties were up 1.9% in 2018, somewhat bucking the overall product category trend, to reach $585 million. Video games/software was up by 2.7% for a total of $431 million.

Retail Sales of Licensed Trademark/Brand Merchandise, by Product Category, U.S. & Canada, 2017–2018
Note: Numbers may not add up exactly due to rounding.
(Figures in Millions)
Product Category Retail Sales, 2018 Retail Sales, 2017 Change, 2017–2018 Share, 2018
Accessories $2,003 $1,954 2.5% 6.7%
Apparel $2,785 $2,725 2.2% 9.4%
Consumer Electronics $4,188 $4,106 2.0% 14.1%
Domestics $84 $79 5.5% 0.3%
Food/Beverages $10,073 $9,895 1.8% 33.8%
Footwear $1,756 $1,716 2.3% 5.9%
Furniture/Home Furnishings $907 $892 1.7% 3.0%
Gifts/Novelties $292 $285 2.4% 1.0%
HBA $1,048 $1,014 3.3% 3.5%
Housewares $525 $517 1.6% 1.8%
Infant Products $223 $218 2.0% 0.7%
Publishing $912 $891 2.3% 3.1%
Sporting Goods $1,217 $1,194 1.9% 4.1%
Stationery/Paper $93 $88 4.9% 0.3%
Toys/Games $585 $574 1.9% 2.0%
Video Games/Software $431 $419 2.7% 1.4%
Other $2,644 $2,585 2.3% 8.9%
Hardware and Paint $181 $175 3.4% 0.6%
Gardening $122 $118 4.0% 0.4%
Pet Products $231 $223 3.9% 0.8%
Automotive Accessories $397 $389 2.2% 1.3%
Boats and Vehicles $521 $501 4.0% 1.8%
Other $1,190 $1,179 0.9% 4.0%
Total $29,764 $29,155 2.1% 100.0%

Representative Corporate Trademark/Brand Properties

The range of corporate brands with licensing programs is enormous. We break out some of the larger sub-groups, including automotive/vehicle, food/beverage, restaurants, sporting goods, hardware/appliance/tool, home-related, electronics/technology, and electronic media. Retail brands, diet/health brands, luggage brands, and additional brand-based properties are aggregated under “Other.” Large as this sector is, much licensing in this area is “invisible” and difficult to estimate.

Automotive/Vehicle: BMW, Cadillac, Caterpillar, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Corvette, Dodge, Ferrari, Ford Motor, Harley-Davidson, Hummer, Jaguar, Jeep, John Deere, Kawasaki, Mack Truck, Mercedes Benz, Mustang, Porsche, Winnebago.

Food/Beverage: Arm & Hammer, Betty Crocker, Blue Diamond, Budweiser, Campbell’s, Cheerios, Chiquita, Coca-Cola, Coors, Corona, Del Monte, Dr Pepper/Snapple, Godiva, Green Giant, Hershey, Jack Daniel’s, Jim Beam, Kahlua, Keurig, M&Ms, Miller, Mountain Dew, Nathan’s, Nestle, Oreo, Pepsi-Cola, Pillsbury, Reese’s, Special K, Sunkist, Sun-Maid, Welch’s.

Restaurants: Baja Fresh, Baskin-Robbins, Boston Market, Burger King, California Pizza Kitchen, P.F. Chang’s, Cinnabon, Claim Jumper, Dunkin Donuts, Fazoli’s, Jamba Juice, La Tasca, McDonald’s, Red Robin, Starbucks, Subway, Taco Bell, TGI Friday’s, White Castle.

Sporting goods: Body Glove, Browning, Coleman, Dunlop, Everlast, Polaris, Rawlings, RealTree, Remington, Smith & Wesson, Spalding, Wilson, Winchester, Under Armour.

Hardware/Appliance/Tools: Black & Decker, Craftsman, DeWalt, Honeywell, Maytag, Snap-On, Stanley, Sunbeam, Westinghouse, Whirlpool.

Home-related: Croscill, Farberware, Fiesta, Mikasa, Mr. Clean, Pfaltzgraff, Rubbermaid, Waverly, Woolite.

Electronics/Technology: AT&T, Apple, Emerson, GE, IBM, Phillips, Polaroid, RCA, Timex, Verizon, Westinghouse, Xerox.

Electronic media: Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, ESPN, HGTV, Food Network.

Other: American Kennel Club, American Tourister, Armor All, Dr. Scholl’s, Eveready, Jenny Craig, Linens ‘n Things, Samsonite, Scotts MiracleGro, Sharper Image, Toys ‘R’ Us, Weight Watchers.

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