The landscape of intellectual property licensing in the food and beverage industry is vast and dynamic. At Juris Law Group, we have navigated this complex terrain, assisting clients with diverse and high-profile licensing agreements. In this article we will delve into the world of License Agreements, providing a comprehensive overview of their significance in various industries, with particular interest in the Food and Beverages market, and showcase of Juris Law Group’s extensive experience. This article explores the fundamental concepts, types of licenses, and how license agreements work. The article emphasizes the crucial elements that both licensors and licensees should consider when entering into these agreements, especially in the food and beverage industry. It also sheds light on the roles, rights, and responsibilities of both parties, offering valuable insights for creating successful and mutually beneficial license agreements.
WHAT IS A LICENSE AGREEMENt?
A license agreement is a legally binding contract between two parties that grants one party (the licensee) permission or rights to use certain intellectual property, assets, or other resources owned by the other party (the licensor). These agreements are commonly used in various industries and contexts, such as software licensing, intellectual property licensing, music and entertainment licensing, and more. There are many types of Licenses, which we will explore briefly here.
Types of Licenses
Licensing often revolves around the realm of intellectual property (IP), which encompasses trademarks, copyrights, and patents, as well as digital assets such as applications and trademarked properties. It also extends to music rights. Here are various instances of licensing:
- Copyright licenses, which entail the right to reproduce and sell copyrighted materials, including derivative works based on the original content. It may also cover the right to publicly perform the work.
- Patent licenses, which are employed to grant permission for the manufacture, sale, use, distribution, and exportation of patented products.
- Trade secret licenses, involving the authorization to utilize proprietary processes, which can potentially be integrated into software applications.
- Trademark licenses, allowing businesses to utilize well-known trademarks on specific products and within defined contexts. Some examples of trademark licenses include:
- Sports teams offering trademark licenses to companies seeking to incorporate the team’s logo into their product offerings
- Movie studios granting licenses to businesses interested in creating merchandise featuring trademarked characters from their films.
How does a License Agreement work?
A license agreement is a contractual arrangement in the realm of business involving two parties. One party, known as the licensor, possesses ownership of the asset being licensed, while the other party, referred to as the licensee, compensates for the privilege to utilize said license. The licensee provides compensation to the licensor in return for the authority to either distribute the product or employ the technology.
Exploring the Benefits of Brand Licensing
Brand licensing agreements offer a multitude of advantages to businesses, whether they are large corporations or small enterprises. Let’s examine these:
- Access to New Markets: One of the most notable advantages of licensing is the ease with which your brand can enter new markets. Licensees take on responsibilities such as navigating international tariffs and shouldering the costs of attracting fresh customers.
- Risk Mitigation: Licensing serves as a risk-reduction strategy for both parties involved. Licensees face fewer risks in areas such as manufacturing, product development, and market testing. On the other hand, licensors encounter reduced risk when expanding into new markets and selling products or services.
- Additional Passive Revenue Stream: Licensing your intellectual property can be a lucrative source of passive income. As long as your licensed partners thrive, your business shares in the financial benefits. Importantly, you retain ownership rights and can receive royalties for an extended period, offering stability during slow business periods.
- Strengthened Customer Relationships: Through licensing, you not only expand your customer base but also reinforce existing customer relationships. Your brand’s growth and increased visibility act as social proof, enhancing your credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of consumers.
- Clearly Defined Expectations: Licensing agreements establish clear rules governing the use of trademarks, patents, or brands. They provide both licensors and licensees with a comprehensive understanding of their roles within the partnership. Key aspects, including usage rights, royalty payments, copyright terms, and contract expiration dates, are explicitly outlined.
- Protection of Intellectual Property: Licensing agreements serve as valuable resources for safeguarding your brand’s intellectual property. This knowledge is critical, as your brand may achieve unexpected success and reach a wider audience.
- Retained Brand Control: Importantly, licensing does not entail surrendering control of your brand or intellectual property to another company. You retain decision-making authority, as long as your actions align with the terms of your licensing agreement.
Possible disadvantages to a License Agreement
One of the stumbling blocks when venturing into the realm of license agreements is the risk of forging contractual ties with a less-than-ideal partner. There are instances where licensors, driven by their fervor to enter a new market, skip the due diligence process. This imprudent approach can lead a licensor into a protracted contractual commitment with a company whose ethos and goals stand at odds with their own. Similarly, the pitfall looms for licensees who, without adequate research, believe a new product or brand will seamlessly conquer a particular market.
Moreover, both parties are exposed to the peril of tarnishing their hard-earned brand prestige. Consider this: if one party blunders in marketing or becomes entangled in a scandal, the repercussions reverberate, putting the other party at risk. Thus, it is paramount for both licensors and licensees to wield diligence as their business modus operandi.
In addition, another drawback comes to the forefront – the surge in competitive dynamics once a licensing agreement is sealed. Even though the licensee ostensibly acts as an extension of the licensor, they unwittingly become competitors. Furthermore, the licensee may inadvertently curtail their own research and development (R&D) endeavors while leaning heavily on another entity’s product.
