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Dixie: More than just cups

Seeking opportunities to grow its brand beyond its core product line of disposable cups, plates and cutlery, Dixie, a unit of Georgia-Pacific Corporation, for the first time is licensing its name — including to one home textiles company.

Elizabeth, NJ-based Best Brands Home Products will create a new line of table linens and kitchen textiles – including tablecloths, placemats, coasters, aprons, pot holders, oven mitts, kitchen towels and dishcloths.

"This agreement helps us cost-effectively extend the Dixie brand into a broader range of complementary food and special occasion products, without requiring capital investments to produce these items ourselves, and without the time and cost of developing new relationships in these categories," said Sean Fallman, vp/gm, Dixie Retail. "This is an excellent opportunity for Dixie to grow our revenue through royalties and expand our brand's presence into additional areas of leading supermarkets and mass retailers."

The broader licensing effort also includes some non-textile companies, among them manufacturers of serving trays, pitchers, serving and cooking utensils, and aluminum bake ware.

The other new licensees are Denver-based Navajo Manufacturing Co. and Buffalo Grove, Ill.-based InGear Corporation. Navajo will produce straws, toothpicks, baking cups, bag clips, can/bottle openers, balloons, banners, streamers and horns. InGear Corporation will produce insulated coolers, soft-sided meal carriers, insulated bottle wraps and insulated soft-sided jugs.

The new products will begin appearing in stores in 2004.

Under the agreement, the companies will produce and distribute a range of products under the Dixie® and Krazy Kritters™ brands that will be marketed and sold at supermarkets, drugstores and convenience stores nationwide.

Shane Silver, senior brand manager, Dixie, said his company hopes to increase household penetration of its products by leveraging its new licensees' distribution channels, which include specialty stores.

One method helping Dixie's effort is exploring the possibility of developing in-store marketing programs — end-caps and palettes, for example — that included coordinated Dixie and licensed merchandise.

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