|GHQ|NONFOODS FOR PROFIT
outside the greetings department, including a
display of cards that can be sold next to gift
cards during Christmas, Mother’s Day and
There is also national marketing. Young
notes that Hallmark has a long history of marketing greeting cards on TV, radio, digital and
social media. One recent campaign was the
Mother’s Day campaign (#NoOrdinaryCard)
for its Signature card line, with ads on syndicated television, digital, radio and social
The products from Multipet International—
which include the popular Loofa dog toys and
other toys—are all created by the Moonachie,
N.J.-based company’s design team or have been
brought in by outside designers. “By working
with our own creations it gives us an advantage
as we don’t carry me-too type product that is
found when companies use trading companies
to source product,” says Leslie Yellin, executive
vice president. “This is one of the toughest and
most rewarding aspects of product design and
we are continually mastering it by bringing
original product to the market.”
Multipet also makes sure the products
sell well in stores. The company continu-
ally updates the products’ packaging to meet
consumers’ needs. “By calling out the spe-
cific functions of our toys it helps purchas-
ing decisions become quick and easy,” Yellin
says. “What we have learned by working with
consumer focus groups is that customers want
to know what a product does in a five-second
window of time.”
One way to innovate is to use new fabrics.
Multipet is forever traveling the world look-
ing for new materials, Yellin says. Some fabrics
are available only in certain areas and are not
available to common trade. The company also
owns many design patents.
This year Multipet entered several new categories, including grooming, treats, carriers
and more. “By expanding we have been able
to incorporate Multipet’s signature designs
and innovation and bring to our customers
a greater selection that ties in with our other
brands,” says Yellin.
IDEAVILLAGE PRODUCTS CORP.
Ideavillage Products Corp., which develops
and markets its wares under the As Seen On
TV banner, debuted several products in the
past year. Hamper Hoops is a basketball hoop
and backboard that hangs on the door to children’s bedrooms to get the kids to toss their
laundry into the hamper below. Miss Belt
wraps around the waist and uses compression technology to help women get an hourglass shape, and is available in black or nude.
Magic Pens Amazing Color Changing Pens
feature erasable colors so the user can write
and decode secret messages and create three-dimensional colors.
One of the Wayne, N.J.-based company’s
WHINK PRODUCTS CO.
biggest hits is Snackeez, which company offi-
cials say was a Product of the Year in 2015 and
voted the No. 1 kids’ novelty item in a survey
of 40,000 consumers by TNS. Snackeez is a
combination snack and drink cup, and holds
a beverage and snack in one container. The
company has expanded the product line with
licensed Snackeez from the Disney movie
Frozen design. Also new is Snackeez DUO,
which holds any 12-ounce drink in the cup
while the 6-ounce snack bowl nests into the
cup’s rim and snaps in place for a tight seal.
The snack and drink cup includes a straw
and a no-spill, flip-top snack bowl lid, and is
designed to be disposable.
Next year will be Whink Products
Co.’s 70th anniversary. The
company, based in Eldora, Iowa,
is keeping up with changing
times by updating its equipment
and adding robotics to some
systems. Steve Throssel, Whink
CEO, says the new machinery
will not cause any employees
to be laid off, but will help the
company fill retail orders more
quickly. “The larger retailers
are giving us shorter lead times
to deliver product and we are
a small company using lean
manufacturing,” he says. “We
are redoing our entire filling line and mixing room. We are upgrading our facilities to
incorporate the most modern technology.”
This year, Whink launched several items.
Whink Lime and Rust Remover is now packaged in a 32-ounce economy-size squeezable
brown bottle, and is formulated to clean a variety of surfaces such as shower door glass and
stainless steel sinks. Whink Lime and Rust
Remover also cleans stubborn deposits. Also
new is a Mossy Oak laundry detergent with the
same scent-killing properties as the pre-soak.
The lack of scent on clothing is important to
the product’s main target audience, hunters.
The Mossy Oak agreement has been extended
and Whink will soon launch additional cleaning and scent neutralizing products for the
outdoorsman’s laundry needs. The company
also makes Game Stain Remover, which has
been so well received in some areas that one
retailer sells it year-round, and merchandises
it in an end cap during hunting season.