Within a licensing agreement, various sections and aspects come into play, encompassing specific details that necessitate negotiation between the involved parties; these are further explored in the next section.
Licensing agencies in North America
Licensing agencies in North America are organizations or companies that facilitate licensing agreements between brand owners and various product manufacturers or retailers. These agencies help brands extend their reach into different product categories by licensing their intellectual property, such as logos, characters, or trademarks, to be used on a wide range of consumer goods. The food and beverage sector is a significant part of the licensing industry; some examples of successful brand licensing partnerships in this category include:
Licensing agencies play a crucial role in managing these partnerships and expanding the presence of brands in the market, creating opportunities for brand owners to generate revenue and connect with consumers through diverse product offerings.
IMPORTANT PROVISIONS YOU SHOULD BE LOOKING FOR IN A LICENSE AGREEMENT.
There are certain common elements in a License Agreement that all parties should be observant of. Both Licensors and Licensees should consider these common elements in a license agreement involving food and beverages; these include:
- Scope of License: Both the Licensor and Licensee need to clearly define the scope of the license, specifying the products or brands covered and any geographical restrictions.
- Quality Control: Both parties should address quality control measures to maintain the quality and reputation of the licensed products and outline the standards and procedures for quality assurance.
- Royalty and Payment Terms: Both need to determine the royalty structure and payment terms, including how and when royalties are calculated and paid, with provisions for reporting and auditing.
- Intellectual Property Rights: Both parties should clarify the intellectual property rights being licensed, any restrictions on sublicensing, and how they will protect and use the licensed intellectual property.
- Duration and Termination: Both need to understand the duration of the license agreement and the conditions under which it can be terminated, including any potential termination risks and exit strategies.
- Indemnification and Liability: Both parties should review the indemnification clauses and liability provisions to understand their responsibilities and potential liabilities in case of legal claims or product issues.
- Dispute Resolution: Both should be aware of the dispute resolution mechanism in the agreement, such as arbitration or mediation, to understand how conflicts will be resolved.
- Insurance: Both should determine the insurance requirements, including product liability insurance, to ensure adequate coverage to protect their interests.
- Renewal and Exit Strategies: Both parties need to assess whether the agreement allows for renewal options and the process for renegotiating or terminating the agreement at the end of the initial term.
- Compliance with Regulations: Both should ensure that the licensed products comply with all relevant food and beverage regulations, labeling requirements, and health and safety standards.
- Sub-agreements: Within the license agreement, as with other types of contracts, there may be sub-agreements. For example, the licensor may require a non-disclosure agreement to keep the licensee from disclosing proprietary product features or processes to others. The licensee, in turn, may require the licensor to sign a non-compete agreement, which can keep the licensor from breaking the agreement by allowing someone else to sell the product within the licensee’s exclusive territory.
- Exclusivity and Territory: The licensee is granted the exclusive right to make and sell the product in a specific territory. The licensor agrees not to allow anyone else to sell the product in that territory. This part of the agreement usually has a term limit attached to it.
- Subsidiary Licensing: The licensee may or may not be granted the right to allow someone else to make or sell its products. This depends on the specific terms of the licensing agreement.
KEY CONSIDERATIONS WHEN REVIEWING A LICENSE AGREEMENT.
While there are many things to consider when contemplating a food and beverage license, here are some of the key considerations:
- Thorough Due Diligence: Before committing to a licensing agreement, both parties should engage in meticulous due diligence. This includes reviewing business credit, examining management resumes, requesting financial statements, and even visiting the other company’s offices and manufacturing facilities. Leave no stone unturned to ensure confidence in your partner.
- Ownership Clarity: Ensure that ownership of all intellectual property (IP) involved in the product is clearly defined. Conduct a comprehensive search to confirm no conflicting claims exist, such as trademark disputes, and verify proper registration. Avoid entering into a licensing agreement only to later discover ownership challenges.
- Defining the Scope: Provide a precise and unambiguous description of the product or process being licensed. Clarity in this regard prevents any potential misunderstandings about the scope of the license.
- Government Regulations: Be aware of any applicable regulations governing the sale of your product, especially if it falls into categories with restrictions, such as weapons. Understand and comply with these regulations in various countries or U.S. states where your product may be sold.
- Quality Assurance and Monitoring: Establish clear procedures for product approval, including an initial test sample that must receive approval before production commences. Specify the frequency of quality checks and outline the procedures for monitoring product sales. Determine who has authority over product pricing and the conditions for potential discounts.
- Contingency Planning: Collaborate with your attorney to address potential challenges that may arise in the future. Consider scenarios such as:
- What if the licensor faces bankruptcy?
- What if the licensee encounters financial difficulties?
- What if either party fails to meet its obligations?
- Can the licensor transfer ownership to another entity?
- What penalties are in place for contract breaches?
By proactively addressing these factors, you can create a robust licensing agreement that safeguards both parties’ interes
WHAT ARE THE ROLES, RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF A LICENSOR?
The role, rights, and responsibilities of a licensor in a License Agreement for Food and Beverages are extensive, here you will find a short description of the basics for this role:
Role of Licensor:
- Granting License: The licensor is the party that owns the intellectual property rights, such as trademarks, logos, or recipes, related to the food and beverage products. They grant a license to the licensee (often a manufacturer or distributor) to use these intellectual property rights.
