Specialty Brands in Search of Agency for New Product

Specialty Brands of America is searching for an agency to launch a new product for its Bear Creek Country Kitchens line of prepared foods, sources said.

Media spending behind the launch is estimated at $15 million. The assignment includes both creative and media duties, according to sources.

Roth Associates in New York is managing the search, according to sources. Roth, which did not return calls, has contacted potential agencies and will soon issue a request for proposals, said sources.

An initial request for information that Roth issued to interested agencies asks about experience with consumer packaged-goods brands and incentive-based compensation agreements. The document was vague about the actual product, however, describing it as a “dinner (meal) product that is not a dried soup.”

Right now, Bear Creek only offers dried soup mixes—some 14 varieties in all. Specialty acquired the brand in 2005, adding to a portfolio that already included New York Flatbreads, Dixie Fry coating mixes, Canoleo margarine, and maple syrup brands Cary’s, MacDonald’s and Spring Tree.

The new assignment represents a significant shift from past marketing efforts, which have been largely in-house. In fact, Specialty Brands is not known to have a lead agency for any of its products. The company, which is based in Westbury, N.Y., could not immediately be reached.