This month Baby Brands Direct is delighted to share an interview with Chris Tough, the Category Marketing Manager at Munchkin! A must read for retailers stocking the Munchkin brand, with insights into the Company’s foundation, direction and success.
Who founded the Company and what was the inspiration behind setting it up?
The company was founded by Steven B. Dunn in 1991 and the inspiration behind the company came after the birth of Steven B. Dunn’s daughter, Beau in 1987.
Steven was surprised at the lack of creative design in the infant and toddler category so decided to start Munchkin. In 1995, Munchkin was granted what would be the first of over 180 patents.
Where does the brand position itself in the market and why?
Munchkin is on a mission to “BE THE MOST LOVED BABY LIFESTYLE BRAND IN THE WORLD” which means making relevant and clever solutions for living a carefree and happy life.
What are the key product categories that the Company operates in and what approximate % of each do they make up in the portfolio?
We split our portfolio into four main categories and the breakdown is approximately:
20% Bath & Diapering
20% Nursery & Travel
30% Safety & Accessories
30% Cups & Feeding
Which category is Munchkin best known for?
Munchkin is widely known in many categories and we aim to have a touch point with parents throughout their parenting journey. Essentially, our products are designed to make parent’s lives easier and more enjoyable.
The Miracle cups have been a huge success. How has this affected the toddler cups market?
According to GFK data (to July 2017), Munchkin has gone from having just 12% of the cups market to now having over ¼ of the market!
This has been done while growing the cups market in the UK to over £4.5m (+5%).
Munchkin LATCH is relatively new to market. What research was carried out before launching it? What key USPs should retailers be aware of ?
We worked closely with a lactation and breastfeeding consultant to get the proposition right and did extensive consumer research – both online and in focus groups – to ensure we had the product and messaging that mums’ wanted.
Munchkin has a huge consumer fan base. How many Facebook fans does the Company attract? What types of posts are popular with its followers?
We now have over 650,000 followers on our Facebook channel and over 125,000 followers across Instagram too. Our followers love competitions – They are extremely popular, but then, who doesn’t want to win fantastic Munchkin products!
Do you know how many awards the Company and its products have won globally?
Countless! Some of our most recent ones include:
- Best Baby and Toddler Gear Awards (Mumii) 2017
- CONSUMER CHOICE award (Feeding & Food Preparation For Weaning) – Munchkin Go Mash™ Food Mashing Set
- GOLD award (Bathtime Toy category) – Munchkin Fishin’ Bath Toy
- GOLD award (Toddler/Training Cup) – Munchkin Miracle® 360° Sippy Cup
- Prima Baby Awards (2016)
- Gold award (Bathtime accessory) – HATCH bath toy.
Can you tell us by what % the Company has grown in the last 5yrs? Or indicate any market share figure to help guide independent retailers on why they should have confidence in stocking this brand?
We are the bestselling brand in bath in the UK (NPD Group to July 2017) and have grown to be the number two brand across both cups and feeding with the ambition to become number one in the next year.
Members of the Munchkin team took part in the London Marathon to raise money for charity. Please tell us more about who is involved, the charities and how we can contribute.
There were nine people from Munchkin involved and we called ourselves “the Munchkin Milers”. We completed the marathon for Sparks Children’s charity and raised almost £27,000! Sparks Children’s Charity is part of Great Ormand Street Hospital and fund pioneering medical research to improve the lives of children & babies helping to find new treatments and cures for children and families who desperately need them.
What’s your all-time favourite movie and why?
Toy Story – it’s a film I can watch over and over again and it never gets boring and takes me back to my childhood. To infinity and beyond!
What super power would you love to have and why?
Flying – I wouldn’t need to sit in traffic on my way to work and I could visit anywhere in the world on a whim!
City break or beach break?
City Break – I get bored easily on beach breaks and there is so much to see and do in the city, it keeps me entertained