Premier consumer PR brief is put out to pitch

Premier International Foods is staging a consumer PR pitch for more than 20 of its brands.

The firm - which has brands such as Branston Pickle, Typhoo Tea and HP Beans in its portfolio - is understood to be looking at hiring just one or two retained agencies.

PIF group marketing director Howard Beveridge expects to bring agency support on board within two months. It is understood that around four agencies are likely to make a final shortlist.

There are no retained incumbents on any of the brands, with Beveridge saying all agency PR work since he joined PIF last December had been on a project basis only.

Beveridge said: 'We have had no consistent way of managing our PR.

'Each brand has its own specific needs, though, and there are various aims for each of them,' he added.

The agency or agencies appointed will also act as a press office and prepare spokespeople for media interviews.

PIF divides its brand portfolio into two categories: teas, beverages and spreads; and cannings, pickles and sauces.

General marketing manager for the former division is Jaspel Chada, and for the latter is John Steel. Both joined PIF earlier this year and will oversee the pitch, alongside Beveridge.

In May this year, PIF bought Crosse & Blackwell, Branston Pickle, Sun-Pat, Gales Honey, Waistline, Rowntree Jelly and vinegars Dufrais and Sarsons from Nestle UK.

The only brand in the PIF portfolio that is not up for repitch is the Loyd Grossman range, which is handled by CommsPlus.

The pitch process is being co-ordinated by The Haystack Group.

BRANDS UP FOR GRABS

Branston Pickle, Cadbury's Chocolate Spread, Cadbury's Drinking Chocolate (and sub-brands such Cadbury's Chocolate Highlights), Chivers Marmalades, Crosse & Blackwell, Dufrais, Gales Honey, Hartley's Jam, HP Beans (and sub-brands such as HP All-Day Breakfast), Haywards, Lift, London Fruit & Herb, Marvel, Roses Marmalade, Rowntree Jelly, Sarsons, Smash, Sun-Pat, Typhoo Tea, Waistline.

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