Disney gets a taste for fresh fruit
Disney has begun licensing fresh fruit in European supermarkets as it tries to jump onto the healthy eating bandwagon and banish the memory of its association with McDonald's.
Shoppers at Tesco are already able to buy Disney satsumas and the company is looking to branch out into apples and bananas. The branding involves putting "collectible" stickers on the skin of the fruit, which can then be transferred into a sticker book.
Disney has just started selling satsumas in Tesco, offering stickers of Winnie the Pooh on the fruit.
Andy Mooney, chairman of Disney Consumer Products, said: "We are trying to develop 'better for you' [food] ranges for kids."
Disney works with a marketing and sourcing company that has a relationship with Tesco. The company liaises with Tesco's produce buyers to find fruit that fits Tesco's needs, and pays Disney a royalty to use its brand.
Disney also licenses baby tomatoes at French retailer Champion, and plans to launch more fruit and vegetables shortly. It says mini bananas are on sale in Germany at retailer Metro and that it will launch several stone fruit items this month in the US in partnership with Imagination Farms.
Disney has launched about 300 new food products in Europe over the past year as it extends the kinds of products it licenses.
Its existing food products include pasta, pizza and beef burgers in the shape of Mickey Mouse. These are sold in Carrefour supermarkets in France and Metro supermarkets in Germany.
It is now targeting healthy foods as it seeks to disassociate itself from products that can be linked to childhood obesity.
Disney recently decided not to renew a 10-year global promotional contract with McDonald's. The contract expires at the end of the year. Mr Mooney said Disney wanted to be associated with "healthier" areas of the food business.