Co-Branding a Powerful Tool to Pique Consumer Interest

co-branding interest

Oreo cookies and Breyers Ice Cream, Mike’s Hot Honey and Lou Malnati’s pizza, Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger and Crocs – these are but a few of the well-known brands that have teamed up in a co-branding effort to boost sales and generate interest.

Whether successful or not, combining two iconic brands has shock value.

Joey Parris, chief marketing officer at beverage company Patco Brands, told The Food Institute co-branding provides the unique experience for which consumers are looking.

“We’ve also found that working with a partner from a different category unlocks a new world of creativity for brand expression,” Parris said.

To celebrate Cinco de Mayo on May 5, Parris said the company is rolling out Tajin-a-Rita in Cinco Seconds, a ready to drink Rancho La Gloria margarita with Tajin chili lime seasoning.

“The recipe is simple: Rim glass with Tajin, pour over ice and enjoy within seconds,” Parris said.

Ernie Savo, president of Hershey Licensing Co. told Food Processing (March 13) co-branding can be a strategic lever to increasing brand awareness and loyalty.

“It’s exciting to see shoppers engage with our brands within several top categories of food and general merchandise,” Savo said. “Having a large presence in key spaces has allowed Hershey to capitalize on emerging trends, and has enabled Hershey to reach new audiences, leading Hershey to achieve a valuation of $1.9 billion in global licensed retail sales.”

Kellogg Co. announced it is teaming up with Crocs to create limited-edition shoes featuring Tony the Tiger and Toucan Sam. Shoppers will get a box of cereal with their shoe purchase and a QR code for a free Jibbitz charm. The shoes go on sale for $70 in June.

Chef and author Adonis Icalina told FI he’s seen co-branding in action at his restaurant, Don’s Manok.

“When we introduced a dish that combined two popular Filipino flavors, like our adobo chicken with a spicy-sweet mango salsa, it became an instant hit,” Adonis said. “People are drawn to familiar flavors, and when you merge them into one delicious package, it creates an irresistible temptation for customers.

“Co-branding, like what you see with Oreo Funfetti cake mix, offers several benefits beyond just appealing to consumers’ favorite tastes. Firstly, it leverages the existing brand loyalty of both parties involved. Oreo and Funfetti are already established names in their respective markets, so when they join forces, they bring their loyal customer bases along with them. It’s like a built-in audience waiting to try the new product.”

Caleb Dueck, director of operations at Sperry Honey, said it boils down to curiosity.

“When people see a co-branded package, they often unconsciously imagine how the two products would taste paired,” Dueck noted.

Take the case of Doritos and Taco Bell and the creation of Doritos Locos Tacos, said Alfred Goldberg, chief brand strategist at Absolute Marketing Solutions. The complementary nature of the brands created a synergy that attracted new customers to both products.

“In the food industry, notable collaborations include Hershey’s and Ocean Spray’s dark chocolate cherry-infused cranberry bites and the partnership between Ben and Jerry’s and New Belgium. Both companies are B-corporations, sharing similar values and customer bases, and they jointly launched products like the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ale and the Salted Caramel Brown-ie Ale Ice Cream Flavor,” Goldberg said.

The Food Institute Podcast

From lattes to chicken sandwiches to desserts, it seems every restaurant is hopping on the limited-time offer (LTO) craze to drive traffic and check growth. But is this really having the desired effect? Datassential vice president of sales Megan Lynberg discusses the historical data on LTOs, popular LTO items, and other strategies companies are using to inspire growth.