Brach’s Hot Hits brand comes to `fruition’ with *NSYNC

Licensee: Brach's Confections
Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Company history: Founded in 1906 by German immigrant Emil J. Brach, Brach's is now a privately held company owned by Swiss businessman Klaus Jacobs.
Product range: Brach's range of proprietary and licensed confectionery includes packaged...
June 1, 2001

Licensee: Brach’s Confections

Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Company history: Founded in 1906 by German immigrant Emil J. Brach, Brach’s is now a privately held company owned by Swiss businessman Klaus Jacobs.

Product range: Brach’s range of proprietary and licensed confectionery includes packaged candy, loose candy and fruit snacks.

Retail channels: The licensed range-predominately fruit snacks-is distributed throughout mass, grocery chains, drug chains and clubs, with some product available in food service and military commissaries.

Licensing contact: Peter Goldman, senior marketing manager, 423-510-7762

Property portfolio: Hi-C, Hot Wheels, Froot Loops, Arthur, Dragon Ball Z, Chiquita, Batman/Batman Beyond

The latest: Brach’s Hot Hits line of fruit snacks featuring its latest license, *NSYNC, receives an exposure boost this month, backed by a national FSI. The snacks hit stores near press time, just in advance of the boy band’s new album’s release in May. A first for the character-dominated fruit snacks category, Brach’s plans to build the brand by signing additional Hot Hits licenses with musical/entertainment personalities.

Licensing philosophy: To translate well to Brach’s trendy kid-skewing fruit snacks category, properties must be leaders in their respective categories and boast large audiences.

Indeed, Power Rangers-the company’s first license, signed in the mid-`90s-’was chosen primarily for its popularity and reach among kids. It was the hottest thing going at that time,’ says Goldman, though he wasn’t with Brach’s at the time of the deal. His first Brach’s license was for Coca-Cola juice brand Hi-C (the company’s most successful license to date), which was chosen because it jelled with the fruit snacks category as a juice-based property-’and it had high appeal and exposure among both kids and moms,’ adds Goldman. Ultimately, the ideal Brach’s partner is a creative force looking to expand into categories where they are currently not present, and one that will draw new consumers to Brach’s product.

Recently, the company found that partner in *NSYNC. ‘We looked at the existing category and noticed an opportunity for a pop culture type of SKU,’ says Goldman. Noting an absence of music in the fruit snacks lineup, the boy band, wildly popular among tweens, seemed a perfect fit. ‘I definitely feel this license offers us potential at the higher end of our target demo-probably more so than our other licenses,’ says Goldman.

It also offers Brach’s the opportunity to showcase its creativity with some interesting in-pack offers and inventive product design. Inside every box of *NSYNC fruit snacks, consumers will find one of six laminated collectible backstage passes-one for each of the band’s five members and one group representation. Tying it all together are the fruit snacks themselves-musical icons including the *NSYNC logo and juice-filled hearts sporting the names of the band members.

While Brach’s is always looking for new growth opportunities and Goldman admits that ‘licensing has really been the source of growth for the fruit snacks business,’ for now, the company is focused on building the brands it currently has on-shelf and expanding the Hot Hits category.

Credit check: What impressed Marc Brown Studios-creator and licensor for the Arthur book series-the most about Brach’s was the amount of research the company put into the Arthur brand when seeking to win the fruit snacks license. ‘They are very thorough and very professional,’ says Sunny Macmillan, VP and licensing director. ‘And after taking a good look at the other companies, we were comfortable with our decision to go

with them.’

Regular communication, respect for lead time and being open to suggestion are just a few of the qualities Macmillan expects in Arthur licensees. ‘[Brach's] confers with us regularly, we never have any issues with approvals, and if we do request a change they do it graciously, leaving enough lead time to make changes,’ says Macmillan. ‘They are always willing to try anything we suggest, and if something can’t work, they are very thorough in letting us know why.’

An added bonus is that Brach’s works well with the studio’s other licensees and promo partners, says Macmillan, who could not be more pleased with the company’s work on the Arthur license thus far. In fact, given the chance to go back and renegotiate

the fruit snacks license on the spot, Macmillan would still grant it to Brach’s.

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