Food group RHM brings in Grayling as cake sales fall

RHM, owner of household brands such as Hovis and Mr Kipling, has appointed Grayling Political Strategy to its corporate and crisis management account.

The move comes amid heightening public concern over healthy eating. In January, Mr Kipling launched a 'low-fat, low-calorie' range after RHM's cakes division posted a 13 per cent fall in turnover for the 26 weeks to 29 October 2005.

Grayling group CEO Nigel Kennedy said: 'Food is increasingly political, so this account will include general advice on reputation and positioning, as well as PA.'

He added that product innovation, particularly in health, was high on the RHM agenda.

The company's underlying operating profits were up 7.7 per cent to £70.3m for the 26 weeks to 29 October 2005. However, underlying operating profits for its cakes division were down 87 per cent on 2004.

Recent health initiatives include the launch of RHM Foodservice's McDougalls Healthiest School Food Award in September 2005. It recognises primary school caterers with proven commitment to the provision and promotion of healthy diets.

The previous incumbent, Financial Dynamics – which worked on RHM's flotation in August last year – retains its financial comms brief.
RHM uses Revolver Communications and Borkowski for consumer PR.

Grayling counts Masterfoods, Heinz and McVities among its other food industry clients. Grayling Political Strategy CEO Vivien Hepworth leads the account.

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