- Quality Control: The licensor typically maintains control over the quality and standards associated with the licensed products. They may require the licensee to adhere to specific production methods, ingredient sourcing, and quality assurance procedures to maintain the brand’s reputation.
Rights of Licensor:
- Use of Intellectual Property: The licensor retains the exclusive rights to the intellectual property, allowing them to license its use to others. They can specify the scope and limitations of the licensee’s use, such as the geographic area or the type of products covered.
- Royalties: The licensor is entitled to receive royalties or license fees from the licensee in exchange for the use of their intellectual property. These fees can be based on a percentage of sales or other agreed-upon terms.
- Inspection and Approval: The licensor often has the right to inspect the licensee’s facilities, products, and marketing materials to ensure they meet the required quality and branding standards. They may also have the authority to approve or reject changes proposed by the licensee.
Responsibilities of Licensor:
- Protecting Intellectual Property: The licensor is responsible for taking legal action to protect their intellectual property rights, including pursuing legal action against any unauthorized use or infringement by third parties.
- Providing Support and Guidance: In some cases, the licensor may provide support and guidance to the licensee, such as marketing assistance, product development advice, or training.
- Compliance Monitoring: The licensor should monitor the licensee’s compliance with the terms of the License Agreement, ensuring that the licensed products meet the agreed-upon standards and quality.
- Termination Rights: If the licensee fails to meet the agreed-upon standards or breaches the terms of the agreement, the licensor has the right to terminate the license.
It’s important to note that the specific rights and responsibilities of the licensor can vary widely depending on the terms negotiated in the License Agreement. This description provides a general overview, and it’s advisable to consult with legal counsel to draft or review a specific agreement tailored to your client’s needs and objectives.
WHAT ARE THE ROLES, RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF A LICENSEE?
The role, rights, and responsibilities of a licensee in a License Agreement for Food and Beverages are extensive, here you will find a short description of the basics for this role:
Role of Licensee:
- Use of Intellectual Property: The licensee is the party granted permission by the licensor to use the licensor’s intellectual property rights, such as trademarks, logos, or recipes, in the production and marketing of food and beverage products.
- Manufacturing and Distribution: The licensee is typically responsible for the actual manufacturing, distribution, and sale of the licensed products. They may produce and market these products under the licensor’s brand or trademarks.
Rights of Licensee:
- Use of Intellectual Property: The licensee has the right to use the licensor’s intellectual property as specified in the License Agreement. This may include using the licensor’s branding, logos, and product names.
- Exclusive or Non-Exclusive Rights: The License Agreement may grant the licensee either exclusive or non-exclusive rights to use the intellectual property within a defined territory or market segment.
- Payment Terms: The licensee may have agreed to pay royalties or license fees to the licensor based on sales, revenue, or other agreed-upon terms.
Responsibilities of Licensee:
- Quality Control: The licensee is often required to maintain the quality and standards associated with the licensed products. They must adhere to the licensor’s quality control guidelines, production methods, and ingredient sourcing to uphold the brand’s reputation.
- Compliance with Agreement: The licensee is responsible for adhering to all terms and conditions outlined in the License Agreement, including any restrictions on product development, marketing, or geographic reach.
- Reporting and Accounting: The licensee may be required to provide regular reports and accounting statements to the licensor, detailing sales, royalties, and any other financial matters as specified in the agreement.
- Indemnification: The licensee may agree to indemnify the licensor against any legal claims or disputes related to the licensed products or their use of the intellectual property.
- Termination Rights: The License Agreement may outline conditions under which the licensor can terminate the license, such as failure to meet quality standards or breach of contractual obligations.
- Marketing and Promotion: Depending on the agreement, the licensee may be responsible for marketing and promoting the licensed products in accordance with the licensor’s branding and marketing guidelines.
It’s essential for the licensee to fully understand and comply with the terms of the License Agreement to avoid potential legal issues and ensure a successful business relationship with the licensor. Legal counsel can help review and negotiate the terms to protect the licensee’s interests and rights while using the licensor’s intellectual property.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF LICENSE AGREEMENTS IN THE FOOD AND BEVERAGE INDUSTRY.
The Food and Beverages Industry is truly a giant in the American market. It represents a whopping US$2.03B revenue in 2022, and total revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2022-2027) of 12.41%, resulting in a projected market volume of US$3.80B by 2027. When it comes to strategizing licensing for food and beverage brands, it’s imperative to tailor your approach to the unique essence of your brand. There exists a myriad of licensing avenues open to such brands, each offering distinct advantages. One particularly promising route is “Food to Food” licensing, characterized by its potential for substantial profits, driven by the high volume of consumable food products. Furthermore, it can directly bolster the licensor’s core business by extending the flavor profile of an existing food product into closely related categories.
Nevertheless, as a brand proprietor, exercising prudence is paramount to avoid undermining your existing business. Careful deliberation is needed to determine whether a specific product should be handled internally or through a licensing agreement.
