Ryvita in media assault ahead of major launch

Health-snack brand Ryvita is planning to strengthen its consumer and trade media status in the run-up to a major undisclosed product launch in August.

360° communications has been hired to handle the account. 360 managing partner Alison Saunders said the brand had a wide media target due to its broad appeal, but women’s titles would be particularly important. She added that PR for products such as rice-cracker brand Tondos would seek to capture a younger audience.

The increased PR activity – for which 360’s fees are understood to be worth a potential £200,000 – reflects increased interest in healthy eating and Ryvita will work with nutritionists to establish the brand in the context of healthy eating in consumer press, said Saunders.

‘The crackers and crispbreads sector is one of the UK’s fastest growing markets, worth £175m,’ she said.

Ryvita, owned by Associated British Foods since 1949, awarded 360 a remit that includes all brand PR for its Crispbread, Tondos and Breaks products, following a four-way pitch against Wild Card, The Yes Consultancy and Food Matters.

Ryvita marketing director Rob Murray said the company has ‘some big marketing initiatives ahead’, adding that Ryvita will ‘upweight PR’ in line with increased advertising activity. Ad campaigns costing £2m are running for its Crispbread range this month.

Hugh Birley, CEO at Ryvita’s former agency for the brand, Lexis PR, which was not involved in the pitch, said the agency and Ryvita ‘parted by mutual agreement’.

Lexis will continue to handle its crisis and issues management, which concentrates on allaying fears about the suspected carcinogenic qualities of acrylamide, a byproduct of the crispbread production process.

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