Edelman has named Megan Van Someren global chair and EMEA lead of its Food & Beverage sector, effective October 14. Edelman’s Food & Beverage sector is made up of more than 500 employees globally. Van Someren will be based in London and report to Katie Burke, senior strategist and global head of Practices, Sectors and Intellectual Property. In her role as EMEA lead, Van Someren will report to Ed Williams, president and CEO of Edelman, EMEA.
“Brands in the food and beverage sector are facing rapidly evolving consumer trends and complex issues,” said Burke. “Megan’s experience and track record of success working with leading companies in this space will bolster our food and beverage offering allowing Edelman to go even deeper on strategy with our existing and future clients.”
Van Someren joins Edelman from J. Walter Thompson in London, where she served as global strategy director leading brand strategy for Special K and Nespresso. In 2018, Van Someren founded Canteen Consulting, a food futures consultancy inside JWT that aims to help food brands grow and innovate within the world of food culture. At Canteen, Van Someren designed and implemented a global food index to provide insight and data into the evolving culture of food and drink and led projects spanning innovation, consumer immersion, brand/food storytelling and content partnerships, including a start-up model to work with young brands, entrepreneurs and social enterprises.
“Megan’s personal passion and deep industry knowledge into one of the largest consumer sectors, food and beverage, will be invaluable to us in EMEA,” said Williams. “Alongside that, her proven commercial leadership will add to the management bench in the region.”
Previously, Van Someren was executive vice president, global strategy director and senior vice president, group planning director at Leo Burnett. At Leo Burnett she launched Marinate, a think tank focused on monitoring insights and best practice of brands within food culture. She also served as the global planning lead on Kellogg’s and was responsible for leading strategy of global brands including Special K and Kellogg’s Masterbrand. Prior to Leo Burnett, Van Someren was head of planning and group planning director at Wunderman Chicago. A 20-plus-year industry veteran, Van Someren has worked with some of the world’s leading brands, including Danone, Kraft Foods, Nestle, Kellogg’s, Mondelez, Nespresso, Treasury Wines, Kimberly-Clark and Whirlpool.
Edelman has created a number of award-winning campaigns for some of the sector’s leading brands, including Kellogg’s, Taco Bell, Sunkist, KFC, Mars Wrigley, Heineken and PepsiCo.
Over the past few years Edelman has strengthened and expanded its Food & Beverage offering by bringing aboard an array of diverse talent, including Ambassador Darci Vetter, vice chair, Agriculture Food and Trade; Karmen Johnson, general manager, Edible; and Jahna Lindsay-Jones, global client lead for Mars.
"Now more than ever, brands have to earn a place in people's lives,” said Van Someren. “This is especially true in the fast-changing world of food and beverage where brands aren’t just competing in a category but have an enormous opportunity and responsibility to positively contribute to food culture. I’m looking forward to helping push the boundaries of food and drink communications as we know it, creating innovation, content and experiences, all born from an earned mindset to ensure brands can thrive amid the ever-dynamic trends and behaviors.”
Van Someren and the teams she has led have won numerous awards. These include gold and silver Effies for Special K and Kellogg’s Masterbrand, respectively, and FAB Awards for Burger King Retail and Kellogg's Frosted Flakes. She is an ongoing contributor to the BBC and is also active on panels, as both a participant and a facilitator, covering topics such as luxury in food, the future of sustainability and health and wellness. Van Someren is a graduate of Drake University in Iowa.
Edelman is a global communications firm that partners with businesses and organizations to evolve, promote and protect their brands and reputations. Our 6,000 people in more than 60 offices deliver communications strategies that give our clients the confidence to lead and act with certainty, earning the trust of their stakeholders. Our honors include the Cannes Lions Grand Prix for PR; Advertising Age’s 2019 A-List; the Holmes Report’s 2018 Global Digital Agency of the Year; and, five times, Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work. Since our founding in 1952, we have remained an independent, family-run business. Edelman owns specialty companies Edelman Intelligence (research) and United Entertainment Group (entertainment, sports, lifestyle).