Snacking Tomato Company NatureSweet Picks Bakery as New Agency of Record

The indie shop aims to turn the produce brand into everyone's favorite bingeable snack

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Snacking tomato brand NatureSweet has a new agency of record: Austin, Texas-based agency Bakery.

The win comes after a four-months-long request-for-proposal process involving a handful of agencies, most of which NatureSweet said it had worked with previously. While the brand didn’t disclose which agencies participated aside from Bakery, both Barkley and The Richards Group have worked with NatureSweet in the past.

Bakery’s “revolutionary and transformational” approach—which vice president of marketing at NatureSweet Lori Castillo jokes gave her hives during the pitch because it was so outside her comfort zone—ultimately tipped the scales in the indie shop’s favor.

“They nailed the insights and they did it in a really fun, playful way,” Castillo said. “It’s time to really break through, be disruptive and get the consumer super involved in that story.”

More than just the ‘good guys’

NatureSweet—best known for the bite-sized tomato varietals it calls Cherubs, Comets, Twilights and Glorys—grows tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers in greenhouses in northern Mexico and Arizona. It achieved its B Corp certification last June and announced in October that all of its tomato products are Fair Trade Certified.

The brand’s tagline since 2021, “Tomatoes Raised Right,” has served as the anchor for a brand message focused on its sustainable practices and commitment to its workers. A vertically integrated business, its greenhouses cut water use by 90% and use bees to pollinate the plants. Every worker on NatureSweet’s payroll—from fruit pickers, to packers, to launderers, to top executives—gets healthcare and is eligible for bonuses.

For Castillo, whose father was a migrant farm worker, NatureSweet is proof that the agricultural industry “can be a win-win for the people who work in the company and for the people who benefit from the amazing products that we create,” she said.

‘Nature’s Skittles’

But beyond fostering goodwill through its spotlight on workers and eyeing the name recognition of brands like Cuties and Avocados From Mexico, Castillo felt that the brand needed to level up. While Castillo didn’t know she was looking for the “disruptive” approach that Bakery presented, she said she knew immediately that it was the right fit.

“We just didn’t treat them as a produce brand. We didn’t treat them as a tomato brand. We treated them as a snack brand,” Micky Ogando, CEO and chief creative at Bakery, said. “We pitched this the way we would have pitched M&M’s or Skittles.”

Bakery, which recently moved its 58-person staff into a new downtown Austin office, adds the NatureSweet account to a growing roster of wins in the past year. That includes Diageo’s ready-to-drink cocktail collection and automaker DeLorean, famous for its role in 1985 film Back to the Future. The car brand is gearing up to release its first new model in 40 years, with Bakery handling creative and media around the launch.

The NatureSweet account offers Bakery the opportunity to rethink a category that doesn’t have much in the way of strong branding. Aside from Cuties and Avocados From Mexico, the produce department is ripe for NatureSweet’s ambitions.

“It’s a bingeable snack. It’s delicious. It’s also kind of tiny and cute and colorful and fun,” Ogando said. “This is nature’s Skittles. But on top of that, it’s good for you, it’s good for the planet. The way that they run it—they’re the real deal.”

This article has been updated to reflect that the timeline for DeLorean’s release has changed.

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