Whether your aim is to create fresh consumption opportunities, explore novel distribution channels, or infuse a unique flavor into your brand, delving into licensing within the food and beverage sector can prove to be a pivotal move with the potential to significantly impact your brand’s trajectory.
Food vs. Non-Food Licensing
Licensing extends beyond the realm of food and can significantly enhance a brand’s status. One way is by creating a sense of “badge status” where people proudly display the brand, such as when a well-known celebrity seen wearing it. For instance, a photograph of a famous actor spotted wearing a licensed food t-shirt or accessory posted on social media. Illustrating this concept. Additionally, branded products can help consumers recreate the brand experience or be linked to the use of core branded items, like restaurants of products that base their identity upon established brands (Bubba Gump restaurants, as well as a home appliance item that is branded with the name of a popular food or beverage logo on them), reinforcing the brand’s dominance in its category. Conversely, non-food brands can also enter the food market successfully, as seen in character-based products such as super hero themed cereals or snacks, particularly popular among children.
Securing a strong License Agreement for use as part of your food or beverage product strategy is a complex process that requires the guidance of an expert in the field. You can learn more about the process of how to get a food IP license by contacting us.
JURIS LAW GROUP’S DIVERSE PORTFOLIO: 25 CASE STUDIES
The arena of food and beverage licensing is a testament to creativity and strategic business growth. Juris Law Group has been at the forefront of this field, orchestrating diverse and impactful licensing agreements. Below is a non-exhaustive list of some of the major food and beverage license agreements. Licensing restaurant brands into supermarket products is nothing new. Brands like Marie Callendar’s (in pies and frozen dinners), TGI Friday’s (in frozen appetizers) and Taco Bell (in chips and other Frito-Lay products) started filling grocery shelves almost 20 years ago. Today, you can see more and more restaurant brands in your grocery aisle, all under a licensing arrangement. (17 Restaurant-Branded Groceries to Try — Eat This Not That) Whether deals that IMC Licensing (link IMC Licensing to Why Hire a Top Brand Licensing Agency? Examples | IMC Licensing) has strategized and negotiated (like Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory-branded cereals developed by Kellogg’s), there are a host of recent deals that have led to hundreds of millions of dollars of sales at retail. Our big question: what brands will be next?
- Gordon Ramsay: Gordon Ramsay is introducing his first line of frozen food, “By Chef Ramsay, currently available exclusively at Walmart. The range includes a variety of comfort food classics such as lasagna, shepherd’s pie, macaroni bake, mushroom risotto, chicken pot pie, lemon caper chicken, slow-roasted beef, shepherd’s pie, and fish and chips. Each meal represents a unique part of Ramsay’s culinary journey and can be reheated in minutes. Ramsay is excited to make his favorite dishes accessible to homes across the country and hopes they inspire home chefs. These frozen entrees are now available at Walmart locations nationwide. https://people.com/gordon-ramsay-launches-his-first-frozen-food-line-at-walmart-7852522
- Hooters ®: Hooters ® is a nationally recognized restaurant chain and brand and has entered the grocery store with their famous Hooters wing sauce and breading.
- Andrew Zimmern: Andrew Zimmern, the Emmy-winning TV personality and chef, has introduced his new frozen entrée line, ‘By Andrew Zimmern,’ currently available exclusively at Walmart stores nationwide. Drawing from his diverse experiences and personal recipes, Zimmern offers four meal varieties: Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese, Meatloaf, Turkey Dinner, and Swedish Meatballs. These frozen meals aim to provide comforting, chef-quality food with an emphasis on quality and convenience. Zimmern’s passion for food and cultural exploration is evident in this endeavor, allowing him to connect with more people and reshape the frozen food category. Each dish in the line tells a story of authentic flavors and family, reflecting Zimmern’s culinary expertise and dedication to the art of cooking. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/family-dinner-host-andrew-zimmern-130400912.html
- Kardea Brown: Delicious Eats by Kardea Brown, launched by acclaimed chef and host of Food Network’s ‘Delicious Miss Brown,’ Kardea Brown, brings a taste of comfort, warmth, and Southern flavor to kitchens nationwide. Available exclusively at Walmart stores, this frozen entrée line reflects Brown’s Southern heritage and culinary expertise. The offerings include Country Kitchen Fried Chicken, Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo, Chicken Pot Pie, and Sausage and Grits. Each dish captures the essence of Brown’s love for food and her Southern roots, aiming to evoke true feelings and emotions through its thoughtfully crafted flavors and ingredients. Kardea Brown’s heartfelt meals make the heartwarming flavors of Low Country cuisine accessible to home chefs and food enthusiasts, offering a taste of Southern hospitality and culinary finesse. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20231016137207/en/Introducing-Delicious-Eats-by-Kardea-Brown-%E2%80%93-a-New-Frozen-Entr%C3%A9e-Line-of-Southern-Inspired-Culinary-Creations
- Guy Fieri and Flavortown: Guy Fieri, the renowned celebrity chef, restaurateur, and Emmy Award-winning TV host, has introduced “Guy Fieri’s Flavortown,” a premium frozen entrée line available exclusively at Walmart stores across the United States. This culinary star’s new line offers a selection of his favorite meals, including Sweet and Sour Pork, Cheesy Lasagna with Pepperoni, Sloppy Joe Mac & Cheese, and a Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Bowl. Facilitated by IMG, Flavortown’s licensing representative, this partnership allows shoppers nationwide to enjoy dishes influenced by Fieri’s more than two decades of culinary travels and iconic career moments. These frozen meals can be quickly heated in a microwave oven and bring the flavors of Fieri’s signature dishes to the dining room table. https://www.frozenfoodsbiz.com/guy-fieris-flavortown-frozen-food-line-debuts-at-walmart-stores-in-us/ and https://www.foodandwine.com/guy-fieris-flavortown-meals-walmart-8384933
