CONCORD, MA: Welch's has appointed Ketchum as its PR AOR, following a competitive review.
Ketchum Midwest's food and agriculture practice, based in Chicago, will lead the account.
Welch's CMO Matthew Wohl said in a statement that the brand selected Ketchum for its “strong understanding of consumer media, creative ideas,” and “depth in the agriculture space.”
Welch's is also working with food and nutrition communications firm FoodMinds on outreach to health professionals. The VIA Agency has served as Welch's creative AOR since 2010, supporting the brand's advertising and digital efforts.
Ketchum began working with Welch's in late August to prepare for the company's busiest time of the year, the fall harvest season for Concord grapes.
“This season is the culmination of all the hard work Welch's family-farmer owners put into growing the Concord grapes used in many of Welch's products and offers us a moment in time to celebrate and share this story with consumers,” said Welch's PR lead Casey Lewis, via email.
After harvest season, Ketchum will help to “generate brand excitement” and execute a PR plan that encompasses traditional and social media activities, Lewis said.
Welch's issued an RFP for its PR business in May and began the review process with seven firms, she added.
Porter Novelli ended its work with Welch's earlier this year, Lewis said.
In 2010, Welch's hired Porter as its AOR to work on US consumer and crisis communications. The company had previously worked with Tonic Life in the US for three years. A Porter representative confirmed that the firm no longer works with Welch's.
Welch's is the processing and marketing subsidiary of the National Grape Cooperative, and is owned by more than 1,000 family farmers across the US and Ontario, Canada. The company sells its products in the US and 40 other countries.
This story was updated on October 4 with additional information from Welch's.