Richard Scarry’s world just got a little busier. A 23-SKU organic food line that will feature the late American author’s characters, hit supermarket shelves across the U.S. in July and August through a deal between Viacom Consumer Products and Braintree, Massachusetts-based New Organics Co.
The new line, targeting kids between two and eight, hits a previously untried demographic in organic foods. While there are organic products for adults and babies, there hasn’t been a successful line for kids, making this a timely launch amidst growing controversy concerning chemical content in our foods.
‘Richard Scarry has been around for around 36 years, and the appeal to the food program is that it is very positively received by parents as a good-for-you brand. The brand is tied with education, learning and books, which is a very positive emphasis,’ explains Pam Newton, VP of licensing and merchandising for Viacom Consumer Products. Richard Scarry is a good solid property, Newton continues, but it hasn’t been overexposed. ‘You don’t want something that can be here today and gone tomorrow. What you mostly see in the food industry is tie-ins, but you don’t see branded food lines. The intention is that this will be here 20 years from now, 30 years from now, that this is going to be a label like Lucky Charms or Cheerios.’
In terms of price point, Chuck Monahan, VP of marketing and sales for New Organics, says: ‘There’s no price comparison because there’s no organic food for kids. There aren’t even a lot of foods, period, for kids. It is organic food, so there will be a premium there.’ Prices will range between US$1.99 and US$5.49.
While the Richard Scarry organic food line will target health food stores and the like, the plan is to roll out into the majors. Monahan believes that as concern about children being at risk from pesticides increases, the more mainstream the products can become. For now though, New Organics has taken the Scarry line to the retail accounts where its other organic lines reside, approximately 3,000 stores across the U.S. As the foodco develops the brand, it will target other retailers that fit the demographic-an upper middle-class shopper, or rather a store, Monahan says, ‘that already has that natural organic shopper in it.’