Chicago-based FoodMinds has opened a Washington outpost, the latest move in the eight-year-old firm's ramp-up on the policy side of food and nutrition PR.

Co-founder Susan Pitman and former USDA official Robert Post lead the capital office, which includes three other staffers.

Post, associate executive director of the USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy, joined the firm in October.

Pitman said the firm's focus "on the intersection of nutrition affairs, science and communications" made a physical presence in the "epicenter of public policy" beneficial to clients.

FoodMinds D.C., the firm's second office, sits at the corner of Connecticut Ave. and K Street and will focus on growing the firm's Food Label Compass, a tool to gauge food and nutrition content of brands relative to new FDA rules.