Heinz shortlists for babyfood brief

Heinz has shortlisted two consultancies for a major babyfood brief, following its packaging design roster pitch held at the end of last year.

The shortlisted groups are thought to be Pearlfisher and Blue Marlin. Both consultancies decline to comment, and Heinz refuses to elaborate further. ‘We have shortlisted two consultancies but no decisions have been made. We are not releasing any further details at the present time,’ says a Heinz spokesman. A decision is expected to be made in the coming week.

At the end of last year consultancies Cowan Design, Pearlfisher, Bloom Design, Brandopus, Blue Marlin and Springetts are understood to have responded to a highly strategic brief focusing on Heinz’s babyfood category, the outcome of which was set to define and rationalise the design consultancies it would work with going forward.

The idea is to bring more consistency to Heinz’s branding, according to a source. Cowan Design, though not shortlisted for the babyfood brief, is thought to be still working with Heinz as part of its roster.

The pitch is understood to have been prompted by the departure of Heinz chief marketing officer UK & Ireland Suzanne Douglas, who returned to Australia as managing director of the company there after more than two years in Europe. Her role is not expected to be replaced.

Douglas, in 2006, brought with her links to Australian group Cowan Design, which has consistently worked on Heinz desserts, babyfood, soups and sauces since then.

Meanwhile, former Vibrandt chairman Ray Armes’ solo venture Touch of Mojo has won business with Heinz’s Lea & Perrins brand, in a pitch against Bulletproof Design and account incumbent DJPA.

Heinz is set to release its figures at the end of this financial year in April. The babyfood brief is thought to be the last significant project until budgets for the new financial year are set in May.

The FMCG brand has previously worked with design groups Jones Knowles Ritchie, Landor, Vibrandt 1HQ, and US consultancy LPK, which opened a European office in December 2007.

A world leader

• Heinz’s top 15 ‘power brands’ account for more than two-thirds of its annual global sales

• The £6bn food giant sells about 650 million bottles of its iconic ketchup brand per year

• It has at least a top-two market share in more than 50 countries around the world

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