San Diego: Bumble Bee Seafoods, recently spun off from food giant ConAgra, has hired Fleishman-Hillard as its PR agency of record.
Fleishman will work on building corporate and brand images for the new, privately held Bumble Bee. Long known for tuna offerings, Bumble Bee hopes to expand into other categories. PR will be aimed at consumers, food retailers, and possible business partners.
The company, which has $500 million in annual sales, wanted a PR agency with a San Diego presence and national reach, said John Stiker, SVP of product management. It first took on Fleishman to handle new-product-rollout PR for its Prime Fillet offering, a super-premium albacore tuna, he said.
Fleishman's performance in that assignment led Bumble Bee to take it on as agency of record.
Fleishman demonstrated an "ability to reach into markets across the country and implement local marketing programs with buzz," Stiker said.
Fleishman will work on other Bumble Bee new-product offerings. The firm has already been involved in PR for Bumble Bee's Touch of Lemon, a chunk light tuna offering being launched nationally, Stiker said.
"We're on board to help them launch products both regionally and nationally, as well as to support them on a corporate level," said Michael Busselen, a senior partner and general manager of Fleishman's San Diego office. Fleishman will put four people on the account.
The firm will also position the company as a good corporate citizen in San Diego, Stiker said.
Bumble Bee spun off from ConAgra May 20. The company is now owned by senior management and private investment firm Centre Partners Management and its affiliates.
Bumble Bee has the number-two position in overall tuna product sales in the US.