Licensing Expo Countdown

Licensing Expo, the world’s largest trade show dedicated to the licensing and brand extension industries, is just a little more than two months away. The event is set to take place June 17-19, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. Around 5,000 brands will attend the event to connect with retailers, manufacturers, brand owners and licensing agents from more than 90 countries around the world.

As a brand licensing agency, Licensing Expo presents an important business opportunity for The Joester Loria Group. Debra Joester, The Joester Loria Group’s president and chief executive officer, elaborated on the importance of this event.

“The Licensing Expo provides The Joester Loria Group with a great opportunity to meet with key manufacturers and retailers and present the unique opportunities offered by our clients’ brands,” says Debra Joester, president and chief executive officer, The Joester Loria Group. “The Licensing Expo is an important marketplace, and, over the years, we have had terrific results for both existing and new clients. We believe the new tools available to exhibitors and attendees in 2014 will further enhance everyone’s ability to connect. Ultimately, our goal is to showcase the exceptional opportunities offered by the brands we represent, find new partners, connect with existing licensees and with key retailers.”

Stay tuned for more updates on The Joester Loria Group’s road to Licensing Expo. For more news, visit or follow @licensingexpo on Twitter, on Facebook and Linked In.

Licensing News From The 2014 Housewares Show

Earlier this month the home and housewares industry gathered at McCormick Place in Chicago for the 2014 International Home + Housewares Show, the world’s largest marketplace of home goods.   Approximately 60,000 industry professionals attended the annual event to check out the latest trends.

At this year’s show the International Housewares Association partnered with Licensing Expo for the first time in a collaboration that will help cross promote these two interconnected trade shows. Housewares is an important category for the licensing industry and this exciting new partnership will be beneficial to attendees of both events. A special panel featuring speakers from License! Global, Licensing Expo and The Food Network highlighted the interdependence of two industries.

Many major homewares licensees attended the event and showed off their latest brand extensions and partnerships. Some of the key licensed products on display at the show included:

  • -JLG client, Fabio Viviani debuting a line of serving and prepware produced by Picnic TIme
  • -Tabletops Unlimited unveiled new items under the Kellogg’s tabletop program
  • -ICUP presented Pepsi and Mountain Dew beverage ware
  • -A new line of pet products from Kathy Ireland
  • -A new pressure oven from celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck
  • -A wide range kitchen tools and cookware under the HSN umbrella from a slew of celebrity chefs including Ming Tsai and Lorena Garcia.
  • -The Cookware Company and Füri have teamed up with country music superstar Trisha Yearwood for a line of non-stick cookware, cutlery and gadgets.
  • -Conde Nast is extending their Epicurious brand into cookware, accessories, tools and gadgets.
  • -Meanwhile, rival publisher Bonnier Corp. is expanding their Saveur brand into the Saveur Selects collection of cookware and kitchen appliances.
  • -Food & Wine is also introducing licensed products with new dinnerware, flatware, glassware and bakeware.
  • -Meyer is extending Cake Boss and Rachael Ray products with collections for younger consumers .

More coverage of the event is available from License! Global and HFN.


Toy Fair Highlights

Last month more than 26,000 toy professionals attended the Toy Industry’s Association 111th American International Toy Fair at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. This year’s event was record-breaking with a spike in exhibitors, attendance and exhibit space. Among those in attendance were almost 10,000 buyers from more than 5,000 retailers.

Some of the key trends at the show were: large toys in categories ranging from plush to play sets; remote controlled toys; zombie and monster themes; toys that teach science, technology, engineering, arts and math; retro inspiration and customizable building and construction sets. Several brands are also recognizing the demand for craft and DIY kits targeted to boys. Toys that blend traditional play with smart devices also were prominent during the show.

The event kicked with a little star power in the form of an appearance by Grammy Award Winning artist Alicia Keys, who was there to promote her new animated storybook app. The show also featured theToy of the Year Awards, where some of the big winners were Rainbow Loom and LeapPad Ultra.

The Joester Loria Group attended this important industry event to check out the trends that will impact the licensing programs we develop for the children’s properties we represent including The World of Eric Carle, Disney Jr.’s The Hive and Annoying Orange.

In-depth recaps of the event are are available from Gifts and Decorative AccessoriesKidscreen andABC News.

