BBH lands task to promote Unilever's organic offering

Unilever Bestfoods has picked Bartle Bogle Hegarty to spearhead the £2.5 million launch of its first major foray into the organic food market.

The assignment is for a range of organic soups and pasta sauces produced by Go Organic, the Scottish food company in which Unilever took a 90 per cent stake last year.

Unilever's move into the sector reflects organic food's switch away from its beard-and-sandals associations and into the mainstream. Sales of organic products in the year to April 2001 are estimated to have reached £802 million - a 33 per cent increase on the previous year.

The agency's first work on Go Organic is likely to be a press campaign attempting to create a more positive perception of organic foods.

Gwyn Jones, BBH's managing director, said: "The category is a strange one, which grew by default out of the GM foods furore. It means that so much about organic food needs to be explained and a press campaign will allow us to do this."

Organic food began its transformation from niche to mass market three years ago when Mars became the first major food manufacturer to exploit the sector with its Seeds of Change range of pasta and sauces.

Sainsbury's has begun listing the Go Organic range whose distribution has increased by 20 per cent since the Unilever takeover.

"Supermarkets have driven consumption with their organic foods and vegetables,

Jones added.

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