Hello itsu grocery!

Itsu has appointed Above & Beyond and Yonder Media to handle creative and media for its itsu grocery food business following a three-way competitive pitch.

The restaurant and grocery advertiser has appointed The Beyond Collective agencies, with the creative aspect of the business previously handled entirely in-house and Yonder Media succeeding MSix & Partners.

Itsu launched as a restaurant chain in 1997. Its products, such as frozen gyoza, frozen bao, noodle cups, ramen broths and miso, have been available to buy in supermarkets since 2012.

Both agencies have been briefed to grow itsu’s market share to “supercharge the next phase of growth”. The Beyond Collective said it would give the grocery business and brand a “seamless and scalable opportunity for collaboration both between agencies and with the client’s own internal creative teams”.

The agencies are reviewing and optimising a comms strategy for existing and new products for 2024, with campaigns going live this quarter. They are also tasked with devising a new brand platform for itsu to help it reach a broader range of shoppers.

Above & Beyond and Yonder Media’s appointments come after itsu appointed TMW Unlimited to handle CRM for its restaurant business.

Zaid Al-Zaidy, The Beyond Collective’s chief executive, said: “We are excited to be helping the dedicated and passionate team at itsu take their brand to the next level in supermarkets.

“In bringing high-quality, convenient food to our homes, Itsu is building on the taste and quality credentials of their well-known restaurant chain. We are looking forward to bringing together the collective power of Yonder Media and Above & Beyond to supercharge itsu grocery’s next phase of growth.”

Misha Metcalfe, itsu grocery’s brand director, said: “We are so excited to be working with the team at Yonder Media and Above & Beyond for the next stage of our brand journey. We are confident that with their consumer-focused creative and media approach, we can build on the incredible growth we have seen at itsu grocery over the past few years.”

Itsu is led by founder and chief executive Julian Metcalfe, who is also the founder and former boss of Pret A Manger.

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