Industry News | March 18, 2013

Bellwether Food Group Merges with Restaurant Insights

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Bellwether Food Group, the strategic planning, sales, and brand consultancy, and Restaurant Insights, a market research company, announce a merger that will result in a new entity providing comprehensive “one-stop-shopping” for the foodservice and retail arenas. The newly combined firm will adopt the Bellwether Food Group moniker.

The merger is expected to be completed by April 1 and will enable Bellwether Food Group to support its clients, which include Fortune 500 companies in the chain restaurant, chain retailing, and food and beverage industries, more effectively by providing a wider scope of services - from brand performance and relevancy studies to brand due diligence and customized in-depth consumer research.
 
“Going forward, the capabilities and resources of the two organizations will operate as a single company,” says Jon Jameson, the group’s president. “By joining forces, our portfolio of services will be exponentially broadened.”
 
The new company’s expertise encompasses extensive brand research, including: awareness, attitude & usage studies; new product and promotional platform screening; strategic planning; brand audits, brand architecture; site evaluations; real estate development modeling; employee and management satisfaction studies; and pricing strategies.
 
“As we began to talk about this a few months ago, it became crystal clear that together we were much better equipped to help our clients grow their businesses by providing a broader range of actionable insights,” notes Fred Efird, the founder and president of Columbia, South Carolina based Restaurant Insights. “We’ll be a much stronger company with greater resources than as individual firms.”
 
With its team of branding, marketing and product experts, and research specialists, collectively representing more than 100 years of experience, the new, expanded Bellwether Food Group is poised to become a powerhouse in the restaurant and retail arenas. The firm will maintain offices in Boston; Columbia, South Carolina; Dallas; and Asheville, North Carolina.
 
“This is an exciting milestone for both organizations,” says Jameson. “It puts Bellwether Food Group in a great position to continue to add value to our clients, while refining and evolving our business model.”
 
Restaurant Insights, founded in 2000 by Efird, is one of the country’s premier restaurant consumer research organizations. Since its inception, Restaurant Insights has completed more than 1,400 restaurant -specific projects for some of the nation’s largest brands, across all major segments – quick service restaurant, fast casual, family and casual dining - including: Red Lobster; Papa John’s; LongHorn Steakhouse; and Denny’s.
 
Bellwether Food Group, founded in 2007 by Jameson, Rob Hardy and Mac Brand, is known for its branding work with chain restaurants, strategy, and sales skills work with food and beverage manufacturers, and for advising investment firms in the chain retail market. Clients include: Boston Market; La Madeleine; Sun Capital Partners; ConAgra Foods; and Campbell Soup.