It’s safe to say that Dr. Dionne Laslo-Baker won’t “Let it Go” — not this deal anyway. After a year of negotiation, her company DeeBee’s Organics was awarded the opportunity to license Disney Frozen 2 Magic Ice Wand popsicles and freezies, part of the merchandising around the sequel to the animated film Frozen, which earned over $1.2 billion globally.
“It was interesting because Disney said to me early on, ‘You are exactly who we want to partner with,’” Laslo-Baker says.
“They wanted to create healthier products and they loved the fact that I was female, and that I’m a mom and a medical scientist; and that we are a certified organic company and we were able to meet their health guidelines.”
The original deal, signed in fall 2019, was for distribution across Canada, but after launching the frozen popsicles — which feature characters Anna, Elsa and Olaf from the movie — in December, the scope was broadened to include the U.S. market.
“Four days after we made the U.S. agreement with Disney, I met with Kroger, which is the second largest retailer in the U.S.,” Laslo-Baker says. “They’re doing a national launch across their entire chain, from coast to coast, of our Disney products, as well as our DeeBee’s SuperFruit Freezies.”
DeeBee’s is also in discussion with Walmart (U.S.) and Costco about spring 2020 launches of the Disney line.
It’s an impressive trajectory from a company that was started in the family kitchen in 2012. DeeBee’s originally made TeaPops but evolved their line-up to focus on Organic FruitPops and then SuperFruit Freezies, which Laslo-Baker calls their “hero product.” The first contact with Disney came about from DeeBee’s existing distribution partnership with Walmart in the U.S.
“We actually created a product to launch into Walmart U.S.A. and the team we were working with in Bentonville said to us, ‘You guys would be a perfect match for Disney,’” Laslo-Baker says.
“Now we’ve got interest from Asia and Europe. We’re not going there quite yet but our little Victoria company is making a stamp all over.”
This article is from the February/March 2020 issue of Douglas.