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Food For Thought Finds Its Niche

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DALLAS Gene Dillard and Jerry Collins have formed an ad agency specializing in food marketing called Food For Thought.

Dillard owns The Dillard Group, a Dallas-based marketing communications company that handles non-food clients. Jerry Collins is a former vice president of sales and marketing for Merico, an Anheuser-Busch company. Both men are principals at the new agency.

The Dallas-based shop, which opened late last year, has 10 full-time employees and includes airline-catering company Sky Chefs on its client roster. The agency will handle all marketing activities for the company's upcoming "Buy on Board" program, which allows airline passengers to purchase meals from restaurants like TGI Friday's and Einstein Bros.

Food For Thought will target restaurants, food-service specialists and packaged-goods suppliers. "Jerry and I were real optimistic about the economy and the food business in general," Dillard said. "We both have a lot of food expertise, so we thought if we focused it in the Dallas market, it would be successful. We decided to declare a niche and it turned out to be a great time to do it."