Welcome to The Week in Direct-to-Consumer, a weekly roundup for marketers from Quad Insights that sums up the latest news in the DTC space.  

Home Chef debuts family menu collaboration with children’s TV series ‘Bluey’

DTC meal kit brand Home Chef just launched a new limited-time collaboration with animated children’s TV series “Bluey.” For four weeks beginning this week, Home Chef customers will be able to purchase family meals inspired by “Bluey” characters, such as Bandit and Chilli’s Chicken Soup and Bingo’s “Not Too Spicy” Takeaway Salmon. Timed to the premiere of new “Bluey” episodes in April, the collaboration also features themed meal boxes with a “Bluey” character toy inside.

The takeaway: Why “Bluey”? Here’s a hint: Per Nielsen data cited by Home Chef in its launch announcement, “Bluey,” which appears on Disney+, Disney Junior and Disney Channel, was the No. 2 most-streamed program across all audiences in the U.S. in 2023.

Dr. Martens launches collection made from reclaimed leather

In a step toward its goal of producing 100% of its footwear from sustainable materials by 2040, iconic footwear brand Dr. Martens — which has been putting major emphasis on DTC sales over the past several years — just launched the Genix Nappa collection, which is made from reclaimed leather, in partnership with sustainable recycled leather company Gen Phoenix, Fashion Dive’s Laurel Deppen reports. Gen Phoenix’s technology breaks down reclaimed leather waste to create the leather material used in the collection, which contains over 50% waste leather. The Genix Nappa collection is available exclusively on Dr. Martens’ website.

Dr. Martens also recently launched resale platform ReWair. Created in partnership with Archive Resale, the platform “allows customers to shop for used boots, shoes and bags, which are repaired and restored before being made available for sale online,” Deppen notes.

See also: Sustainability continues to gain traction as a priority in the footwear industry. In November, a group of footwear brands partnered with nonprofit EarthDNA to launch The Footwear Collective, an initiative dedicated to a circular economy, as we noted in an earlier installment of The Week in Direct-to-Consumer.

PYMNTS explores Broken Top Candle Company’s customer engagement strategy

To counteract the absence of olfactory involvement in a purely digital transaction, DTC candle brand Broken Top Candle Company is taking a hybrid approach to customer engagement, adding brick-and-mortar partnerships to its loyalty-focused DTC channel, PYMNTS reports. Boasting over 2,500 wholesale accounts with partners such as Whole Foods and Crate & Barrel, the candle company leans on physical retail to drive new customer growth as consumers are able to interact with the product in person. Then, the company leverages a subscription model on its DTC website to boost customer loyalty. “We’ve seen a lot of engagement with [highly loyal] consumers in our subscription side of the business. Everything in our product line is consumable, which makes it easy on a reorder cadence,” Broken Top Candle Company Founder Affton Coffelt said in an interview with PYMNTS. Read the full story here.

See also: Insider Intelligence | eMarketer recently dove deeper on DTC brands trending toward a hybrid distribution model to remain competitive, as we noted in an earlier installment of The Week in Direct-to-Consumer.

E-commerce venture capital deal count fell by more than 50% in 2023, per PitchBook

E-commerce venture capital deal count fell by 52.6% year-over-year in 2023 vs. 2022 with deal value falling by 72%, according to markets research company PitchBook’s just-released Q4 2023 E-commerce Report, per Retail Dive’s Howard Ruben. During the pandemic, digitally native DTC brands soared, but as purchasing environments have normalized, DTC investment has corrected, Ruben notes. “The COVID-19 lockdown offered the perfect storm of low interest rates and a bevy of consumers stuck inside with no option other than to shop online, but these conditions are now entirely behind the e-commerce vertical,” the PitchBook report says.

See also: This latest report further underscores that for DTC players, a hybrid distribution is more important than ever.

Further reading  

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