CHICAGO: Lifeway Foods has hired Cohn & Wolfe's Chicago office to
handle PR for its Kefir brand fermented milk beverage and to assist with
corporate PR work.
The account is expected to bill in the low six-figure range.
Lifeway, a public company with annual sales of dollars 10 million, had
worked with a boutique PR shop for 10 years, but wanted a larger firm to
help build brand recognition nationally. Danone recently took a 20%
stake in the firm, providing more money for brand development.
Lifeway selected C&W from among 30 firms contacted initially last
Julie Smolyansky, director of sales and marketing with Lifeway,
explained that C&W had previous experience in the functional foods area,
had a global reach and had a registered dietician -Ann Adams - heading
its Chicago food and nutrition practice. Dietitians will be one of the
first target groups for new PR efforts.
C&W is searching for a spokesperson for the brand and is reworking the
company's Web site, said Adams. It plans outreach efforts at a
dietitians conference this fall and expects to do more corporate
communications and financial relations work next year. Lifeway has no
internal PR department.