Ketchum Unveils Food Studio, Bolstering its Content Development Solution for Global Clients

Enhanced Studio is a Culinary and Digital Hub of Innovation, Content and Engagement

SAN FRANCISCO, May 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Ketchum, one of the world leaders in communications and public relations, has transformed its landmark test kitchen into a state-of-the-art food studio, which was unveiled at a grand opening held in April in the firm's San Francisco office. Part of the firm's Global Food & Beverage Practice, the Ketchum Food Studio brings together digital communications and culinary expertise to create a powerful offering, generating content that helps Ketchum clients differentiate from their competition.

The Ketchum Food Studio is a culinary communications center staffed by food experts who assist clients with recipe and menu development, new product concepts and nutrition programs, as well as communications professionals who support food issues, content development, food photography, and video production. The studio provides a hub for the practice's 360-degree consulting services for clients with a variety of needs across the food and agricultural spectrum. The Ketchum Food Studio's lineup of culinary talent includes Steve Siegelman, author of more than 37 cookbooks, and Chef David Shalleck, a culinary veteran of 35 years, who has cooked in Michelin-starred restaurants and has worked with numerous restaurant companies and food manufacturers.

Underpinning the Ketchum Food Studio's ability to deliver enhanced digital and social content is the agency's StoryWorks offering, a dynamic approach to producing and publishing innovative and engaging brand stories that perform across all channels. StoryWorks leverages leading creative storytelling talent across measurement and analytics, media planning, film production, editorial and visual design, and influencer relations to identify trends and listen for relevant moments to engage audiences with compelling content and conversation that bring voices and stories to life.

"Building on the 40-year legacy of the renowned and respected Ketchum Kitchen, the Ketchum Food Studio addresses the complex, multidimensional world of food today," said Barri Rafferty, Ketchum senior partner and CEO of North America. "This renovated studio beautifully showcases Ketchum's ability to help our clients around the world engage in real-time digital storytelling while staying rooted in the Global Food & Beverage Practice's heritage, which includes culinary design and creativity."

Clients already have expressed their excitement for the enhanced food studio, including Jennifer Giambroni, director of communications for the California Milk Advisory Board. "I see the Ketchum Food Studio as a true differentiator for us," Giambroni said. "My team and I made good use of the original facility for events, recipe development and ideation sessions. There's just something about sitting in a real kitchen that brings out people's natural creativity surrounding food. With the new studio, there is even greater potential to discover culinary and content development opportunities."

Ketchum's Global Food & Beverage Practice is one of the longest-standing food practices in the public relations industry, and its communications professionals have helped clients navigate trends and issues for more than 60 years. In 1979, Ketchum was the first large agency to make a commitment to food marketing with the opening of the Ketchum Kitchen and the formation of a food marketing division to serve the consumer, foodservice and retail channels. Ketchum also was the first agency to recognize the importance of basing consumer product and food benefit messaging on nutrition science, and made it a key part of the marketing mix beginning in 1972. The agency's emphasis on nutrition was furthered in 2008, when Ketchum became the first agency to create aglobal nutrition training and certification program. The training ensures food communicators have a base understanding of nutrition science and regulations, as well as how to use it in food marketing and communications. Ketchum's Global Food & Beverage Practice continues to transform, allowing the agency to best meet the business goals of clients in the evolving global food landscape.

"We are in the middle of a food revolution, one powered by information technology and driven by consumers, in concert with visionary chefs, farmers, food scientists, nutritionists, designers, entrepreneurs and influencers," said Linda Eatherton, partner and director of Ketchum's Global Food & Beverage Practice. "It is crucial that just as we counsel our clients to stay nimble and on top of trends, we provide for them a well-rounded offering that is centered on a state-of-the-art studio space that allows for creative inspiration and execution of those ideas."

Coinciding with the launch of the Food Studio, Shelley Roth, a 17-year Ketchum veteran with three decades of food industry experience, has assumed the newly created role of director of the Ketchum Food Studio. Stepping into Roth's former role is Steve Moylan, who joins Ketchum from Safeway as SVP and practice director to lead the Ketchum Food B2B offering. Last month, Ketchum named Tara Munday director of the European Food & Beverage Practice, augmenting the leadership of Kim Essex and Julie Schumacher, who were appointed co-directors of the North American Food & Beverage Practice in 2014.

Ketchum also is partnering with Omnicom sister agency Communispace on the Food Forum, a proprietary online community of 300 North American men and women who are engaged with food-related topics. The Forum provides clients real-time, hard-to-obtain insights from Food eVangelists, a highly influential group identified and defined in Ketchum's award-winning Food 2020 study.

"As leaders, it is our obligation to continue to transform and advance our Global Food & Beverage Practice. The new Ketchum Food Studio is the centerpiece of the journey we've be on for the last 18 months," said Eatherton. "It will serve as a virtual engine of food content and creativity, as well as a hub for our food and beverage professionals worldwide to share and deepen food industry insights. That, along with our Food Forum and growing professional expertise, enables us to bring our clients break through strategies and creative."

For more information and photos from the Ketchum Food Studio's inaugural event, visit https://www.ketchum.com/ketchum-food-studio.

About Ketchum

Ketchum is a leading global communications firm with operations in more than 70 countries across six continents. The winner of 14 Cannes Lions and an unprecedented four PRWeek Campaign of the Year Awards, Ketchum partners with clients to deliver strategic programming, game-changing creative and measurable results that build brands and reputations. For more information on Ketchum, a part of the DAS Group of Companies, visit www.ketchum.com.

About the DAS Group of Companies

The DAS Group of Companies, a division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC) (www.omnicomgroup.com), is a global group of marketing services companies. DAS includes over 200 companies in the following marketing disciplines: specialty, PR, healthcare, CRM, events, promotional marketing, branding and research. Operating through a combination of networks and regional organizations, DAS serves international, regional, national and local clients through more than 700 offices in 71 countries.

SOURCE Ketchum

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