Cannabis is ‘poised to disrupt virtually every consumer industry,’ from food and drink, beauty, and wellness, to the likes of home and garden, tourism and more, according to Beanstalk’s CEO and president, Allison Ames.
The remarks landed amid a three-day celebration of the global licensing industry in Las Vegas, where Licensing Expo 2019 played host to some of the leading innovators in the cannabis licensing space, that included Beanstalk’s own partnership with the PRØHBTD brand.
Presenting a new perspective on the licensing space, and the manner in which consumers will engage with brands in the coming years, Ames, alongside Beanstalk’s co-founder and chairman, Stone Newman hit upon the growing market for cannabis consumer products, stating that the success of the market will hinge on a softer approach.
“Starting where mainstream consumers are more comfortable is a good approach – for example, building a non-consumable cannabis brand that celebrates the therapeutic health and wellness benefits of cannabis – and this will require creative licensing to extend such a brand to lifestyle categories,” continued Ames.
“Over time, the licensors of these programmes will likely be both cannabis brands and other consumer brands incorporating cannabis into their product lines.”
Beanstalk has recently entered into a partnership with PRØHBTD, a global consumer goods and content company in the cannabis and hemp industry, and will represent some of its brands, including Hempathy and Ceeby Dee’s, a hemp-derived dietary supplement.
“As companies seek to knock down taboos and change the current language of cannabis to something more mainstream, smart licensing arrangements will be important tools. The most effective licensing programs will be those that educate consumers and gain their trust,” added Ames.
Beanstalk will help identify manufacturer and retailer partners to extend its new partner brands into lifestyle categories such as health and beauty, food and beverage, apparel and accessories and home décor, among others.
Meanwhile, Beanstalk has also highlighted a coming surge in the food and beverage licensing market, taking the opportunity to showcase its own expertise in the area, a market where it has seen much success with its Bailey’s licensing programme, to name only one.
“We are a hyper-foodie culture. Licensing has always been important in the sector, but it’s on fire now,” stated Ames. “Smart food marketers are realising that licensing is the best way to get more and different types of consumers to literally taste their brand.”
Further examples of Beanstalk operating successfully in this space include an upcoming Guinness Beer Battered fish sandwich at a quick-service restaurant, Godiva-branded products in baking and desserts, and Morton’s extension beyond salt to seasoning, sauces, marinades and condiments.
Experiential marketing, such as branded pop-ups, restaurants, cafes and hotels, will increasingly be driven by licensing, Ames said. “Experiential marketing is gaining more and more traction as one of the most authentic ways consumers can immerse themselves in a brand’s ethos and quality and implementing a licensing model is a smart way to make it happen.”
Beanstalk is helping launch the Baileys Treat Bar over the next year in four countries. The Treat Bars will be gathering places for hot drinks, custom cocktails and other food offerings that highlight Baileys as an indulgent treat. The company has also worked with Taco Bell to plan The Bell, a temporary hotel to open in Palm Springs for which licensees will provide exclusive merchandise that will be sold on premise and online.
Stone Newman, concluded: “If you understand where, when and how consumers are shopping today, you will understand how licensing is an increasingly integral part of the shopping ‘conversation’ and the future of retail.”