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The Los Angeles Daily News reports that the Walt Disney Co. plans to enter the food business with a comprehensive selection of frozen and nutritionally balanced products that will begin being seen on store shelves by spring 2005.

The company already has a small food manufacturing business in Europe, and the company plans to follow the US rollout with an expansion of its food presence across the pond.

Rather than partnering with existing manufacturers to market products using Disney’s name and characters, Disney reportedly plans to work with US grocery chains – as yet unnamed – to manufacture these products, which will be positioned as “low cost,” according to the Daily News.

In Europe, Disney has been partnering with Tesco.
KC's View:
Whatever retailer decides to get into business with Disney, we suggest that it try to get the same deal that Michael Ovitz got. This way, if it goes badly, Disney will pay off with a failure fee worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

We think that the Disney name has very little credibility or equity in the food area – after all, when was the last time anyone got a decent meal at Disneyland? Retailers should spend more time focusing on their own brand and achieving greater expertise in the food area, and not waste time and money creating an alliance that could end up being folly.