- Impossible Foods: Impossible Foods, a California-based plant-based meat company, has unveiled its latest food concept in the frozen aisle, “Impossible™ Bowls,” featuring single-serve frozen plant-based entrees that are ready in minutes. The lineup includes eight classic comfort dishes that utilize Impossible’s award-winning assortment of plant-based proteins, including beef, chicken, and pork. Some of the dishes include Sweet & Sour Impossible™ Pork, Teriyaki Impossible™ Chicken, Chili Mac with Impossible™ Pork, and more. These meals are designed for convenience and accessibility, making it easier for people to try plant-based options. Each 9oz Impossible Bowl is rich in protein (10g-13g), low in saturated fat, and free from cholesterol and trans fat. They are also environmentally friendly, with a smaller ecological footprint compared to animal-based proteins in terms of water consumption, land use, and greenhouse gas emissions. This launch follows a series of new retail products from Impossible Foods, including Impossible™ Chicken Patties, Impossible™ Sausage Patties, Impossible Wild Nuggies™, and Impossible™ Sausage Links, all aimed at providing plant-based alternatives to a wide audience. https://impossiblefoods.com/media/news-releases/impossible-foods-introduces-impossible-tm-bowls-new-plant-based-meals-in-the
- Hershey’s: Walmart has introduced a new line of frozen chocolate-covered fruit from Hershey’s and Reese’s, offering a sweet and fruity treat. This Walmart-exclusive lineup, expected to be available in other major grocery stores by 2024, includes four different combinations: Hershey’s white creme and milk chocolate frozen blueberries; Hershey’s white creme and milk chocolate frozen raspberries; Hershey’s cookies n’ creme frozen strawberries, coated in white creme and chocolate cookie pieces; and Reese’s frozen fruit banana slices, layered with chocolate and peanut butter over frozen banana pieces. The concept is reminiscent of a viral TikTok trend from earlier in the year, where users were creating similar chocolate-covered fruit clusters. Walmart Has New Frozen Chocolate-Covered Fruit from Hershey’s and Reese’s (yahoo.com)
- Tillamook: Tillamook County Creamery Association has introduced premium frozen meals, including Mac & Cheese and Crispy Stone-Fired Pizza, featuring their award-winning cheese. The Mac & Cheese comes in three flavors, and the pizzas in four. They aim to offer a restaurant-quality dining experience at home. Mac & Cheese is available now at select Target and Walmart locations, and the pizzas will be available in October at select retail stores. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/tillamook-debuts-premium-frozen-meals-mac–cheese-and-crispy-stone-fired-pizza-301907275.html
- Travis Kelce: Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has launched “Travis Kelce’s Kitchen,” a line of barbecue dishes available exclusively at select Walmart stores. The product range includes seven dishes inspired by the flavors of Kansas City, featuring macaroni and cheese, baked beans, brisket, and sausage options. Kelce’s love for food is not new, and he often discusses his culinary interests on his podcast, “New Heights with Jason and Travis Kelce.” The dishes aim to bring the taste of Kansas City barbecue to fans across the country and are now available in Walmart’s refrigerator aisle. https://people.com/travis-kelce-line-prepared-barbecue-meals-are-available-at-walmart-8379624
- TGI Friday’s: TGI Friday’s is launching four new restaurant-inspired single-serving frozen meals, expanding its presence in the frozen food category. These meals offer restaurant quality and innovation for convenient dining at home. The new entrées include: Whiskey-Glazed Chicken and Mashed Potatoes: Flame-grilled chicken with TGI Fridays’ whiskey BBQ glaze and mashed potatoes; Spicy Cajun Style Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo: Spicy Cajun-style sauce with white-meat chicken served over fettuccine; Spinach and Artichoke Sauce Chicken and Rice: Cheesy spinach and artichoke sauce with tender chicken over long-grain rice; and Whiskey-Glazed Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese: Slow-cooked pulled pork with whiskey BBQ glaze over mac n’ cheese. These frozen entrées are available at Walmart locations nationwide, offering a variety of dining options for consumers to enjoy at home. https://www.meatpoultry.com/articles/29229-tgi-fridays-serves-up-four-new-frozen-food-options
- Entenmann’s: Entenmann’s is introducing its Refrigerated Ready-To-Bake Cookie Dough, offering consumers a convenient way to enjoy their favorite Entenmann’s treats at home. Available at Albertson’s stores across the U.S., this new product line includes a range of flavors: Glazed Donut Cookie; Chocolate Chip Cookie; Chocolate Brownie Cookie and Cinnamon Toffee Cookie. These ready-to-bake cookies aim to provide the same love and flavor as Entenmann’s hallmark products, ensuring an enjoyable baking experience for consumers. This expansion into the ready-to-bake cookie dough category brings a fresh twist to home baking. https://www.snackandbakery.com/articles/109600-entenmanns-releases-ready-to-bake-cookie-dough-line
- Frank’s Red Hot: Vlasic has partnered with Frank’s RedHot to introduce three new pickle products that combine spicy cayenne pepper flavors from Frank’s with garlic dill from Vlasic. The varieties include Kosher Dill Wholes, Kosher Dill Chips, and Kosher Dill Spears, all infused with Frank’s RedHot Original sauce. https://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/24852-vlasic-brings-the-heat-with-new-franks-redhot-flavored-pickles
- Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey BBQ Meat: Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey has partnered with Completely Fresh Foods to introduce a range of pre-prepared, ready-to-eat meat entrees. This collaboration builds upon their 2009 partnership for the Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 brand. The initial offerings include various honey barbeque options like pulled pork, chicken, beef brisket, ribs, and chicken and beef strips. These products are currently available in select stores, with more options to come. All of them are infused with the distinct flavor of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey whiskey. These ready-to-eat meat entrees can be found at Walmart stores nationwide, with plans to expand to more retail locations in the future. https://www.licenseglobal.com/branded-products/jack-daniels-flavors-bbq-range
- Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7: The successful growth of the Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 line of barbecue meat products stands as a fantastic case study on the right way to earn and grow a blockbuster brand licensing agreement. With the success of the Jack Daniel’s line of barbeque and grilling sauces, the launch of Jack Daniel’s ready-to-eat entrees is a natural fit for the brand. The heat-and-serve offerings include baby back ribs, roasted beef brisket, pork loin, barbecue pulled pork, barbecue pulled chicken and other “center of the plate” home meal products. All varieties are prepared with the special flavoring of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey. Jack Daniel’s ready-to-eat meats were introduced into test markets in September, 2008 in Southern California and have since expanded distribution across the United States. Jack Daniel’s meat products are proving to be one of the fastest growing new meat product introductions in the last 10 years. Jack Daniel’s Meats: They know ‘Jack’ | 2020-02-19 | The National Provisioner (provisioneronline.com)
- Jack Daniel’s BBQ Sauce: Introduced as the new grilling sauce named after the popular whiskey Jack Daniel’s.
- Los Angeles Rams: Meat District has partnered with the Los Angeles Rams to introduce “The Champ” Burger, made from premium steak cuts of Chuck, Brisket, and Short-Rib Angus Beef. These butcher-crafted burgers come in co-branded packaging featuring the LA Rams logo, making them a perfect choice for tailgates and homegates. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/meat-district-partners-with-los-angeles-rams-to-introduce-the-champ-burger-301667983.html
- Pioneer Woman: Turns out the Pioneer Woman Instant Pot was only the beginning for Ree Drummond. Ree Drummond recently launched a line of Pioneer Woman entrées, sides and breakfast bowls at Walmart, inspired from her family’s most frequent meal requests and includes: Smothered Chicken; Fried Chicken; Classic Country Fried Steak; and Bacon Meatloaf. Ree Drummond Is Launching a Line of Pioneer Woman Food at Walmart (tasteofhome.com)
- Netflix Stranger Things Chicken Nuggets: In anticipation of the hit show’s fourth season – they debuted an unbelievable plant-based chicken in a nationwide activation. Skinny Butcher’s Crazy Crispy Chick’n Nuggets have become Walmart’s top-selling plant-based item and the third most popular frozen poultry substitute in the US. These nuggets, co-branded with Netflix’s Stranger Things series, gained significant attention on social media and are now available in thousands of Safeway and regional Costco locations. According to IRI data, Skinny Butcher’s nuggets at Walmart outsell the second-best selling plant-based item by 3 times in velocity and 2.3 times in dollar sales. The brand attributes its success to its fun and approachable branding, along with the product’s special double breading, pea protein, and proprietary spice blend, making it one of the tastiest and crispiest plant-based chicken options on the market. https://vegconomist.com/retail-e-commerce/skinny-butcher-nuggets-walmart-top-selling/
- Netflix Stranger Things/Scoops Ahoy: Scoops Ahoy, the iconic ice cream shop from “Stranger Things,” is making a comeback at Walmart. Starting on Sept. 13, U.S. and Australian stores will stock seven flavors of “Stranger Things” Scoops Ahoy Ice Cream, inspired by the beloved ice cream joint. While fans await the show’s fifth and final season, they can enjoy these unique flavors, including U.S.S. Butterscotch and Mint Flare. The ice cream will also be available in the U.K., Italy, Brazil, Mexico, and Japan. https://variety.com/2023/tv/news/stranger-things-ice-cream-walmart-1235721323/ and Netflix Drops ‘Stranger Things’ Ice Cream Inspired by the Show – and We Tried It (people.com) and A Scoops Ahoy Ice Cream Truck Is Hitting the Road for Stranger Things Day – Netflix Tudum
- Cinnabon: Cinnabon’s delectable treats are now available in the frozen food section of Walmart stores nationwide. The lineup includes both sweet and savory breakfast options, with items like Caramel Pecan Ooey-Gooey Rolls and a CinnaBiscuit Chicken Sandwich. Excitingly, this frozen food range will soon arrive at Target, Safeway, and Food Lion stores. Kristen Hartman, Cinnabon’s president, expressed their joy at extending the brand’s presence beyond bakeries, especially during the pandemic. These frozen treats start at $4.83 and complement existing Cinnabon products available in grocery stores. The launch places Cinnabon alongside sister brands Auntie Anne’s, Carvel, and Jamba in the freezer aisle. Frozen comfort foods, particularly breakfast items, are gaining popularity during these times. In the world of breakfast innovation, Cinnabon joins recent releases like Little Debbie’s Oatmeal Creme Pie Cereal and Hershey’s Reese’s Snack Cakes for breakfast. Comfort food enthusiasts can now enjoy Cinnabon’s delights conveniently at home with these frozen options. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/food/2020/09/14/walmart-cinnabon-grocery-stores-frozen-breakfast-foods-target/3467952001/
- Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc.: Since Wolfgang Puck’s first licensing venture in 1987, Wolfgang Puck has established a strong presence in the culinary world, and built upon this success by further developing his food and cookware product lines.