The World of Eric Carle Celebrates 45th Anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar

This year marks the 45th anniversary of Eric Carle’s most popular title, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The World of Eric Carle will celebrate this milestone with exciting consumer promotions, new product introductions and dynamic marketing campaigns.

Some highlights will include:

*A yearlong under 3 kids meal promotion with Wendy’s, which will distribute up to 4 million premiums in over 6,500 locations. The promotion kicked off January and will run through December 28, 2014 in participating Wendy’s restaurants in the US and Canada. Customers will receive one of seven mini board book premiums, while supplies last, developed exclusively for Wendy’s with the purchase of an Under 3 Kids’ Meal.

*A six-week on-pack promotion featuring The Very Hungry Caterpillar on 1 million Langer’s juice containers in over 10,900 stores. Flavors include Cranberry Cocktail, Cranberry Raspberry Cocktail & Cranberry Grape Cocktail.

*Retail initiatives and events with Barnes & Noble supported with dedicated product tables.

*Two new apps launching in the first quarter of 2014 including Publication International’s Around the Farm app along with an app from new partner StoryToys scheduled to launch on The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day in March.

*Costume character appearances at malls, book fairs, schools and parades.

*A partnership with Sanrio in Japan for a Hello Kitty co-branded product collaboration for the brands’ joint anniversaries in 2014.  A number of World of Eric Carle licensees will create product in categories including plush, baby apparel, fabric, bags, and smartphone content.  Products will be distributed in Japan at specialty and fancy goods stores.

*Partnership with U.K. organization Action for Children encouraging children’s centers, nurseries and groups for the under-5’s across the U.K. to host sponsored ‘Giant Wiggle’ walks on The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day, March 20, 2014. The events will bring children together to wiggle along in giant caterpillar conga lines and also  encourage them to play and develop their imaginations through storytelling and creativity.

*As part of Australia’s 45th anniversary celebrations, The Very Hungry Caterpillar has been transformed into a spectacular sand sculpture as part of StoryLand’s Sand Sculpture exhibit running January through April. The sand sculpture is double-sided and used 250 tons of sand. The event is attended by approximately 250,000 people.

*Coordinated programs across all international social media pages including the launch of The Very Hungry Caterpillar German language Facebook page in collaboration with German Publisher Gerstenberg Verlag.

The Joester Loria Group is excited to celebrate the 45th anniversary of this iconic book with a year of new licensed product introductions, partnerships and marketing initiatives.

New Apps For The World of Eric Carle

The Joester Loria Group, exclusive global licensing agent for The World of Eric Carle, has brokered a deal with StoryToys for a three-year partnership to develop and publish a series of global apps based on the beloved characters created by Eric Carle, the renowned author and illustrator of more than 70 children’s books, including The Very Hungry Caterpillar. StoryToys will launch the first The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Friends app on March 20th 2014, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day, as part of the celebration of the 45th anniversary of the time -honored children’s book.

The World of Eric Carle, the award winning publishing franchise with 125 million books sold, promotes the joys of playful learning through timeless stories and vibrant artwork featuring Very Hungry Caterpillar and Friends.  The brand’s centerpiece, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, is a global best seller that is beloved by parents, caregivers, educators, and children.

StoryToys is a leading publisher of interactive books and games for children, and has enjoyed global success on all major app distribution platforms, including over 100 No. 1 worldwide apps on the App Store. StoryToys has been the recipient of numerous awards and commendations for the quality of its products, including 10 prestigious Children’s Technology Review Editor’s Choice Awards.

“We consider this partnership with The World of Eric Carle as the perfect fit for both parties” said Barry O’Neill, CEO of StoryToys. “We share a dedication to creating family-friendly, entertaining products, and to promoting learning through play. StoryToys has a strong heritage of bringing much-loved classics into the digital world, and our aim is to build beautiful apps that will enable children to interact with their favorite Eric Carle characters in totally new ways.”

Debra Joester, President and CEO of The Joester Loria Group adds, “We are excited to be working with StoryToys. We are looking forward to a partnership that will boost awareness of this much-loved brand even further in the app space with engaging activity apps that inspire imaginative thinking and encourages creative exploration.”

License! GlobalKidscreenThe Bookseller and MediaBistro all shared the news of this exciting brand extension for The World of Eric Carle.

