From caviar to cardboard cutouts, businesses hope for coronation boost
By Marie-Louise Gumuchian
LONDON (Reuters) - From tins of caviar to a celebration beer, businesses are seeking to entice royal fans with a slew of products marking the coronation of Britain's new monarch.
Mugs, plates, tea towels, magnets, cushions and teddy bears are staple memorabilia for royal occasions and an array of these to mark King Charles' coronation on May 6 are already filling shop windows.
But some retailers are hoping more niche products will also catch the eye of consumers.
In Windsor, on the outskirts of London and home to the royal residence of Windsor Castle, the Windsor & Eton Brewery has created a new ale, Return of the King, brewed on site from organic ingredients.
"The name itself really came from a realisation that for the last thousand years ... we probably had about 850 years of kings. But ... in most of the lifetime of the people in this country, we've had a queen," marketing director Bob Morrison told Reuters on a visit to the brewery.
"So we wanted to recognise that it was a milestone about returning to saying the king."
Toy brand Matchbox is selling made-to-order 1:64 scale models of the gold state coach, a fixture in royal coronations, while the card game Top Trumps has a new "Kings & Queens" version. Others are selling coronation varieties of the games pass the parcel, bingo and charades.
Biscuit maker McVitie’s has a limited-edition tin that pays homage to Charles and his wife Camilla's love of nature as well as the monarch's watercolour painting hobby, while numerous labels and supermarkets are marketing teas or sparkling wines.
Brand Caviar House & Prunier has a limited edition tin adorned with the Union Jack and the words "His Majesty's Caviar", while Premier Foods has celebratory packaging for products including Bisto gravy granules and Ambrosia custard.
Supermarkets have dedicated online pages for products and decorations for coronation parties - and the demand is there.
John Lewis Partnership, the owner of the eponymous department stores and supermarket chain Waitrose, said last week searches for coronation products on its website had risen more than 262% on the previous week.
Catalogue retailer Argos says one particular piece is faring well among shoppers - a cardboard cut-out of Charles.
“Our royal family selection of cardboard cut-outs have always been a favourite of our customers, with King Charles proving himself to be a top seller," an Argos spokesperson said.
"Even ('Frozen' character) Queen Elsa can’t compete in the run up to the celebrations."
(Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Alison Williams)