French fries and apples are top of mind at Burger King these days.
Seeking to leverage its brand and generate new revenue streams, Burger King is working with two new licensing partners to bring BK branded french fries and apples to the at-home market.
Under one deal, ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston is launching a line of Burger King branded microwaveable french fries this fall.
Overall, though, does the concept have enough to fly? There’s no shortage of frozen potato choices in your local store’s freezer cabinet. The microwaveable cooking benefit may be the differentiator, especially with today’s “I want it now” consumers.
With the other licensing agreement, Burger King continues to explore how it can maximize the iconic shape of french fries. The company went national in 2008 with its BK® Kids Meal product, BK® Fresh Apple Fries, which are apple slices in the shape of french fries. Now, BK wants to extend the reach of this concept to the at-home market. It has an agreement to market french fry shaped apple slices in food stores via a deal with Crunch Pak LLC, which was started in 2000 by a group of Washington state apple growers. BK Apple Fries were scheduled for a nationwide launch in 10,000 supermarkets starting this fall.
Pricing for a single serving will be approximately $1; and $4 to $5 for a larger package with multiple servings. Burger King’s Schaufelberger remarked that “the popularity of this clever product is now opening up new channels for our business and providing our customers with a menu favorite in the places they shop most.”
Burger King and Crunch Pak are promoting the BK Apple Fries to food retailers via trade advertising. A new print ad states that BK sold more than 29 million servings since its 2008 launch and is “a winner with both parents and kids alike.” CrunchPak just exhibited this product at Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit trade show in Anaheim, CA.
Crunch Pak is clearly targeting the children’s market. Along with Burger King branded products, Crunch Pak is also selling retail apple slices with Disney character branding via a business arrangement with Imagination Farms, LLC, who is the marketer of the Disney Garden brand of fresh produce.
There is an overlap between the Burger King and Disney Garden brands with the apple products, but this gives Crunch Pak a unique two-pronged branding play with retailer buyers. The category management selling materials must be intriguing, especially if Crunch Pak has dual-placement objectives.
Licensing is a viable option to enter new channels, extend your brand, and create a new revenue source. However, make sure you have a licensing strategy in place that complements your overall marketing, brand and channel strategy, and be sure you actually use it to properly evaluate each licensing opportunity. If you want licensing to play a key role in your marketing mix, don’t hesitate to proactively search out the best partner instead of waiting for someone to knock on your door. Remember to evaluate the product/brand portfolio of each potential partner both as it exists today and how it might expand, and be sure that any critical limitations are clearly reflected in the contract.
Harvey Chimoff is a hands-on marketing leader and business-wide collaborator who builds marketing capabilities in B2B/B2C organizations that drive customer success.