- SkinnyGirl: The Skinny Girl Dips, hummus, salsas, and soups are more than just delicious; they’re your guilt-free indulgence. These products are designed to not only tantalize your taste buds but also offer a perfect balance of natural ingredients, flavor, and enjoyment. Whether you’re dipping into one of our savory creations or savoring our flavorful soups, you can be confident in your choice for a wholesome and satisfying treat. https://issuu.com/tomlee7/docs/skinny-girl-dips.pptx
- Nestle and BuzzFeed: BuzzFeed’s Tasty brand is making its way into the freezer aisle with a delectable lineup of frozen treats in collaboration with Nestle. The Tasty Ice Cream selection offers four tantalizing options: Vanilla Galaxy Twist: Classic vanilla ice cream with blue frosting swirls, caramel stars, and rainbow sprinkles; Peanut Butter ‘S’mores Smash: A delightful blend of peanut butter-marshmallow ice cream, peanut butter cups, graham cracker crunchies, mini marshmallows, and a fudge swirl; Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Crunch: Chocolate ice cream filled with pretzel bites, a salted caramel swirl, and a satisfying crunch; and White Chocolate Raspberry Lava Cake: White chocolate flavored ice cream swirled with raspberry goodness and delectable pieces of cake. Eric Karp, head of licensing at BuzzFeed, expressed excitement about the partnership, saying, “Tasty and Nestle are both known for bringing fun treats to consumers everywhere, and we’re excited to combine the power of both brands to bring Tasty Ice Cream to fans all over the U.S.” Talia Halperin, general manager of Tasty Commerce, emphasized Tasty’s innovative approach and its mission to share delicious creations with consumers. The initial four flavors are currently available at grocery stores across the nation, and Tasty plans to introduce two more ice cream lines later in the year. With Tasty’s bold and creative take on beloved recipes, this frozen treat collection is sure to delight taste buds everywhere. https://www.licenseglobal.com/food-beverage/buzzfeeds-tasty-debuts-frozen-treats
- Moe’s Southwest Grill: Moe’s brings its bold southwest flavors to your home with Moe’s at Home Burrito Bowls, now available at your local grocery store. These flavor-packed bowls feature premium proteins on a bed of rice with your favorite ingredients. “We’re excited to extend a taste of our Moe’s products to the grocery consumer,” said Dave Mikita, SVP and President of Focus Brands Global Channels Team.
- Lorena Garcia: Recognized as one of the country’s leading Latina chefs, Lorena Garcia’s successful career includes a restaurant chain, published books, philanthropy, and multiple television show appearances in both the Hispanic and the general US market. Chef Lorena Garcia unveils “Latin Delights,” a culinary tribute inspired by cherished memories of her grandmother’s kitchen. Explore the Latin Delights Collection: Beef Lasagna: Seasoned beef, Mexican taco seasoning, Ricotta cheese, and roasted poblano peppers; Vegetable Lasagna: Spinach, ricotta, caramelized onions, roasted corn, poblano peppers, and Bechamel sauce; and, Chicken Lasagna: Shredded chicken, peppers, and tomato sauce, filled with tradition. https://www.cheflorenagarcia.com/latindelights
License agreements, like the ones above, were tackled by our team, led by food licensing expert Pejman Javaheri, and involved a variety of diverse issues and terms that required specifically tailored solutions. If you are interested in learning more about the process of securing a license for your food and beverage product, or in licensing your IP to a world class food & beverage manufacturer, contact the experts in food and beverage IP licensing.
