Brand licensing brings Van Gogh cafes and royal recipes to Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 January, 2014, 3:59am
UPDATED : Friday, 03 January, 2014, 4:29am

A developing industry in brand licensing is bringing Van Gogh-themed cafes and the British royal family's favourite cakes into Hong Kong.

Big brands like art museums, football clubs and famous universities are selling their names to manufacturers to make a profit and promote themselves to different parts of the world, while the manufacturers save the time and capital required in creating a brand for their products.

"It's the most worthwhile business in the world," said Raymond Yip Chak-yan, assistant executive director of the Trade Development Council.

The council will be holding the 12th international licensing show at the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai on Monday, featuring more than 230 exhibitors.

One of them, Long Wise Inc, is a licensing agent for the Van Gogh Museum in Holland. It is planning to open a Van Gogh-themed cafe in Hong Kong in the coming year and a hotel in the next two years, also with the impressionist master's works as a theme.

"Art licensing is only at the start-up stage in Hong Kong. We're expecting more museums and artists to join the industry," said Priscilla Wong Hei-see, the agent's managing director.

Another new area in the licensing industry is food and beverages in which the Foron Group is one of the first Hong Kong licensing agents.

The group has bought the licence for Royal Touch, a brand created by Carolyn Robb, who was a chef for the British royal household for 13 years.

It is now planning to open a bakery café in the Central-Wan Chai area which will feature royal dishes including Prince William's favourite chocolate biscuit cake, which he used for his wedding.