Deal came together just a year after principals of the two Chicago agencies met at Natural Products Expo West 2023. Read more.

March 11, 2024

3 Min Read
C.A. Fortune, SRW Agency merger creates CPG sales and marketing powerhouse

C.A. Fortune, a privately held, leading national consumer brand sales and marketing agency, is thrilled to announce its largest transaction to date with SRW, a specialized food-and-beverage agency known for its award-winning creative, influencer marketing, paid media and public relations expertise.

The union of C.A. Fortune and SRW establishes the company as the only national consumer brand sales and marketing agency offering end-to-end solutions, ensuring product discoverability on both physical and digital shelves, driving sales across all channels with a suite of creative services, and measuring in-store results with a fully national retail activation team.

“SRW’s reputation across the food & beverage space precedes itself. By adding an elite marketing agency, such as SRW, to our current service offerings, ranging from national, channel-wide sales coverage, insights, e-commerce, outsourced sales management, national retail activation capabilities, amongst others, we aim to set a new standard in what’s possible for brands.” said Tyler Lowell, C.A. Fortune’s CEO and managing partner. “Combining SRW’s creative prowess with our comprehensive sales services across every retail trade channel and e-commerce platform in the country immediately elevates our ability to drive home our vision of connecting our current and future client base directly with the consumer in a massive way.”  

Tyler Lowell, CEO of C.A. Fortune, left, with SRW founders Kate Weidner and Charlie Stone pose in front of the SRW office in Chicago, Illinois.

Combined, the company has a 50-person marketing team, increasing the company’s overall employee count to approximately 600. SRW founders Charlie Stone and Kate Weidner will continue to lead the SRW team. Stone will oversee strategic partnerships and new business development, while Weidner will serve as SRW president. Weidner will also assume a prominent role of chief creative officer on the C.A. Fortune Executive Leadership Team and report directly to Lowell.

“When people ask what our goals are for SRW, I always say I want to keep doing what we’re doing, at a larger scale,” Weidner said. “Our team’s work has propelled some of the best brands in this business and I can’t wait to open up our arsenal of strategic thinking and stand-out creative to the entire C.A. Fortune client roster, and beyond.”

Both firms will maintain their current offices, including SRW’s satellite office in Boulder, Colorado. This geographical closeness symbolizes the seamless integration and shared vision of both entities to serve clients nationwide with unparalleled expertise.  

While C.A. Fortune and SRW are headquartered just a block apart in Chicago’s West Loop, the two teams met for the first time at Expo West in 2023. Having had an eye on SRW’s work for some time, Lowell reached out to SRW co-founders Stone and Weidner for a meeting.

“New Hope Network and Expo West have been especially important in helping us grow our business to create this opportunity. We’re grateful for this annual chance to come together and do good business, with and for good people,” Stone said. “With C.A. Fortune, brands fly on to the shelf. With SRW, brands fly off of the shelf. It’s a phenomenal fit,” Stone said. “With our combined talent and resources, there’s no limit to our continued reach and growth.”

Reflecting on the growth, Lowell added, “Since the initial acquisition of C.A. Fortune, just over 10 years ago, the organization has evolved from a roughly 10-person, specialty food-focused brokerage in suburban Chicago to now a national vertically integrated consumer brand agency, comprising of a client portfolio ranging from emerging brands to category leaders. Similarly, SRW’s journey from a three-person, founder-led team to a formidable, elite marketing agency working with over 100 clients exemplifies our joint ambition and commitment to excellence.”

Weidner expressed enthusiasm about the next chapter, saying, “Joining the C.A. Fortune team empowers us to scale our impact, bringing holistic, data-driven marketing solutions to consumer brands across the nation. We’re excited for the journey ahead and the opportunities this partnership unlocks.”

Source: SRW Agency

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