Imperial Sugar

Responding to an Industrial Crisis and Rebuilding a National Brand

Imperial Sugar, a major U.S. sugar producer and marketer with sugar refinery operations across the country, experienced a major crisis, where a series of explosions and subsequent fires spread across Imperial’s largest plant in Georgia, resulting in multiple fatalities and injuries. The incident came eight days after the company transitioned to a new CEO.

Immediately following the tragedy, Pierpont assisted Imperial’s executive leadership with media relations and crisis management. Pierpont’s goal was to help Imperial Sugar rebuild its relationships with key stakeholders and articulate the company’s long-term business strategy amidst the backdrop of the rebuilding process. As a result of Pierpont’s successful efforts to aid the company in its crisis response, Imperial selected Pierpont to begin a complete rebranding initiative to strengthen stakeholder engagement and ensure its long-term success. Supporting Imperial’s corporate communications, Pierpont worked with the CEO and his team to recast the company’s story, illustrate its commitment to improved industry safety standards and helped to shape the message of the rebuilding and community relations processes in Port Wentworth, GA.  Over the next few years, our team worked to support the company’s evolving positioning among shareholders, employees, customers and analysts, helping to solidify Imperial’s long-term future as a sweetener company.