The Kishore Biyani-promoted Future Group, which runs India's largest retail chain in both value and lifestyle formats, has entered into a co-branding deal with Marvel, a part of The Walt Disney Company, to create new categories in the kids' personal care segment.
The Group, which runs retail chains such as Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar and Pantaloons, plans to launch, in the next one week, a kids range of handwash products under its private brand Caremate, with Marvel characters like Snow-white and Spiderman in a co-branding deal.
"We are the first Indian retail player to have entered into a co-branding deal with the world's largest comic book and action hero company Marvel Entertainment to launch a kids range of Personal care products with our private brands.
We will initially start with launching kids handwash range, as this is practically untapped category," Future Group Head (Private Brands) Devendra Chawla told PTI here.
Future Group already has a co-branding deal with Walt Disney for its Tasty Treat brand, comprising cereals and jam.
The Walt Disney Co, creater of iconic characters such as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, had in 2009 acquired Marvel Entertainment for about USD 4 billion.
Marvel counts among its characters well-known properties such as Spider-Man, Iron Man, the X-Men, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Thor and Captain America, antagonists such as Doctor Doom, the Green Goblin, Magneto, Galactus, and the Red Skull among others, which are extremely popular among kids.
"Future Group is the largest player in India and the association with the group will help both the companies to develop and grow more and more categories for children," Marvel Vice-President Roshini Bakshi said.
The co-branding licensing is a strategy Marvel follows globally as it has tied-up with Carrefour in Europe, Wal-Mart in the US and Tesco in the UK for licensing out its characters for different products starting from soaps to apparel for the kids.
The kids personal care category in India is around Rs 300 crore and growing at 20-25 per cent. The overall personal care segment would be around Rs 22,400 crore and growing at 16 per cent annually.
Even as the buying patterns of an average Indian family has undergone a sea change in the last one decade, the retail and FMCG players are also working on creating new categories and launching different product for each and every member of the family and while there are kids shampoos and toothpaste, the handwash category is yet to be created.
With Marvel as a partner, Future group feels it can inculcate good hygeine among kids besides boosting their sales, Chawla said.
"The idea is to grow penetration and consumption in all categories. We feel that we will expand the kids personal care category by another 15 per cent in our stores," he said.
Post the launch of kids handwash, the company wants to extend the licensing deal to shampoos and paper napkins, he added.