MSLGROUP Americas Brings Food & Beverage Business Together in Single, Powerful Specialty

New York, May 10, 2012:  To optimize its deep food, nutrition and beverage expertise with clients across its network, MSLGROUP Americas has combined all of its category resources, talent and other assets into a single specialty group known as MSLGROUP Americas Food & Beverage. The new unit will be directed by Steve Bryant out of the former Publicis Consultants USA office that is now rebranded as MSL Seattle.  Bryant, known for launching Subway's iconic Jared, will be supported by agency veteran, Caryn Carmer in New York, who will provide operational support and lead business based there.   

With a client roster that includes Nestlé, OSI/Outback, Coca-Cola, Sunkist Growers, United Soybean Board and Heineken and resources that include a full culinary facility, specialized research programs, on-staff registered dietitians and industry experts, the agency is a category leader in the Americas with an eight-figure book of business.   The new Americas group will include the agency's deep food expertise in Latin America (Brazil and Argentina) and will link to MSLGROUP's additional expertise in Europe and Asia.

"By combining our food and beverage resources and specialists in a single group, we are able to look beyond geography and build innovative solutions around client needs.  Not only can we go deep in the category, we are able to go broad with boundless services that extend across communications channels," said Jim Tsokanos, President of MSLGROUP Americas.

With rising concerns and opportunities around food safety, nutrition and packaging, evolving tastes, and increasing influence of digital communications on food choices, food industry communication needs are being transformed.   How do food marketers, for example, engage with consumers who prefer to crowd-source decisions about what food to buy and recipes to prepare - often at point of purchase - instead of turning to traditional family sources?   The agency's Clicks and Cravings study, an important thought leadership undertaking conducted earlier this year in partnership with the Hartman Group, surfaced that issue.   "Digital and social media work in the food and beverage category is already a huge part of our business.  As the digital, social and mobile landscape continues to quickly evolve, the opportunity is to continually create fresh, customized solutions for food and beverage clients that connect our deep insight to the latest technologies and trends," said Bryant.

Publicis Consultants USA Becomes MSL Seattle

Under the Publicis Consultants USA brand, MSL Seattle is a successful and award-winning food and beverage specialty operation.  Bryant previously headed up the operation as president.  In the new structure, he will also serve as managing director of MSL Seattle.  The comprehensive culinary & nutrition center in MSL Seattle, well-coordinated research and thought leadership from its experts and a national food and beverage blog will be focal points of the incorporated unit, which will continue to represent some of the network's largest food and beverage clients. 

The moves will also allow MSLGROUP Americas to enter the Seattle and Northwest marketplaces in name, strengthening links to the network and brand.  MSLGROUP also has another unit based in Seattle, the PBJS events and experiential business.   PBJS is not affected by the moves and will retain its current name.

MSLGROUP Americas will continue to serve several clients with the Publicis Consultants USA brand.

Strength Across the Network

In addition to Seattle and New York, MSLGROUP Americas also has significant food and beverage businesses in Atlanta, Toronto, Chicago, Washington, D.C., California and Latin America.  Together, the business is driven by nearly 100 people and supports a blue-chip client roster that also includes McDonald's, Daisy, Kellogg's, Patron, Tim Hortons, and Amstel Light.   Carrefour, Danone and Bimbo Bakeries are clients in Latin America.

"This strategic realignment will allow us to accelerate the growth of this segment of our business which is already one of the America's largest food and beverage practices," said Tsokanos. 

The new specialty spans the entire food and beverage category from food marketing to communications for food commodities, packaged foods, foodservice, restaurant, healthcare, nutrition and pet foods.  The agency offers services to support all the key category consumption drivers from taste to nutrition, design, culture, recommendation and reputation.   

The unit has generated strong momentum recently with category leading wins, including: Sunkist Growers fresh lemon foodservice business and LBP Manufacturing, a top supplier of sustainable packaging for food, beverage and foodservice industries.

About Steve Bryant

With more than 100 awards to his name, Steve Bryant is a legend in food communications.  His three decades of experience are full of notable achievements from the launch of Jared Fogel for Subway to popularizing the veggie burger.    Steve is also a crisis authority in the category, having helped manage the Diet Pepsi syringe crisis among others.  

About Caryn Carmer

Caryn Carmer will work with Steve on building and managing relationships with industry associations and thought leadership.  In 2009, Caryn succeeded Renee Wilson as practice leader of the MSL New York Consumer Marketing Practice.  Under Caryn's leadership, the NY Consumer Practice grew to $20 million, won and built important business from OSI/Outback and Ferrero USA, and spawned both the NY Personal Care and Digital practice groups.   

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