Nov 23, 2012 09:16 AM EST | By Luke Caulfield
It can't be argued that Angry Birds is a marketing machine: Plush toys, clothing, a board game, and the potential for TV shows and movies, among other things. But now they're expanding the domain, and are giving competitors a serious run for their money.
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Speaking at Slush, the largest tech, design & startup conference covering Northern Europe and Russia, Peter Vesterbacka, Rovio Mobile's Mighty Eagle, reported that the Angry Birds soft drink is now outselling both Pepsi and Coca Cola in Rovio's homeland of Finland.
Not the first edible product, Wal-Mart currently offers Angry Birds themed fruit snacks.
With the latest Star Wars tie in serving to further the Rovio empire, the company is showing no signs of slowing down. Rovio has said it plans for Angry Birds to be "much bigger than Disney." Future plans even include a theme park, debit card, and more.
Since it's release by RovioMobile in 2009, the original Angry Birds and all its additions have reached (cumulatively) over one billion downloads. Angry Birds has since branched out onto virtually everything with a screen, be it home consoles, PC's, e-readers, and so on, with new episodes and spin-offs, and now, even plush toys and a clothing line.
Last year, Rovio said it generated $106 million in revenue. About 30% of that came from licensing agreements and sales of merchandise like Commonwealth's plush toy line, as well as red-bird squeeze pillows, board games, and Halloween costumes. A true success story, Commonwealth now receives dozens of licensing offers from app developers each month.
The truly impressive thing is that while Coke and Pepsi have had decades to get to where they are, they've been overtaken (in one country at least) by a product that's mere months old. Beginning with only two flavors, the product has only been around since the spring. To date, the flavors include several fruit varieties, tonic, ginger ale, cola, lemonade, and more.
Vesterbacka says the soda line will soon be popping up in Australia and New Zealand.
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