Premier Foods to rationalise roster

Food giant Premier Foods has called for a shake-up of its design services across the group, more than a year after its £1.2bn acquisition of RHM.

As part of the review, the group will ‘consolidate’ the number of design consultancies it uses as it integrates RHM into the business, the first hint that its roster could be reduced.

The pitch has been extended to include a selection of non-roster consultancies at longlist stage and will be managed in-house.

Since the takeover in December 2006, consultancies on the RHM roster have been waiting to be contacted about their future relationship with the company. Currently, design groups on the roster include Jones Knowles Ritchie, which carries out work for Hovis, and Ikon. In February 2007, a slightly revised roster emerged as Brandopus and Vibrandt were added. Initially, Brandopus was taken on to work on the brand’s Sharwood’s range, and has this week been appointed to review the brand identity and packaging for its Loyd Grossman sauces. ‘I am not shocked or disappointed about the review,’ says Brandopus managing director Nir Wegrzyn.

‘I think it is a fantastic opportunity as it will bring clarity in the process of the unified Premier Foods profile.’

Vibrandt was appointed following its earlier off-roster work for Mr Kipling and has also completed designs for Cadbury Cakes. According to a spokesman for Premier Foods, ‘The acquisition has resulted in an increased number of consultan cies on our books. As we continue to integrate RHM into the business, it is now our intention to consolidate our design consultancies. With such a large stable of iconic British brands it is essential that we have the right partners to manage the development and look of these brands into the future.’

The pitch follows the announcement earlier this month that Premier Foods has confirmed two creative agen cies for its advertising roster.

McCann Erickson, the incumbent on Sharwood’s, Bisto, Mr Kipling and Cadbury Cakes, has added Quorn and Hovis, while Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy has won Loyd Grossman, Ambrosia and Batchelors.

December 2006 – Premier Foods acquires RHM for £1.2bn

February 2007 – Brandopus and Vibrandt added to roster, joining Jones Knowles Ritchie and Ikon; news emerges that Williams Murray Hamm and Turner Duckworth both left the roster in 2006

January 2008 – design roster pitch called by Premier Foods

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