EU starts US push touting European foods

NEW YORK: The European Union has launched its first PR and marketing effort to promote European-grown agricultural products in the US.

NEW YORK: The European Union has launched its first PR and marketing effort to promote European-grown agricultural products in the US.

The New York office of Sopexa, a French firm that specializes in food and wine PR, and marketing, has been hired to run the program, which is budgeted at 1 million euros for this year and 1 million euros next year.

Sopexa plans a media dinner in New York for October 12 to discuss using European food products for holiday entertaining, said Ann Connors, Sopexa marketing manager. It has created a 16-page advertorial to run in food magazines and put up a new website, www.eu-authentic-tastes.com, to spotlight European food products, including organic offerings.

"For 2005, we're going to focus our efforts in the US on the East Coast," where French products already have some cachet in food circles, Connors said.

The campaign will explain to US media various designations used by European producers. An interactive CD will be distributed to US food media next year as part of the effort.

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