Mountain Dew’s New Licensing Partner

In partnership with The Joester Loria Group, Mountain Dew is growing their lifestyle licensing program to include sporting gear and accessories.  A leader in the action sports industry and title sponsor of the competition series Dew Tour, Mountain Dew’s entry into snow, skate and water sports extends Mountain Dew’s leadership in promoting action sports and partnering with leading athletes.

JNJ International, Inc. was tapped to develop a Mountain Dew program consisting of skateboards, snowboards, mountain boards, scooters, skates, boogie boards, skim boards and protective gear ranging in price from $9.99 to $59.99.

This new licensing category will provide Dew loyalists with unique and exciting products featuring iconic Dew graphics with a bold design.  The collections will use quality materials and offer a wide range of product to fit the needs of beginner level and advanced athletes alike.

The new Mountain Dew scooters and skateboards will launch spring 2014 at Kmart and Toys “R” US and at select Walmart doors for the holiday season.  The program is slated to roll out across additional retail channels including sporting good specialty stores, mid-tier and additional mass accounts.

New Footwear and Hosiery Licensing Deal For The World of Eric Carle

The Joester Loria Group recently brokered a licensing agreement with PS Brands to serve as the U.S. footwear and hosiery partner for The World of Eric Carle brand.

Under the new agreement, PS Brands will develop a collection of hosiery for newborns and infants and no-skid newborn and infant footwear including boots, rubber-soled socks and sandals.  The collections will feature Eric Carle’s distinctive artwork and iconic characters with a focus on The Very Hungry Caterpillar and friends.

Footwear and hosiery are the latest additions to The World of Eric Carle’s robust licensing program, which already spans toys, games, apparel, home décor, social expressions, stationery, classroom supplies and mobile apps in 15 countries worldwide.

License! Global recently shared The World Of Eric Carle’s licensing news.


Pepsi & Mountain Dew Licensing Programs Add New Housewares

The Joester Loria Group is working with its client to grow the Pepsi and Mountain Dew brand licensing programs with new tabletop, entertaining and home décor partners.  Both beverages are always a key element to entertaining and these new housewares and home décor items will give extra pop to any home.

Pepsi is essential to entertaining and Permasteel’s line of coolers will further extend the life of the party by offering consumers a chic way to cool and store their beverages.  The line consists of high quality indoor/outdoor coolers, sleek silhouettes and graphics that tap into Pepsi’s most iconic logos and imagery. Pepsi coolers will hit stores Spring 2014, retailing for $99 to $249. joins the Pepsi program for print-on-demand art and photographic prints, posters, canvas and wall decor.  Utilizing Pepsi’s 110+ years graphic archive, will house iconic artwork and advertisements for their print-on-demand capabilities. This exciting partnership allows Pepsi consumers to truly connect with the brand, picking favorite pieces to incorporate into their homes.

A leader in glassware and kitchen accessories, iCup joins the PepsiCo portfolio with a line consisting of everyday glasses, pitchers, canisters and trays along with a set of acrylic and melamine products set to follow market trends. The Pepsi collection will take inspiration from the brand’s youthful pop image and its 100+ years of logos and graphics to design both modern and retro houseware items.

In contrast, the Mountain Dew collections will reflect an edgy and high energy spirit with innovative design as well as call upon Dew’s playful hillbilly heritage with mason jars and other novelty items.

Both assortments will launch in the Spring of 2014, with broad retail reach, targeting channels from mass up to specialty.

To further Mountain Dew’s home décor,  Advanced Graphics joins the program for a line of cardboard stand-up wall decals. The unique items will be found at specialty stores and across major e-commerce platforms such as starting February 2014.

As the official North American licensing agent for PepsiCo, The Joester Loria Group is excited to welcome these new partners to the brand’s licensing portfolio.

Licensing Lessons From Retail’s Big Show

Last week the National Retail Federation held their annual Retail’s Big Show at the Javits Center in New York City. The event had 30,000 attendees and 500 exhibitors. While the conference focused on the retail industry as a whole, there were some important lessons particularly relevant for the licensing industry.

