September 25, 2006

Hmm. Peeling The Phil & Teds Apple

Phil & Teds Latte Shaker umix_travel_bottle.JPG

As DT reader Throkky pointed out, this new/coming soon product from Phil & Teds, the Latte Shaker, looks like it's actually not new, at all. The patented Umix Travel Bottle [above left, er, I mean, right] has been around for several years already.

Of course, P&T has folded other companies' products into its own mix already: that Me Too portable chair [visible in the background; those baby dolls are sitting in them] was an independent product which, according to P&T/Regal Lager, they manufactured for the founders [and handled non-US markets for], but who were recently bought out.

But I don't think that's what happened here. The Umix website touts their product's new distribution agreement with another company seeking to create an umbrella baby brand, Sunshine Kids [of folding carseat fame]. [Note to Sunshine: I love the car seat, but the retail presence design round goes to Phil & Teds.]

This may all be insider baseball, [or insider curling, depending on your interest level] But the Baby Industrial Complex's conventional wisdom seems to be that single-product or even single-category companies still don't have a chance, and that conglomerated, integrated brands and lifestyle solutions are where it's at. Or that people just want the cupholder--and the bottle--to match the stroller.

Meanwhile, as another reader pointed out in email, the Mutsy folks might be calling to get their emoticonny logo concept back:

mutsy_logo.jpg :: phil_n_teds_logo.jpg

Guess I won't be leveraging the glowing posts for giant ad campaign sales this week.

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