GLOBAL BRANDS EMBRACING FOOD IP LICENSING
Learn lessons from veterans like Wolfgang Puck (5 Brilliant Business Lessons From Wolfgang Puck) but know that the trend of licensing intellectual property and brands for food products is not limited to large brands, but can be also exploited by small or niche brands. Major global entities have successfully ventured into this domain and some of the best selling food and beverage products in the world were created by the existence of an IP license between a major IP holder and a world class food or beverage product manufacturer. Below is a list of just some of the most successful license agreements in the food and beverage space:
- Baileys (Diageo): Coffee by Kraft Heinz, creamers by Danone, and ice cream by Nestle.
- Cinnabon (Focus Brands): Pillsbury Grands, creamer, baking kits, and foodservice channel features.
- Coca-Cola (The Coca-Cola Company): Tic Tac collaboration and fashion/beauty partnerships.
- Corona (Constellation Marketing): Apparel, accessories, barware, and home goods.
- Guinness (Diageo): Flavored brats, meatballs, fish, chocolate, chips, and apparel.
- Absolut and Kahlua: Espresso Martini Eau De Parfum collaboration.
- Sugarfina and Candy Land: Special tasting collection partnership.
- McCormick and Dough Doughnuts: Holiday-themed doughnut bites.
- Asembl and Pauls: Golden Gaytime-inspired toffee custard.
- Milk Bar and Got Milk?: Limited-edition holiday milk collection.
- Insight Editions: Official Crayola cookbook launch.
- Shake Shack and DreamWorks: ‘Trolls Band Together’ holiday shakes.
- Phillip Ashley Chocolates and Campbell’s: Recipe-inspired chocolate truffles.
- Pillsbury: Funfetti The Elf on a Shelf cookie mixes.
- BRACH’S and Warner Bros. Discovery: ‘Elf’ candy lineup.
- Bimber Distillery and Transport for London: Special spirit collection.
- RHS and House of Sarunds: Chocolates and confectionery partnership.
- Eggo and BISSELL: Limited-edition Eggovac collaboration.
- Boxed Water and Minions: Minions-inspired cartons.
- Keebler: Limited-edition ‘Elf’ cookies.
- Guy Fieri: Flavortown frozen food line introduction.
- Van Leeuwen and Kraft Heinz: Kraft Mac & Cheese ice cream.
- Dunkin’ and Danone: Salted caramel creamer partnership.
- Asembl and Menz Violet Crumble: Violet Crumble Protein Bars.
- G FUEL: ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ energy drink.
- Creme d’Or and Card Factory: ‘The Grinch’ confectionery range.
- Hershey’s (The Hershey Co.): HERSHEY’S KISSES licensed food innovations.
- Heinz, KoolAid, Oscar Mayer (The Kraft Heinz Co.): Apparel and tech accessories.
- SLUSHPUPPiE (ICEE Co.): Various food and beverage category licensing.
- Tasty (Buzzfeed): Kitchenware and books sold globally.
JURIS LAW GROUP CAN LEAD THE WAY
Pejman “P.J.” Javaheri is the founder of Juris Law Group, P.C., established in 2009. With a commitment to integrating legal excellence into business strategies, Javaheri leads a firm renowned for its expertise in areas such as Food & Beverage Law, Licensing & Brand Protection, Outside General Counsel, Consumer Products & Manufacturing, Corporate & Business Law, Family Office, and Business Affairs. Pejman Javaheri brings a unique and comprehensive approach to legal services, particularly in the realm of licensing agreements. Under his leadership, the firm has excelled in areas such as Food & Beverage Law, where his team supports a range of clients from agribusinesses to retailers. In Licensing & Brand Protection, Javaheri has led the firm to become a leader in the food and beverage space, expertly handling negotiations, terms sheets, and drafting industry-standard license agreements.
Pejman Javaheri also specializes in Outside General Counsel, providing strategic planning and comprehensive legal advice; Consumer Products & Manufacturing, focusing on compliance and risk management; Corporate & Business Law, offering a streamlined boutique approach; Family Office, delivering personalized counsel; and Business Affairs, where Javaheri’s team combines legal acumen with business insight.
His academic foundation in Political Science and Psychology from the University of California, Irvine, combined with a Juris Doctor from UC Hastings College of the Law, set the stage for a career marked by innovation and comprehensive legal solutions.
At Winston & Strawn, LLP, Javaheri refined his skills in corporate, real estate, and finance law. He is celebrated for his role as a strategic business planner and legal expert, earning the title Chief ‘Get Sh!t Done’ Officer™ for his dynamic, results-oriented approach. His leadership in community involvement is highlighted by his prestigious role on the Los Angeles Trial Lawyers’ Charities (LATLC) Honorary Board of Directors.
Embodying ethics, commitment, professionalism, confidentiality, and creativity, Javaheri’s approach is defined by integrity, a client-focused urgency, and a constant drive for innovation. At Juris Law Group, he not only provides legal solutions but also nurtures the growth and success of his clients’ businesses and ventures, adapting to their evolving needs.
Food IP licensing offers a unique opportunity for brand expansion and consumer engagement. Juris Law Group’s experience in facilitating diverse licensing agreements, coupled with the growing trend of major brands entering this space, underscores the potential of this sector. If you are considering leveraging your IP in the food and beverage industry, our team at Juris Law Group is equipped to guide you through this journey. Contact our expert food and beverage licensing lawyers today.