Licensees Focus

The Very Hungry Caterpillar partners with JoJo Maman Bébé for new five-piece apparel range

3 May - 2019

DTR children’s apparel agreement brings brand to more than 90 stores across the UK and Ireland as well as JoJo Maman Bébé’s US stores.

Rocket Licensing, the licensing agent for Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar in the UK and Eire, has announced a major direct to retail (DTR) licensing agreement for the much-loved caterpillar with JoJo Maman Bébé, the UK’s favourite boutique mother and baby brand.

The first-ever JoJo Maman Bébé The Very Hungry Caterpillar apparel range, aimed at children aged 0-6, is available in more than 90 JoJo Maman Bébé stores nationwide and online from the 1st of May. The range will also be sold in JoJo Maman Bébé’s US stores and online in the US from the 13th of May. The five-piece range is comprised of a t-shirt top, a romper, a leggings and t-shirt set and two sleepsuits.

Signature JoJo stripes and a bold Very Hungry Caterpillar feature on the t-shirt top, while The Very Hungry Caterpillar Romper adds bright, bold lettering and a sweet red apple to the traditional jersey romper with classic Breton stripes. A cosy leggings and t-shirt set, perfect for everyday wear, and two sleepsuits – one with ‘Tiny and Very Hungry’ lettering and one featuring a sweet selection of colourful, delicately embroidered fruit – make up the set.

The collection will be merchandised in stores on a feature display alongside other popular The Very Hungry Caterpillar licensed products: Rainbow Design toys and Penguin books, with product by Paul Lamond Games displayed in the main range.

The new collection will be supported by PR and marketing initiatives, including a social influencer campaign and social media competitions.

This major agreement not only underlines the continuing strength of the brand but is an important part of The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s 50th anniversary celebrations – celebrations that have seen multiple licensees coming to retail this year in areas as diverse as toiletries, jewellery, backpacks, personalised gifts, educational butterfly-and-insect sets and playnests.

These new additions join an impressive raft of established licensees launching new ranges for the anniversary – such as Rainbow Designs Ltd with its new Tiny and Very Hungry Caterpillar collection of infant toys, and Dennicci’s new babywear collection. New product is also on the way or available across other areas such as dress-up, gardening products and social stationery.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar publisher Puffin is planning to publish no fewer than six new books in this anniversary year including a gold 50th anniversary edition, supported by a PR and marketing campaign that includes Very Hungry Birthday Parties across hundreds of bookshops, a major online campaign, lighting up London with butterfly projections, and placement of our favourite caterpillar across a range of print, online and broadcast media.

A busy programme of competitions, readings, retail events, new licences, online and magazine promotions and support from women’s, kids’ and parenting print and online media will continue to extend public awareness of the brand’s big birthday in 2019, not to mention the live show and the biggest-and-best-ever Giant Wiggle campaign – for the charity Action for Children – which is now in its fifth year.

With worldwide book sales of The Very Hungry Caterpillar in excess of 50 million, this is one of the most popular children’s characters in publishing – or any other medium – renewing and growing his audience with every new generation. In the UK, the world’s favourite caterpillar has already inspired lines of developmental toys, plush, games, bedding, apparel, puzzles, craft and activity sets, greeting cards, toiletries and much more.

The licensing campaign for The World of Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar is managed in the UK by independent licensing company Rocket Licensing through the worldwide agent, The Joester Loria Group. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is the centrepiece of the successful global licensing campaign around The World of Eric Carle brand, which brings together the much-loved, multi-million-selling works of author and artist Eric Carle.

JoJo Maman Bébé was founded in 1993 by Laura Tenison MBE and has grown to become the UK’s leading mother and baby multi-channel boutique brand, designing and retailing high-quality, imaginative, practical clothing and products for pregnant women and families with young children.

Mel Brown, Design Director at JoJo Maman Bébé, says: “As one of the first books many children are introduced to, and a character loved by all ages, The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a perfect inspiration for children’s apparel. We’re delighted to have the chance to bring The Very Hungry Caterpillar to both our clothing ranges and our stores.”

Rob Wijeratna, Joint Managing Director of Rocket Licensing, says: “JoJo Maman Bébé, a leading mother and baby brand and a design innovator, has brilliantly adapted The Very Hungry Caterpillar to a stylish, witty and appealing range of children’s apparel. I’m sure that young kids – and their parents – will find this range irresistible.

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