Three food processing companies competing on a global scale are Del Monte, Green Giant, and Birds Eye Foods. Each vies for the best branding of canned and frozen foods going forward in the 21st century. Each sits on the shelf next to the others, and it’s PR’s role to create clever branding solutions helping their products shine above the rest.
Del Monte Foods is one of the largest food processing companies in the world, with annual revenues of $1.8 billion. Founded in 1886, the company headquarters are in Walnut Creek, California. As a fledgling company, they got picked up for their brand of peaches, and it’s continued as one of their most recognizable products.
Del Monte Food has a forward thinking philosophy when it comes to food branding in nutrition. In 1972, they were the first company in food processing including nutritional value on all their food products, and as a result, it became a PR success applauded by the US Government and public. Their company slogan is “Cultivating Good Food for a Better Life.”
The company is owned by Del Monte Pacific, based in the Philippines.
In 2014, Del Monte chose MRY as its digital agency of record. MRY is an American creative and technology branding organization. Led by CEO Matt Britton, MRY brings the Del Monte brand to a new generation of consumers. MRY has worked with other companies like Pizza Hut and Coca-Cola, moving them in the direction of mobile marketing.
A press release at the end of 2014 noted, “With MRY’s first campaign for Del Monte running next year in 2015, MRY is planning to focus on fresh digital and social activations that reinforce its quality with existing canned food consumers. The partnership represents a commitment from Del Monte to lean into these mediums for a different level of engagement with consumers.”
Green Giant and Birds Eye have a closer and more direct rivalry, and they appear to have a record of utilizing large PR firms.
Green Giant is owned by B&G Foods after being sold off by General Mills in September. The agency of record for B&G is Allison+Partners, a PR firm specializing in brand marketing, B2B marketing, and creative services. Their co-founder and chairman is Scott Allison, who has overseen the firm since its inception in 2001.
The Green Giant mascot, the Jolly Green Giant, has been an advertising icon alongside the Energizer Bunny and Tony the Tiger. Recently, the company has seen increased pressure from their main competitors Birds Eye, a lower priced company that forced General Mills to sell the company despite serious efforts to rebrand the Jolly Green Giant through an advertising campaign by Story Worldwide.
Birds Eye, however, found a way to produce a cheaper product and a successful competition with Green Giant. Birds Eye is owned by parent company Pinnacle Foods whose agency of records include Omnicom Group’s BBDO and Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners, who both have done advertising for Birds Eye. The account was initially given to KBS+P, but then handed two months later to Omnicom’s Group BBDO after separating with the former company for “creative differences”.
Omnicom’s BBDO is one of the largest advertising agencies in the world, with 289 offices in 81 countries they also have a staggering 15,000 employees worldwide. The current CEO and President is Andrew Robertson, who’s been CEO since June of 2004. The agency previously worked with Pinnacle CEO Bob Gamgort when he was the Mars brand’s North American president. He replaced Jeffrey Ansell as Pinnacle CEO in July 2009.
In the competitive spirit of things, Birds Eye has been consistently outselling Green Giant as the result of good worldwide connections and a large set of resources. Green Giant was able to compete for a long time before General Mills cut them loose from the roster. Now at B&G Foods, Green Giant has a long way to go if they want to continue competing with Birds Eye for that all-important shelf space.