Heinz seeks consultancies for packaging roster

Heinz is putting together a packaging design roster, Design Week can reveal.

The move has been prompted by the departure of Heinz chief marketing officer UK & Ireland Suzanne Douglas, who is returning to Australia as managing director of Heinz there. She joined the company in July 2006, bringing with her strong links with Australian consultancy Cowan Design. It has since worked on a host of revamps and launches, including Heinz desserts and baby food.

Heinz is thought to have approached most leading British packaging design consultancies including Blue Marlin, Jones Knowles Ritchie, Brandopus and Cowan.

Heinz head of consumer insight and research Ann Perkins and marketing director infant feeding Louise Pike are understood to have initiated preliminary meetings in the last fortnight to establish potential client conflict of interests and how consultancies typically approach a pitch situation.

A strategic and creative brief is expected to be set, though it is not known if the responses will actually be used across the Heinz portfolio.

Though the opportunity to work with Heinz has been welcomed throughout the packaging community, there are some concerns about whether or not the budget given over to packaging projects will make worthwhile the time and resources put into the pitching process.

Heinz’s marketing budget is rumoured to have been cut to a fifth of what it was, though some design groups have been given indications that they can still expect six-figure fees for a typical redesign.

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 the iconic ketchup brand per year, and has at least a top-two market share in more than 50 countries around the world. No one from Heinz was available for comment at the time of going to press.

Designs Mean Heinz

• ‘Off-roster’ consultancy Landor redesigned Heinz Baked Beanz in September, dropping the ‘baked’ from the name. It also created packaging for Heinz’s SnackPots range

• In July this year, ‘off-roster’ consultancy IHQ undertook Heinz Tomato Ketchup’s first redesign for almost 100 years to give the range a more natural positioning, while the bottle switched to a lighter-weight PET, as part of Heinz’s commitment to reducing packaging

• Jones Knowles Ritchie designed a limited-edition can for Heinz Baked Beanz in 2006

• Cowan Design has produced designs for Heinz’s mayonnaise, salad cream, soup, baby food, dessert and bean meal ranges

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