In-store sampler Launch bought by Mosaic

Launch dominates the Canadian market for retail sample activation

Launch, which handles in-store sampling and retail activation for a number of consumer packaged goods companies and grocers, has been bought out.

Shopper marketing agency Mosaic announced on Tuesday that it has acquired the company.

Launch will retain its name and run as a business unit within the Acosta Mosaic Group (AMG), much like the shopper marketing agency Hunter Straker has since it was acquired by Mosaic in 2012.

Launch was founded in 1993 and was previously the experiential arm of Consumer Impact Marketing (CIM), a company Mosaic acquired in 2011. While Mosaic purchased the sales and merchandising operations of CIM, it did not buy Launch, which continued on as an independent entity.

Four years later, Mosaic is purchasing the portion of the company it previously left behind.

The purchase, for an undisclosed sum, was made largely to beef up Mosaic’s presence in the retail sampling space, according to Jeff Rogers, president of AMG North America.

“Launch currently dominates the Canadian market when it comes to the retail sample activation business, which is a perfect complement to our capabilities,” Rogers said, in a release. “This acquisition will allow us to offer this highly valued service to our clients, while increasing our retail footprint across the country.”

Among the food companies that Launch has worked with are Loblaw, Dairy Farmers of Canada and Dr. Oetker.

Launch currently has two offices, in Montreal and Toronto, but will soon move into Mosaic’s offices. The company has 75 full-time employees that will be joining Mosaic, and another 1,500 field employees that will also join the Mosaic team.

As part of the acquisition, Launch CEO Kelly McCarten will take on a senior vice-president of client services role at Mosaic and oversee Launch internally. She will also have additional responsibilities within Mosaic.

McCarten has spent more than 20 years in marketing, including a 10-year stint as group director of Coca-Cola’s retail business unit and national customer marketing. She’s also held a marketing director role at Bell and was president of MMC prior to joining Launch in 2012.

This article initially appeared in Marketing.

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