Co-branding Today

Co-branding Today

More and more, brands are looking for inventive ways to gain relevancy with consumers outside of their core product offerings. A current trend is the experimentation of food and beverage outside of retail core categories. For example, Lululemon launched a limited edition beer, “Curiosity Lager,” at their annual yoga conference Seawheeze in Vancouver Canada with the aim to play in the lifestyle space beyond athletic clothing.

Co-Branding in the Food Industry

Other examples include Carlsberg Beer, which controls more than 8% of the global beer market has set itself in the beauty industry to produce a line of personal care products for men. The company’s brew is a main ingredient in the product line. Yes indeed, these products contain barley, hops and yeast which evidently are chalk full of vitamin B and silicium (silicone), and have multiple health and beautifying benefits such as strengthening connective tissues, as well as strengthens nails, hair and skin.

McDonald’s has also followed suite. They’ve opened an online store with the lure of “burger-emblazoned board shorts, thermals, dog coats, wallpaper, linens, sleeping bags, tents, and more.” They’ve capitalized on their iconic sandwich to produce additional marketability and reach, not to mention their profits are reportedly going to the Ronald McDonald House Charities, dedicated to helping children live happier and healthier by providing a place for families to remain together as their children heal from various illnesses — Now that’s a cause a person can get behind. They’ve now opened their online store to shoppers in the United States, Canada, Europe + Australia.

Burger King took on a quirky approach to this interplay of food + beverage – As an April Fools’ Day joke, they produced a fragrance only available in Japan, where consumers could wear the scent of the signature flame-grilled patty, “letting them feel like they’re in a restaurant anytime” for 5,000 yen (about $40). What started as a joke became a hit and reportedly sold out at about half of its 90 Japanese outlets by evening.

This cross pollination between food and lifestyle is gaining traction in the food industry as the audience responds positively to these one off collaborations. The Millennial generation tends to be more open-minded about what a brand can be, and they are forging forward with the mindset that brands can be marketed as “lifestyle brands,” moving in and out of specific categories.

This shift in the cultural mindset is creating space for more brands to come out of the woodworks and experiment outside of their core offerings. Who will be next? Our bet is that we’ll be seeing more and more of these crossovers as companies start to pursue this barely charted market space.