One panel discussion highlighted the success of HGTV’s multicategory brand licensing program. Meanwhile, retail security was a topic on everyone’s minds in light of the recent security breaches at high profile retailers like Target and Neiman Marcus. Another hot topic at the conference was the NRF’s report which detailed the top retailers and their revenues, which totaled $4.3 trillion. Costco’s Jim Sinegal was honored with the NRF’s Gold Medal Award for his work at the innovative retailer. Additionally, Rick Caruso, CEO of Caruso Affiliated, spoke about the future of the indoor mall and the need for innovation in the mall development business.

Retailers are an important component of any successful brand licensing program. At The Joester Loria Group, we stay on top of the latest topics and trends that affect the licensing industry in order to ensure success for all of our clients.


LIMA Licensing Names JLG Founders To Licensing Hall of Fame

The Board of Directors of the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) has selected veteran licensing agents Debra Joester and Joanne Loria, co-founding partners of The Joester Loria Group, for induction into the LIMA Licensing Industry Hall of Fame. Joester and Loria will be honored at the annual LIMA Awards Ceremony on June 17, 2014 during the industry’s main event, Licensing Expo 2014, in Las Vegas.

“Only the most accomplished and respected industry professionals are recognized via induction into the Licensing Industry Hall of Fame, and both Debra and Joanne are among the most deserving,” said LIMA President Charles Riotto. “Standout professionals and a powerful duo who together have built an influential and enterprising team, Debra and Joanne have a long and successful history of shaping winning licensing programs for renowned brands and consumer products companies. We are delighted to honor them with this well-deserved recognition.”

“We were excited to learn LIMA has selected us for induction into the Hall of Fame,” said Joester and Loria. “We have been fortunate to work in this dynamic, ever-changing industry that provides exceptional opportunities to work with great brands and talented, passionate individuals. We look forward to a very bright future.”

Joester, the company’s President and CEO, and Loria, its Executive Vice President and COO, are recognized as visionaries who have continually broken new ground in the licensing business, having presided over numerous highly successful, award-winning global brand extensions and breakthrough initiatives for some of the world’s most recognizable brands including Jeep, American Greetings’ Care Bears, Animal Planet and The World of Eric Carle’s Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Joester’s and Loria’s many accomplishments include strategic brand extensions for food, automotive and media brands, reigniting Care Bears as a multi-billion dollar property, and establishing successful programs for pop culture breakout hits.

Joester was the chief architect behind the building of the Jeep brand into a consumer products powerhouse. She also is credited with instituting a groundbreaking teen licensing program for Beverly Hills 90210. Other notable achievements include the brand extension of Animal Planet to a successful pet product brand and, most recently, merchandising for viral sensation, Annoying Orange. Previous to joining with Loria to form The Joester Loria Group, Joester was President of Hamilton Projects, a Viacom company, where she led various programs, including the licensing success of Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge as well as Dr. Scholl’s, Coppertone, Miller Brewing Company, Hershey’s, Campbell Soup, the United States Postal Service, and entertainment properties Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place and South Park.

Joester has served on the LIMA Board of Directors and as an Association officer. A passionate children’s advocate, she serves on the board of Kids in Distressed Situations and founded Shemesh Joester Foundation in 2007, which is dedicated to supporting children’s charities, and is a key contributor to Friends Without Borders, funding hospitals for children in Cambodia and Laos.

Loria is credited with creating breakthrough licensing  programs for Parents magazine and South Park, and was instrumental in crafting the re-launch strategy for Hanna Barbera’s classic cartoon archive. Since co-founding the agency, Loria has led strategic planning and development for PepsiCo North America brands Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Aquafina, AMP and SoBe; as well as Kellogg’s. She has also been instrumental in the growth of the agency’s food and beverage portfolio with brands such as Johnsonville Foods, Entenmann’s and SoBe. Prior to co-founding Joester Loria Group, Loria was Senior Vice President of Hamilton Projects.

Loria has served on the LIMA Board of Directors and is an active fundraiser for the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation, LIMA’s charity of choice. She also is a contributor and supporter of several other cancer research foundations and animal rights causes.

Candidates for the LIMA Licensing Hall of Fame are judged based on their impact within the industry as well as their overall integrity and legacy. Nominees must have been actively involved in the licensing business for a minimum of ten years, demonstrating continual and outstanding contributions.

The Joester Loria Group is honored to be recognized by LIMA. This exciting news was covered by KidscreenLicensing.bizaNb Media, and License! Global Magazine.