If consumers and buyers have noticed that Smileys are popping up on packaging everywhere, there’s a good reason why: consumer insights have shown that Smiley creates on-shelf stand out, improves positive perception of products, and increases purchase intent.

The Smiley Company has 22 licensees that have launched more than 200 products, selling a wide range of products including L’Abeille’s all-natural Smiley Fruity juice, which sold more than 3-million cans through Europe’s leading supermarket chains. Intersnack also expanded its Smiley Snacks with the trademarked 3D Smiley shape. And Italian licensee Zaini sold over a million chocolate eggs. “When you go for generic shapes, such as stars, anyone can copy your design, but there’s only one Smiley,” says Nicolas Loufrani, Smiley’s CEO. “The Smiley advantage is that we have the ability to ‘pimp up’ your private label.”

It’s an approach that has worked wonders for Smiley Foods, which saw a more than 200% increase in retail sales from 2016 to 2017. Food sales made up 32% and retail turnover hit $134.26-million.

“We have done a lot of work with Nestlé-owned water brand Vittel, where we appeared on 130 million bottles of water last year and helped lift the brand’s sales by 11.5% during the course of the promotion,” says Loufrani. “Similarly, we had a big promotion with Carrefour in France, where if a shopper buys a Unilever product, anything from ice cream to Dove, they can win Smiley prizes. We are always reinventing ourselves, and we realise that as retail adapts, we have to adapt. As new trends emerge, we plan on being at the forefront of them.”