YO! Sushi and Disney look to further business objectives with partnership

Disney UK and YO! Sushi have partnered in a deal that will attempt to further Disney’s social responsibility efforts and YO! Sushi’s growth plans ahead of a mooted sale for the sushi chain.

YO! Sushi is looking to expand its customer base and target children by introducing a healthy kids menu of six bento boxes which will launch in early January in the UK.

The menu is inspired by Disney’s new animated film Big Hero 6 which is set in fictional “San Fransokyo” and has a strong Japanese influence.

The chain says it is a “significant” investment and the biggest collaboration it has entered into of its kind to date.

Kate Crossfield, marketing manager for YO! Sushi told Marketing Week, “We’re thrilled to welcome the next generation of YO! Sushi customers through our doors,” reflecting the chain’s efforts to target new customers and occasions. Earlier this year, the chain launched a campaign in an attempt to appeal to kids, and has trialed a breakfast offering in airports.

The deal comes alongside news that the sushi chain has appointed Liz Norris, former global marketing director for Le Pain Quotidien, as its first creative brand director, with an aim to drive growth for the chain both in the UK and internationally.

The company, which was founded in 1997 and was the first to bring Japanese “kaiten” sushi bars featuring conveyor-belt style sushi to the UK, expanded to the US earlier in the year in an effort to increase its value ahead of a potential sale.

Owners Quilvest, an equity firm, are reportedly seeking a buyer for the chain, which is believed to be valued at around £120m.

YO! Sushi currently has 87 restaurants worldwide – 76 in the UK and 11 across Dublin, Norway, Bahrain, Dubai, Saudi Arabia and in the US.

For Disney, the deal is part of a push to use its assets in social responsibility campaigns.

In June, the company lent its famous Mickey Mouse and Sully characters to Public Health England’s anti-obesity Change4Life drive.

Disney also recently launched the “Star Wards Rebels Kids’ Pak” in Subway restaurants as a way to offer lower fat and healthier choices for kids, having used this strategy with children’s films in the past.

Anna Hill, chief marketing officer for Disney UK and Ireland, told Marketing Week, “As part of our global commitment to inspire families to lead healthier lives, working with carefully chosen partners in this space is part of our approach.”

The deal was developed by Disneymedia+, the integrated ad sales, promotions and marketing solutions arm of Disney UK & Ireland.

YO! Sushi will push the partnership through a co-branded TV, digital, PR, social media and in-store campaign across its 76 YO! Sushi restaurants in the UK, while both the restaurant chain and Disney will run teasers on their social and online platforms.

The film will be released in UK cinemas 30 January 2015.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here