Annie's and Uno Restaurants sign Cone

BOSTON: Marketing PR agency Cone has won two new food clients that together should generate annual fees in the high six-figure range.

BOSTON: Marketing PR agency Cone has won two new food clients that together should generate annual fees in the high six-figure range.

Organic food producer Annie's Homegrown and Uno Restaurants have named Cone as agency of record. The agency plans to have five-person teams on each account.

Uno wants Cone to reach consumers with information about its full menu, and about its 60th anniversary this year.

Uno began as a Chicago pizza parlor, and is widely recognized as the creator of Chicago's deep-dish-style pizza. But its Pizzeria Uno Chicago Bar & Grill outlets now serve a broad menu of seafood, ribs, and other dishes in addition to pizza.

"The goal of this program is to spread the word about Uno," said Dan Wheeler, Uno VP of marketing in Boston.

Uno considered more than 30 agencies in a two-and-a-half month search before selecting Cone. The agency's consumer PR and food experience were deciding factors, Wheeler said. The company had annual sales of about $400 million last year. Uno is privately held, and does not release earnings reports.

Annie's considered a dozen PR and ad agencies before selecting Cone, said Laura Kuykendall, VP of marketing. Cone won the business because of its cause-related and grassroots marketing experience, she said.

"We want them to generate that word-of-mouth, one-on-one marketing opportunity for us," Kuykendall said. "We've done very little advertising, but have always had a grassroots approach to marketing."

Annie's, which is privately held, claims to be the number-one seller of macaroni and cheese in natural food stores such as Whole Foods, and says it ranks second only to Kraft in overall mac-and-cheese sales.

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