Publishing companies are looking for revenue wherever they can find it, and now Meredith Corp. has inked two licensing deals for its Shape and EatingWell titles that take it into activewear and frozen food.
Fitness-inspired Shape, which Meredith acquired last January from American Media, has struck a deal with Apparel Bridge LLC for Shape Active. Shape Active is an activewear collection designed for women, and it marks the title’s first licensing agreement.
The collection, which is characterized as “moderately priced,” will appear on dickssportinggoods.com, kohls.com and Equinox gyms with additional partners expected, including Amazon. Shape’s price point hovers in the $64 to $108 range, which makes it comparable to apparel from Gap’s Athleta. The collection can be found at ShapeActive.com.
Like rivals in the space, Shape showcases colorful, printed tights, cropped jackets and tops fabricated from moisture-wicking performance materials, such as its trademarked DryFuze fabric.
Star Branding partner Andy Hilfiger, brother of Tommy Hilfiger, facilitated the partnership between Shape and Apparel Bridge.
“Blending active apparel and a media property is innovative and very exciting,” Hilfiger said. “Retailers need fresh brands and Shape Active, which has both the performance and the fashion women want today, is positioned to deliver what retailers are looking for in this fast-growing apparel category.”
That may be so, but the category already is flush with mainstay players such as Lululemon Athletica, Nike and Under Armour, as well as with smaller brands such as Outdoor Voices, Mara Hoffman Activewear, Sweaty Betty and No Ka’ Oi.
And after burning calories wearing Shape Active, Meredith wants its readers to head to the freezer and pull a meal out from another of its titles, EatingWell; it has signed a multiyear deal with Bellisio Foods Inc. The agreement for healthy frozen food may sound a bit familiar, though: Condé Nast’s Self had tried its hand at frozen foods with Benevida Foods in 2014 but with little success.
The partnership with Bellisio marks Meredith Brand Licensing group’s first expansion into the retail consumable food category. EatingWell’s frozen products will be available for consumer purchase at supermarkets and retail grocery stores in the fall. Meredith did not specify which stores would carry the goods, but it did note that it would focus on single-serve frozen entrées with other snacks such as appetizers and desserts to follow. A selection of recipes will be developed between EatingWell and Bellisio, as well.
“The EatingWell brand is perfectly positioned to help meet the ever-increasing demand from our consumers for remarkably delicious, authentic and convenient food products that fit their healthful lifestyles,” said Bellisio Foods chairman and chief executive officer Joel Conner.